Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Yeditepe, one of our student clubs in Yeditepe University, paid a visit to Down Cafe in Şişli within the scope of their social responsibility Project on Saturday, February 27. Our members, encompassing 10 Turkish and 28 European members, who come to our university with exchange and Erasmus programs, intended to raise social awareness and express their support of equality in social spheres of our people, who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome and/or autism spectrum disorders.
At Down Cafe, which was initiated as a joint project of Şişli municipality and Alternative Life Association (ADER), 25 young individuals, who were diagnosed with Down syndrome, autism spectrum related disorders and other mental disorders, work together with volunteering mothers and earn their livings.
Before our visit at midday, our students did a grocery shopping with the aim of helping those families financially. Afterwards, our members met with the employees of the Down Cafe and took the first steps for their enduring friendships, having removed the obstacles between them. Our members of ESN participated in painting activities with Down Cafe staff, and learned that creativity knew no boundaries. Not only did our students realize that there is no limit to learning, they also learned that no real limit laid in front of teaching, after having learned Turkish Sign Language with the instructions of our friends at the cafe. Likewise, they taught our members, who showed a significant interest in Turkish culture, specific folk dances.