“We believe that every person has the right to have a good childhood, no matter what country they live in…” These words by our founder, Sabri Ülker, have guided and inspired us in all areas, including our social responsibility projects, which are built on the idea of ‘children and happiness’.
Since 1944, dozens of generations have grown up with Ülker. Our sensitivity in the field of social responsibility comes from our deep-rooted history. As always, one of our priorities is to support projects that will make children happy. Our projects in the fields of sports, culture and art contribute to children’s physical, social, cultural and mental development.
Ülker Junior Basketball Festival
Together with the Turkish Basketball Federation, we organized the Junior Basketball Festival in different provinces of our country between 2005 and 2013. 7000 children participated in the project whose main philosophy was to teach them the values of friendship, companionship and team spirit, as well as aiding their sporting development.
At the 2010 FIBA World Championship, we did not forget the children who participated in the Junior Basketball Festival. 100 players from teams that regularly participated in the festival from Ankara, Izmir and Kayseri shared the excitement of the FIBA World Championship, watching the best basketball players in the world live from the stands.
Children of the World
At the FIBA World Championship, Ülker hosted not only basketball players from around the world, but also the world’s children. Through the “Children of the World” project organized by FIBA and the Turkish Basketball Federation, more than 220 children from 110 countries and 5 continents participated in the basketball camp held in Turkey between August 24 - 31. They had a fun time and got the opportunity to learn about our country and culture more closely; all while experiencing the excitement of the championship.
Festivities were held in 81 provinces, and primary school students from different districts were mixed together to play matches in the provincial centers. These tournaments for children aged 10 and 11 took place in a non-competitive, festive mood. The goal of the festival was to foster the importance of team spirit, not winning, and for the children to socialize through football and learn about sports at an early age.
Ülker Football for Children
We truly believe that our children are the future of our country, so beyond our contributions to professional football, we’ve also sponsored sports projects for children aged between 6 - 12 through the “Ülker Football for Children (Grassroots)” program. Since 2007, the projects we’ve carried out in partnership with the relevant federations have reached more than 330,000 children.
Ülker Football for Children Project
Football Villages: For 10 years every summer, we’ve implemented the TFF-Ülker Football Villages, where talented children aged 12-13 who were monitored throughout the year were selected to have fun and study football, but also to attend classes in chess, balanced nutrition, creative drama, environmental awareness, personal care, first aid, and art education. 5,300 children participated over the 10 years. 36 of the boys and 44 of the girls who participated in the TFF-Ülker Football Villages were selected for national teams. 50 children have signed with professional clubs.
Elite Football Villages: In January of 2015 and 2016, we organized the TFF-Ülker Elite Football Villages where the most talented children in the 12-13 age group developed basic football knowledge and practices through the training they received from national team coaches for a week. They also took part in activities such as city tours, training visits and conversations with professional footballers. They discovered the spirits of brotherhood, respect, gentlemanship and solidarity that are at the core of football.
The Football Schools project was held from 6 July to September 15, 2015. Its aim was to help children spend their free time playing sports and receiving basic football training for 3 months in 14 cities in Turkey. Every month at Football Schools, 60 children between the ages of 6 and 12 in each province, and 4,000 children in total had the opportunity to play football under the supervision of TFF Regional Trainers.
U13 Istanbul Schools League
During the 2015-2016 academic year, the TFF - Ülker U13 Istanbul Schools League was organized for the first time in Turkey with the cooperation of the Provincial Directorate of National Education and Youth Services Sports and the TFF organization. The project included a total of 380 schools in 38 districts in Istanbul and 12,000 13-year-old athletes who played matches during the academic year. Selected athletes from each district participated in a festival held at the end of the season. The aim of the project was to spread football in schools and encourage unlicensed students to play
University - School Cooperation Project
With the TFF organizing, and in cooperation with universities with Physical Education and Sports Colleges (BESYO) or Sports Sciences Faculties, primary school students received football training during their school periods with the aim of spreading football activities in schools. In addition, university students at schools of physical education and sports took part in this project to increase their experience as trainers. A total of 240 primary schools – 10 from each province – and 24 universities in total including 21 universities from Turkey and 3 from Cyprus, participated in the project, reaching 43,200 students.
CULTURE AND ART
Ülker Children’s Cinema Festival
As a gift to our children on April 23, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, we launched the Ülker Children’s Cinema Festival project in 2008. With this festival held all over Turkey, we’ve reached about 1.1 million children over 9 years and given tens of thousands of children who could not go to the cinema for different reasons the opportunity to experience the silver screen and expand their imaginations, resulting in a marked increase in cinema attendances throughout Anatolia.
Ülker Chidren’s Art Workshop
We believe that exposing children to art at an early age and making art a part of their daily lives contributes to the development of their imaginations and aesthetic emotions, so we started the Ülker Children’s Art Workshop project to foster a love of art in our young children and help them become art-loving individuals.
Our workshop first opened its doors in 2011 at the Art Beat Istanbul Contemporary Art Fair, and introduces thousands of children to contemporary art on different platforms every year. In these workshops, we also offer children the opportunity to meet with famous contemporary artists and benefit from their artistic experience.
The Ülker Children’s Art Workshop has brought art into the lives of about 16,000 children, and its content gets richer every year. In addition to leading art platforms such as the Ülker Children’s Art Workshop, Contemporary Istanbul and Art International, we also hosted young artists’ exhibitions with the support of Yildiz Holding, such as the Burhan Doğançay Retrospective, and in some provinces where the Ülker Children’s Cinema Festival was held.
Istanbul Modern - Your Thursday
Based on our goal of making art accessible, which is part of social development, we started the “Your Thursday” project with Istanbul Modern, one of Turkey’s leading museums. Through the project, Istanbul Modern opened its doors to all visitors every Thursday between 10.00 – 20.00 free of charge, allowing art lovers to visit the exhibitions, attend events and watch film screenings.
Baksı Museum - Free Tuesday
The Baksı Museum, founded by Prof. Dr. Hüsamettin Koçan, was opened in the Bayraktar village of Bayburt in 2010. It soon flourished and won acclaim as the best museum in Europe. Bayburt residents and art lovers from cities all over Turkey visited this museum in Bayraktar Village free of charge every Tuesday with free shuttles from the city center with the support of Ülker.