20 December, 2022
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul and Tohum Autism Foundation came together to realise a very meaningful social responsibility project. With the support of Çırağan Palace, Tohum Autism Foundation equipped seven special education classrooms in Istanbul, including at Faik Reşit Unat Secondary School, Gülsen Mustafa Muzuri Primary School, Peyami Safa Secondary School, Erol Battal Secondary School, Yıldırım Beyazıt Secondary School and Prof. Dr. Aziz Sancar Secondary School.
BE Health is Kempinski’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, which cares for people’s health and well-being through concrete actions by building capacity for empowering people. Under the roof of BE Health, seven special classrooms were equipped with all materials for the education of children with autism in cooperation with Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul and Istanbul Provincial Directorate of National Education together with Tohum Autism Foundation, which helps the early diagnosis of children with autism and their integration into society as independent individuals. Within the scope of this project, special education classrooms equipped with all materials have now been configured as part of the Tohum Autism Foundation’s Classroom Equipment Project (CEP), which aims to ensure that children and young people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have access to proper education. Education is one of the most essential components for people who struggle with autism to sustain themselves in modern social conditions. The new schools were configured with the support of Çırağan Palace at a time when material support was needed to qualify public schools in this sense.
Tohum Autism Foundation General Manager Özgül Gürel stated that they have made a difference to the lives of 760,987 children and families with autism with their activities since 2003: “Autism is a neurological condition, and the only help is science-based, continuous and intensive education. In Türkiye, 41,854 of circa 574,963 children and young people with autism between the ages of 0 and 19 have been able to attend school and access education. CWA who are denied access to education are unable to thrive in social life or meet their daily needs. With the contributions of Çırağan Palace Kempinski, the material equipment of seven special education classrooms in Istanbul has been completed. Our foundation and I would like to thank Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul’s management team, all the staff and the guests from all over the world very much for their support.”
Ralph Radtke, General Manager of Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul and Regional Director of Kempinski Residences Türkiye, expressed his feelings about their contribution to the project: “At Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, we have cooperated with Tohum Autism Foundation in a very meaningful project, under the roof of BE Health. With the work we have been carrying out since May, we have opened seven material equipment projects for special education classrooms. We are happy and proud to contribute to the education of CWA together with our esteemed guests, business partners and our entire team while creating another benefit by pioneering in this field in our industry.”
Within the scope of Tohum Autism Foundation’s CEP Project to configure special education classrooms, 159 special education classrooms in Istanbul, Izmir, Zonguldak, Çanakkale, Sivas, Batman, Antalya, Artvin, Diyarbakır, Balıkesir, Mardin, Muş, Van, Bursa, Ankara, Ardahan, Manisa, Şanlıurfa, Muğla, Hatay, Konya, Elazığ, Giresun and Tekirdağ have been equipped with materials, and special trainings have been provided for families and teachers.
The only known cure for autism today is early diagnosis and continuous, intensive special education
Today, one in every 44 children in the world is born with the risk of autism. The main symptoms of autism are usually recognised in the first years of life, and include lack of eye contact, failure to respond to their names, speech delay, inability to point with their fingers, not showing interest in games played by peers, rocking, fluttering, tiptoeing, excessive interest in rotating objects and obsessive behaviours.
Families should immediately consult a child and adolescent psychiatrist specialised in autism if their children exhibit behaviours and symptoms different from those of their peers of the same age.
Scientific research shows that in about 50% of children who receive intensive education with early diagnosis and the right education method, autism symptoms can be managed, development can be achieved, and even some children with autism eventually develop to a normal condition by the time they reach adolescence.
About Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul:
Dating back to the 17th century, Çırağan Palace, the only Palace and hotel on the Bosphorus inherited from the Ottoman Empire, combines luxury with the nobility of its past. Since 1991, it has been serving as Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul with its hotel rooms and event spaces under the management of Kempinski Hotels, Europe’s most established luxury hotel group. It is one of the iconic buildings of Istanbul with its perfect location, extraordinary views and spacious gardens. The hotel rooms offer accommodation options to guests from all over the world with 11 private palace suites in the historic palace section, while hosting the city’s most special events, meetings and weddings. Exciting those who see it with its splendour and intriguing those who do not, Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul has become one of the world’s ambassadors of legendary Turkish hospitality with its perfection-oriented impeccable service. It has been recognised by many leading publications and organisations and has received local and international awards.
About Tohum Autism Foundation:
Tohum Türkiye Autism Early Diagnosis and Education Foundation has been working since 15 April 2003 as a non-profit and public-interest health and education foundation with the aim of early diagnosis of children with “Autism Spectrum Disorder”, pioneering their special education and inclusion in society, and promulgates this practice across the country.