Turkcell’s crowdsourcing project
Turkcell, one of the first companies that came into our lives in Turkey as a mobile service provider, has won the International Public Relations Association’s (IPRA) 2012 United Nations special award.
On the night the IPRA was handing out the awards, I shared a table with Turkcell’s happy team.
The deputy general manager of Turkcell, Koray Öztürkler, explained the details of their “Turkey’s Moneybox for Van” project. About one year ago on October 23, 2011, the eastern province Van was hit by an earthquake that killed hundreds of people, injured thousands and left many homeless.
Thanks to its technological infrastructure, Turkcell, one of the companies pouring aid into Van, implemented a project that won the U.N. prize in cooperation with the Education Ministry and Turkish Education Foundation (TEV).
Öztürkler explained with enthusiasm, “We set up the website Turkiyekumbarasi.com. We, as Turkcell, put 5 million Turkish Liras in the virtual moneybox. With the SMS campaign, we collected 4.5 million liras from individuals, companies and nongovernmental organizations in a transparent and accountable way.”
In the end, the total figure collected in the virtual moneybox was 9.5 million liras. With this money, two-story houses near Lake Van were built for the 192 teachers who were left homeless as well as a student dormitory with a capacity for 132 students.
The houses that brought Turkcell the U.N. special prize built by the “Turkey’s Moneybox for Van” project will be handed over to teachers in the coming days.
When it comes to social responsibility projects, Turkcell always has the most creative ones. For many years, it has been the main sponsor of the Kardelen Project of Professor Türkan Saylan, whom we lost in 2009.
Kardelen’s place is very different in my heart because I have traveled many roads together with Saylan, who wanted to educate girls from low-income families in various regions of Anatolia.
I have personally witnessed how Professor Saylan was striving to change the life of only one girl. Thanks to Turkcell, Saylan was able to educate 80,000 girls. Her dream was 100,000 girls.
I learned from Öztürkler that the Kardelen Project was continuing and would soon reach 100,000 girls.
Now, the company’s “new favorite” is the “crowdsourcing” concept becoming a new trend in the world, which they are implementing in cooperation with Professor Aziz Akgül, the first person to practice “microcredit” in Turkey.
This concept, developed by American communications expert and journalism professor Jeff Howe, organizes people online and transforms a business into a more productive operation.
Turkcell and Prodigality Prevention Association (TISVA), which Akgül is heading, are providing microcredit to 50,000 low-income women from a joint pool.
According to information provided by Öztürkler, you may contribute to the joint pool from the website “ekonomiyekadingucu.com” or you may personally lend to low-income female entrepreneurs whose profiles you can see on the website. In the latter case, you will receive your money back in one year.
According to Öztürk, Turkcell will train women with a portion of the sum collected in the joint pool with the crowdsourcing concept and provide them cell phones to be paid back in installments of 1 or 2 liras a week.