Chairman's Message

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“We are rebuilding the luminous future of Turkey with each of our graduates.”

M. Tayfun Öktem (DŞ’1982)  Chairman of the Board
M. Tayfun Öktem (DŞ’82)
Chairman of the Board

As Darüşşafaka Society, since 1863 we have been offering equal opportunities in education to our gifted children who have lost their father or mother and have limited financial facilities, and raising them as lifelong-learning, self-confident leader individuals who have adopted and internalized universal values and are aware of their duties and responsibilities towards their country and society.

As of today, we are providing about 1,000 children selected by examination across the country with English-weighted secondary education with full scholarship and boarding facilities in Darüşşafaka Education Institutions from 1st grade to their graduation from high school, and raising them as individuals equipped with the 21st century skills, and sending them off to the best universities of our country and of the world. The most significant criterion identifying the developmental stage of a country is the extension of equal opportunities in access to qualified education.  So, as Darüşşafaka, we have been working to promote these equal opportunities since 1863.

Remember, when Darüşşafaka was founded, there was no United Nations (UN) or UNICEF to stand for each child’s right of access to the best education available based on their talents, nor were there such concepts like welfare state or social responsibilities.

Having maintained this visionary and progressive structure while preserving its traditions on the other hand throughout its history, our Society sets an example of sustainable organizations in our country with its leading position in education and civil society movement as well as its 156-year history. Our Society, the first non-governmental organization in the field of education which was born, grown and has taken root on this land, has been able to carry on for one and a half century only with donations, not only because of the substantiality of its efforts but also its success in not allowing any acts or actions that could cast shadow upon the trust of its donators… Darüşşafaka has always considered each penny of donation as a social entrust and given the account thereof before the public.

 “Transparency” and “accountability” have always been among the main principles well-established in Darüşşafaka… We are aware how important these two principles are, especially under the present conditions of the day. That is why we are publishing in our annual activity reports how we use the donations granted to our Society, and sharing it with the public via internet and other communication channels. On top of all that, we have become the first non-governmental organization in Turkey which has had an independent corporate management rating conducted and have thus proven the transparency and accountability of our Society with a rating score of 9.54.

Darüşşafaka has never compromised on qualified education, and the substantiality of its efforts is hidden in the changed lives of thousands of children it has graduated…

Darüşşafaka is not only a school, but also a compassionate home as its name suggests and a big family. We take over the responsibility for our children from their family when they are only 10, raise them with great care, and say goodbye to them as 19-year-old young individuals. They take on life with the Darüşşafaka spirit based on cooperation, solidarity, sharing, and honesty. They continue their education in any university and in any field of study they like. We do not withhold our scholarship support during their university education as well. They climb the career ladders one by one as bankers, bureaucrats, physicians, lawyers, journalists, scientists, artists; each leading a life story that has changed by education…

M. Tayfun Öktem (DŞ’1982)
Darüşşafaka Society

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