About Us


Istanbul&I is a volunteer community that empowers youth to make a better Istanbul for all

We organize volunteer projects with disadvantaged and displaced communities around the city. We also host social inclusion projects, from skills-building workshops to cultural nights, that build capacity and bring people from different backgrounds together.

Our Story

In February 2016, Teymour Ashkan and 11 friends created what is now a strong community of 300 volunteers from over 50 countries. Originally envisioned as a storytelling platform bringing communities together in Istanbul, Istanbul&I grew to become the city’s first youth social impact group.

In Ramadan 2016, we collected donations from our personal networks to begin a program sharing Iftar with the disadvantaged populations of Tarlabaşı. Soon, we began implementing volunteer programs in Istanbul designed by members of our community in various community centers for displaced youth in Istanbul. These courses included digital literacy, English, Arabic, and environmental design. We sent our global volunteers straight to communities in collaboration with groups like Qnushyo, Yusra Center, and Okmeydanı Sosyal Yardımlaşma ve Dayanışma.

As we grew, our youth leadership began designing social integration programs targeted at promoting community, learning and awareness, and developing skills. Many of our programs are in our office in Karaköy, opened in November 2017, when we became a registered NGO in Turkey.

We give space to young people interested in creating social impact projects, giving back to the community, starting discussions on global issues, and developing their personal skills.

We believe in


Social Inclusion

Our community space is open to all in Istanbul! We forge connections across nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, and legal status, creating one of the rare communities in Istanbul uniting locals and foreigners of all stripes.

Network of Global Youth

Our model values diversity and inclusivity within volunteer youth communities. Young people have diverse volunteer opportunities and are empowered to develop their own programs within a community of students, teachers, and professionals from a variety of fields.


Social Impact

We work to harness the skill sets of our diverse community of volunteers for the social benefit of disadvantaged communities in Istanbul. Some of our volunteer programs in Istanbul seek to ensure that everyone’s basic needs are met today, while our capacity-building programs aim to create better opportunities for tomorrow.



Volunteer work in a diverse environment is a unique opportunity for young people to develop the communication and leadership skills needed in a globally integrated world.


Cultural Awareness

Our diverse community of global volunteers loves to spread awareness about cultures. We celebrate our diversity through our international culture nights and other cross-cultural experiences.  

Our partners

Our partners believe that Youth empowerment ensure a more sustainable future

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