Kimse Yok Mu to share perspectives at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Kimse Yok Mu Secretary-General Savaş Metin (Photo: Today's Zaman)
Kimse Yok Mu Secretary-General Savaş Metin (Photo: Today's Zaman)


Date posted: September 24, 2015

AYDOĞAN VATANDAŞ / NEW YORK

Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There?) a Turkey-based humanitarian aid organization will participate in the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York City September 26–29, which will be hosted by former US President Bill Clinton, and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton.

KYM will be represented by Savaş Metin, the secretary general of the organization, who will participate and share the organizations’ innovative approach to addressing long term agricultural challenges in Niger, Niamey.

Metin told Today’s Zaman that the organization aims to contribute to socio-economic development of farming families around Niamey by introducing these farmers with the modern agricultural methods via its training center, which will carry out monthly training on crop cultivation practices, and grant farmers with materials such as water pumps and small-scale irrigation systems.

When asked about the criteria KYM uses to determine whether or not to partner on a specific project, Metin said that diversity, reliability and transparency are the organization’s main principles.

“KYM provides humanitarian and development aid in the following units. It performs its activities together with more than 140 partners including the United Nations, government bodies, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations,” he added.

Today’s Zaman sat down with Metin and talked about the global efforts of his organization as well as it’s challenges, advantages and weaknesses.

Please tell us about yourself and how your previous experiences prepare you for your current work?

I worked in different countries in Europe for 14 years such as France, Netherlands, Belgium, which provided me splendid experience to learn about the international organizations closely. Before I came to ‘Kimse Yok Mu’, I worked in ‘Unitee’ organization as a secretary general. The organization is representing entrepreneurs and professionals with a migrant background, represents more than 15000 entrepreneurs and business professionals across 26 European countries and from all the major sectors of the European economy. As Unitee team we worked very close with EU bodies, which gave me precious experience for my current position. Now I am the current Secretary General for Kimse Yok Mu. I am leading the organization’s international relations department and work to create unity among corporations, NGOs, and international organizations. Kimse Yok Mu is a humanitarian aid organization based in Turkey which expands its humanitarian relief to over 113 countries through 220.000+ thousands of volunteers around the globe. KYM is also a solution partner of the UN bodies. Diversity, reliability and transparency are the organization’s main principles; and it works in coordination with more than 140 partners including UN bodies, governments, GOs as well as NGOs.

Please describe a typical work week for a position like yours in your organization?

A typical week includes follow-up of projects, meetings with colleagues and discussing possible future partnerships and projects. This consists of exchange of emails, calls and arranging meetings in different cities. A position in external affairs department also requires travelling for networking purposes, launching of events, speaking at panels and seminars as well as organizing events to bring experts from different fields and prepare a stage for discussion of critical issues.

Please tell us about your organization and its scoop of focus areas?

The activities of KYM are divided between Humanitarian Aid and Development Programs. We focus on Disaster Relief and Poverty Reduction Programs under Humanitarian Programs and provide Healthcare Programs, Educational Programs, Vulnerable Children Programs, Clean Water Programs and Community Capacity Building as Development programs. Some of the projects carried out by KYM; cash assistance project with UNHCR for Syrian refugees, construction of school in the Northern Iraqi city of Arbil with the coordination of local governor, opening a school with Japanese government for Syrian refugees in Turkey’s Hatay province, renovation of a school and construction of a dormitory for orphans with the partnership of Presidency of Kyrgyzstan. Besides developing projects such as social complexes in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda, KYM renovates and builds schools, hospitals and orphanages. Also, water well projects, cataract operations and medical screenings are carried out as part of the KYM humanitarian and development agenda.

I have $200 that I’d like to use to help a worthy project, say, for example, in Somalia. How can your organization help me do that?

Our donors can donate us via bank account, in cash, in kind or online. They can examine each of our project or campaign and they can make conditional donations by choosing any of our project in the country they prefer. The donations are sent to related area and spent for beneficiaries. Via support of more than 220.000 volunteers around globe, we use very low percent of administrative cost, more than 90 percent of the donations are going for the usage of in need people.

What criteria do you use to determine whether or not to partner on a specific project?

Diversity, reliability and transparency are the organization’s main principles. KYM provides humanitarian and development aid in the following units. . Kimse Yok Mu performs its activities together with more than 140 partners including the United Nations, government bodies, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

KYM, one of the executive partners of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has carried out many international projects with its partners including the governments of Japan, Singapore, and South Africa, and the local authorities of the United States of America. It has pioneered important programs and panels relevant to the work of the United Nations, and it helps to set the agenda by submitting regular verbal and written statements within the frame of its consultant membership with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

KYM focuses on immediate, vital, humanitarian aid, while at the same time giving great effort to sustainable development activities. These efforts have resulted in gaining appreciating for its work performed in more than 100 countries. KYM carries out these activities with global partnerships.

To sum up we mostly cooperate with the UN bodies, international organisations, local authorities and reliable local Ngo’s and companies after we examine them with our representatives, volunteers and checked for the references of local governments.

What are some examples of success stories of your organization, ones you’re particularly encouraged by?

