To Lemon Hill

Academic program for Syrian child refugees living in Turkey

Project Overview:

To Lemon Hill used food gatherings to create safe public spaces and developed an ambitious mentorship/tutoring program for Syrian Refugees at Gelisim Koleji, a nearby Turkish school. Understanding the importance of a holistic approach to address the needs of displaced communities, To Lemon Hill responded to the universal concern around access to education for their children amongst mothers in Turkey’s Syrian refugee community.

The community that is served by this project is only one aspect of the IMPACT of the project. The program bridges cultures: Syrian, Turkish, and Kurdish. In a society where Kurdish people are discriminated against, this program serves to form a bridge of understanding. Moreover, the school is eager to continue the program into the future as long as there is a need.—To Lemon Hill, IMPACT Awardee, 2013


To Lemon Hill’s focus on their educational partnership with Gelisim Koleji not only created a sustainable education program for the undocumented Syrian children, but also builds relationships between the Turkish and Syrian community in Limon Tepe. To Lemon Hill interviewed 50 Syrian families while in Turkey and heard about the challenges and dilemmas of their journeys, To Lemon Hill collaborated with Gelisim Koleji, a local high school, to provide mentoring and tutoring support for the undocumented Syrian children (ages 7 to 14). To Lemon Hill’s project was even integrated into Gelisim Koleji’s curriculum requirements as it aligned with the school’s emphasis on volunteer service and helping the larger community. To Lemon Hill continues to speak with Gelisim Koleji and the Syrian community in Limon Tepe to ensure the continued success of their mentorship/ tutoring program.