The Snowdrops project was initiated in 2000 in cooperation with the Society for Supporting Modern Life and provided grants to 5,000 girls who are decisive and determined to study. Turkcell extended the project in 2007 to increase the number of grants given every year to 10,000.
The Snowdrops project strives to provide equal educational opportunities to girls unable to continue their education due to the economic disadvantages of their families; and subsequently to develop them into open-minded individuals with a profession.
Concluding its first decade in 2010, Snowdrops is Turkey's pioneering education project, also marking Turkcell's first comprehensive social responsibility initiative. Snowdrops has grown into an avalanche over the years with public support to become one of Turkey's most important social responsibility projects, providing educational opportunities to tens of thousands of girls.
A Mentorship Program was initiated in 2004 as a supporting process for the Snowdrops project, to further contribute to the development of real-life skill sets for the "Snowdrops" continuing their education at university level. Volunteers were chosen from among Turkcell executives, leading female journalists and columnists in the media world, as well as successful businesswomen to assume a "guiding" role; they then joined the program as informed mentors, following long and meticulous study and training. The Mentorship Program began with 46 mentors and grew yearly, with 160 mentors in total mentoring their Snowdrops to date.
We invest in the future of future generations in the areas of education, sports, and employment, by developing or supporting sustainable, long-lasting and measurable projects that promote youth development.
The project recently opened up at different levels, gaining international recognition. In 2008, the Snowdrops project was filmed by National Geographic. Prior to the documentary, an 11-person National Geographic team conducted interviews with Snowdrop girls and their families, in Istanbul, Kars, Erzurum, and Mardin, from September 2008 to April 2009. As a result, for the first time in Turkey, a social responsibility project was filmed as a documentary on the National Geographic Channel. A Snowdrops photo exhibition, displaying images taken during the shoots, toured cities across Turkey.
In March 2010, the Snowdrops project was selected by the United Nations as an exemplary project and introduced to the world through a series of activities.
With this project growing from a drop into an avalanche, we now provide educational grants to 10,000 girls every year. Since 2000, 20,000 girls have received scholarships; 9,634 students have graduated from high school; 3,437 of them have entered college; and 976 are college graduates. Thus far, the Snowdrops project has garnered 16 national and international awards.