Greetings from the beautiful season that refreshes us with new ideas and people who are joining us from different parts of the world. 

On the 10th of March we started to welcome volunteers again. Annabelle was with us during March and she generously shared her knowledge and skills. She has a background in English Literature. We did a lot of editing work together as she is really good at it. We joined a mini permaculture course together and we also started  ‘hot compost’ by making our own compost bin from ‘reclaimed’ materials in our garden. She also supported us during the preparation process of our March events. 

Our current volunteers are Irene, who has  a background in Psychology and Tamara in Community and Youth work. They are both multitasking and creative individuals that are always ready to support us with their ideas and are full of energy. Since they arrived they started to offer their support in various areas starting with general maintenance in the house to material development  for our coming events and future collaborations. We are developing and practicing ideas to make our website and instagram page more accessible and reading, researching and sharing for activities, tools.

Hilal and Emre are also our other local volunteers who share their time and knowledge with us to teach how to edit our website in more practical ways. 

It is beautiful to witness solidarity and sharing our knowledge in different ways, making our life easier and helping us to improve our current situations and ideas.

We as the core team hold regular meetings and evaluate the flow of events and discuss future possibilities.

Since March, we have started to focus more on wellness related activities that are dedicated to International Women’s Month as supportive community events. We were hosting ‘Acts of Love for Mind, Body & Soul’, an online meeting series that is facilitated by Sevilla and Anastasia. Beginning from the 13th of March, we meet weekly to share our experiences, knowledge and feelings on specific topics related to Mind, Body and Soul. We used creative writing and drawing tools to facilitate sharing. You are welcome to explore these ideas and gain insight on our website. Sharing our experiences and resources in compassionate ways alongside supporting each other was a step to learn and share more. For us, it is our real life experiences that feed our art. It was surprising to explore how we share similar experiences while living in different parts of the world. We want to thank each participant for their presence, support and compassion.

We had an online meeting with Cansu Dayan (PhD, Hacettepe University, Institute of Population Studies). Her new approach to poverty studies on Art deprivation and Art poverty was indeed very new and inspiring for us. We are thankful to Dr. Hanife Aliefendioğlu for connecting us for future collaboration and continuing to support us.

Our founder, Özlem Ezer, joined an online event which included both music and virtual talk with Susan McDonald & Meer Mahmoud: The Guitar in the Ceiling at The Centre for Migration Studies, The University of British Columbia. We are in contact to discuss a possible collaboration.

We started to learn about and practice Permaculture in our garden, which helps evolve our creative conversations with our garden and all species. The core of the principles is the connections and relationships between all things. We believe these practices invite us to consider land-use ethics to be part of the ecosystem with positive impact. We need more than sustainability, that’s clear. It is inspiring and informative to learn more about the boundaries of our planet starting with our local environment and by nurturing our garden.

Currently, we are making a call to collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds. This is most suitable for individuals who can get involved in our network for their creative work, projects, seminars that are related to wellness, body practices, ecological living, education, art, permaculture and other areas that facilitate healing, change and enable positive impact to the environment, community and the individuals. You are welcome to join us. You can reach our video message here 

We are thrilled and moved by the display of creativity, support and resourcefulness from our supporters and volunteers that visit us.

We are honored to host one of our supporters, Jerry Mccann (Peace engineer, Build Up), and have a chance to learn from perspectives that come from years of peace-building and NGO work.

Shahla Raza’s (Founder of Yusra Community Centre, İstanbul) visit was another exciting event last week. Yusra Community Center is a volunteer-run space dedicated to helping displaced people rebuild their lives in İstanbul, Turkey. They also provide guidance for families and safe learning spaces for children. We are working on a summer project together.

They are for me the embodiment of resilience and courage to continue to believe in our unique ways that we can create positive impacts with our actions in the world.

Coming soon- Online Series: Body Awareness

These classes will be facilitated by Sevilla , Psychological Counselor, and Zozan, Yoga Practitioner who uses yoga, mindfulness and movement practices to guide participants in explorations using awareness as a bridge to learn about the connection between body awareness and self-esteem and self-worth. These events will be held in Turkish.

You may have noticed that we recently updated our website. If not, please take an online tour and send us an email to share your impressions, comments and questions.  

Best wishes, 

Umay International Homespace