KYM partnered with UNHCR in a joint volunteer led project to distribute 2,825 pre-paid debit cards to Syrian families to help them meet their basic living expenses. The cards could be used for anything, including food, clothing, and toiletries. Families were chosen as aid recipients based on their socioeconomic situation to ensure aid went to those who needed it the most. Some families were identified for signs of emotional and physical trauma and they were provided treatment. The UNCHR-KYM partnership has spurred similar collaborations to better the lives of refugees. Due to KYM’s large volunteer network, aid assessments were completed in less than three weeks. This ensured that families received funds quickly, before the onset of winter, which would add another layer of hardship to the resettlement process. Through grants and private donations, Syrians were given 100 TL per family member per month. They could use it to sustain themselves and rebuild their lives. The basic living stipend more comprehensive services to the refugees, KYM also sponsored the construction of schools coordinated the donation of school supplies, food, and blankets to those who were eligible for aid. They also receive rental and utility assistance to relocate to Turkey. Because of KYM’s existence throughout the country, it is possible to provide assistance to refugees regardless of where they choose to resettle. Due to Turkey’s proximity to the conflict, it is imperative to deliver aid to buffer zone along the Syrian-Turkish border. In order to help people who still reside within Syria, KYM recommends collaborating with other NGOs hastened the resettlement process and empowered the victims of civil war to take control of their lives to provide already at work in the area. It is difficult to establish a new program during war time and far more effective to deliver aid vis-à-vis existing programs active in the area. The support of volunteers has also proved to be critical to the success of projects. Local volunteers assist in data collection vital to program implementation. As they are most familiar with the social landscape of their region, they can help NGOs efficiently identify which families are in need of aid and expedite its distribution. KYM has been receiving donations from benefactors all around the world for Syrian refugees and has been delivering them punctiliously.

Tell us about the weakness, challenges and advantages of your organization.

Challenges: The main challenge is the legal and structural limitations against the development of civil society organizations. In addition to this, being a big organization can make it difficult to monitor or receive follow-up data from ongoing projects in different parts of the world.

Weaknesses: The weaknesses of our organization are lack of stronger coordination, more effective planning and management of projects as well as lack of international staff.
Advantages: One of the most important advantages of our organization is our volunteers which is more than 220.000 around the globe. They work as implementers of our projects and also reporters from the field that give precious field reports. Via their support we use less then %10 of donation as an administrative cost, so that more than %90 are used for the in need people.

Tell us about your international partnership or participation with international institutions.

KYM, established on January 3, 2002, acquired “Public Interest Status” from the Turkish Board of Ministry with the cabinet decree 2006-9982 and the approval of the President of the Turkish Republic on January 1, 2006. Since then, the association has taken significant steps to improve its global partnerships in order to implement the UN Sustainable Development Targets in an effective and productive manner. Our association, awarded the “Grand National Assembly of Turkey Outstanding Service Award” on July 10, 2008, has been admitted with the “the Status of Specific Consultancy” to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on July 7, 2010. KYM signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Union in 2015 and became a partner to carry out activities together within the framework of development activities in Africa.

KYM, a solution partner of the United Nations, is a voting member of the United Nations Global Compact and the international CIVICUS organization.
KYM is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative which aims to bring together global leaders to set into motion effective solutions in fighting poverty, improving the environment, and establishing health and education services by building partnerships with members from the public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations. KYM performs its activities together with more than 140 partners including the United Nations, government bodies, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

KYM, one of the executive partners of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has carried out many international projects with its partners including the governments of Japan, Singapore, and South Africa, and the local authorities of the United States of America. It has pioneered important programs and panels relevant to the work of the United Nations, and it helps to set the agenda by submitting regular verbal and written statements within the frame of its consultant membership with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

KYM focuses on immediate, vital, humanitarian aid, while at the same time giving great effort to sustainable development activities. These efforts have resulted in gaining appreciating for its work performed in more than 100 countries. KYM carries out these activities with global partnerships.

KYM organizes conferences and symposiums to create awareness on global matters and to give priority to international partnerships for developing and implementing sustainable solutions. KYM offers its own solutions and approaches for global issues in these meetings and programs. Past programs included a panel on “Narrowing the Gap in Implementation of SDGs: Education of Refugee Children,” (3rd High¬-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, June 27th, 2015 at the General Headquarters of United Nations in New York City) and “Micro Finance and Vocational Training for the Empowerment of Women,” (March 11, 2015, United Nations CSW 59th Session, New York City). Meetings have included UN meetings in the United Nations Centre at Geneva, African Union programs in the general headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, and meeting with ECHO (Office of the European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection) in the parliament of the European Union in Brussels. KYM coordinates search, rescue, and emergency aid in disaster areas with the Office of United Nations Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) via cluster meetings in the field, as well as participates in the regional coordination meetings of the United Nations regarding subjects such as aid to refugees post-disaster.

KYM plays an important role in the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals in the target areas of humanitarian aid and development with its projects performed in several regions of the world. KYM continues to render service with its schools, hospitals, water-wells, orphanages, and social complexes opened in several regions of Africa. KYM has focused on the continent of Africa in particular to meet the millennium development targets, and it aims to support each needy individual in the world and develop the societies in which these individuals exist.


Profile
Savaş Metin is the Secretary General of Kimse Yok Mu Association.
He worked in different countries in Europe for 14 years such as France, Netherlands, Belgium, which provided him experience to learn about the international organizations closely. Before ‘KYM’, he worked in ‘Unitee’ organization as a secretary general as well.

Source: Today's Zaman , September 24, 2015


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