The Olive Seeds Social Responsibility Program

The Olive Seeds Social Responsibility Program is a community initiative aimed at the personal, social, and societal development of children and young people residing primarily in Ayvalık town and surrounding villages with limited socio-economic resources. This program encompasses music, art, and sports education as tools for individual development and aims to provide the necessary infrastructure for fostering personal growth and cultivating a productive society.


Zeytin Çekirdekleri Association welcomes children and young people of different ages from schools in Ayvalık town, surrounding villages, and neighboring districts based on the educational disciplines it provides.

Volunteer or assigned instructors assess the children’s talents and interests and guide them toward suitable disciplines. During this guidance process, for music education, they evaluate the children’s sense of voice and rhythm, theatrical abilities, physical structures, and inclinations, taking into account their social and psychological conditions. Each instructor has received serious training in their respective fields and consists of skilled performers with pedagogical backgrounds, transferring all their knowledge and experiences to the children.

Zeytin Çekirdekleri Association conducts its educational activities in collaboration with two significant official institutions. It collaborates with the Izmir State Opera and Ballet for music education and with Boğaziçi University for summer and winter schools. The contribution of these two institutions is crucial to the success of the implemented programs.

One of the most important initiatives at Olive Seeds is the “Colorful Hours,” which serves as the starting point for children’s exploration in this program. This workshop, where children are introduced to auditory, visual, and performing arts, marks the first step in directing them towards specific disciplines within the Olive Seeds Social Responsibility Program.

Boğaziçi Ayvalık Schools, on the other hand, introduces children to different areas of interest through workshops conducted during summer and winter holidays, providing them with experiences in these fields. They emphasize ecological living, children and identity, children’s memory, and recycling themes through workshop activities and events. They create awareness in these themes by organizing workshops and activities. Through collaborative outputs like theater and photography exhibitions, they maintain regular communication with local communities and university volunteers. Such events empower children’s self-esteem and self-efficacy.

In addition to the artistic activities mentioned above in the Olive Seeds Social Responsibility Program, children in need are supported with supplementary lessons in subjects like mathematics, Turkish, and foreign languages by volunteer primary and secondary school teachers, helping them perform better in their school lessons.

The Components of the Program

Olive Seeds provides education in three main areas: auditory arts, including Instrumental and Choir training; visual arts, including Painting, Ceramics, and Sculpture studies; and performing arts, including Dance and Theater.

The Program's Achievements

The Olive Seeds Association, utilizing the unifying power of art, initiates a significant movement with the motto “a child develops, the world changes.” As a non-governmental organization operating in the Ayvalık region, Olive Seeds empowers children living in socio-economically limited rural areas comprising 16 villages and economically challenged urban neighborhoods. The organization provides them with a different perspective, supports their social and personal development, and instills environmental and nature awareness. Moreover, Olive Seeds reaches out to other children in the region, fostering the consciousness that all children have equal rights.

Through workshops and activities, the primary objective of the program is to reach the children, their families, and consequently the entire Ayvalık region, instilling a common consciousness through the unifying power of art. The initiative promotes listening, empathy, respect, and love as fundamental human concepts. Children learn about general art culture based on the field of education they receive in workshops and activities, fostering creativity and encouraging them to dream and pursue their aspirations.

The program also aims to cultivate patience, discipline, goal-setting, and habits of working towards their objectives. It helps children discover hidden talents and guides them towards professional choices. Regardless of their future professions, the participants are encouraged to have an artistic perspective and an aesthetic viewpoint. Students aspiring to pursue a career in any field of art are guided by expert volunteer artists and instructors to achieve their goals. Additionally, students needing support in school subjects are connected with teachers through sponsorships, aiding them in their academic progress.