The sensitivity of the 16-year-old high school student Emir Özsüer towards children that had to leave their home and take refuge in other countries due to war enabled the start of Project Lift in December 2014. Having started as a mental health and psychosocial support program, the project grew, deepened, and enriched rapidly. The size of needs and positive effects of Project Lift led to the establishment of a foundation within a period of less than one year. The Maya Foundation started operation in September 2015 following the dream of a society composed of free and self-confident individuals who have had a productive childhood.
Believing that everyone deserves to live humanely with a hope for the future, the foundation contributes in the mental, physical, and academic development of children between the ages of 5 and 18 as well as young ones. It supports them in realizing their potential, to express themselves freely, and be productive by developing creative thoughts. The foundation collaborates with private and public institutions, and conducts extensive programs with the contribution of international funds. Focusing on disadvantageous and traumatized children, the Maya Foundation works to increase sensitivity and develop the capacity of persons and institutions that are interacting with them. It combines the expertise of professionals with the energy of volunteers in order to create a better future together.
As part of the Project Lift, the mental health and psychosocial support program constituting the main field of activity, the Maya Foundation arranges activities to provide children with coping skills in order to repair the damage created by the trauma they are exposed to. Children that are exposed to trauma due to reasons such as war, migration, loss, and violence are provided with protection services as well as rehabilitation support through creative art therapies and sociocultural activities.
Having extended its coverage with the site office located in Balat, Istanbul, The Maya Foundation applies the “Trauma-Sensitive Schools” project for traumatized students as part of the protocol signed with the Ministry of Education. The foundation conducts training and supervision activities with teachers and educational interviews with school staff. It helps to identify students that need child protection.
As part of the capacity development programs, The Maya Foundation organizes training programs to increase the sensitivity to trauma and develop the capacity of employees of public and private institutions as well as non-governmental organizations in mental health and psychosocial support.
Protection of human honor
Respect for all cultures and differences
Focus on children and young people
Cooperation and voluntary work
Transparency and accountability
Contribution to education