Donate to The Maya Association

A School for Syrian Refugee Children


The Maya Association is a registered not-for-profit organization in Turkey that operates a small school for Syrian refugee children near Mersin, Turkey. It is run by local volunteers (academics, doctors, businesspeople, teachers, and others), and its objective is to provide a basic scholastic experience for its young students, focusing on teaching the Turkish language and alphabet. There are around three million refugees from the Syrian war in Turkey and the demand for educational services is enormous. For the time being, the School is able to enroll around thirty students at a time. It would like to increase this number and to expand its operations.


The Maya School depends on donations. The writer Joseph O’Neill, a good friend of the Center for Fiction, leads the fundraising effort in the US. Joseph is half Turkish and is the grandson of a refugee from Aleppo. He travels to Turkey every year and is on close personal terms with the Maya School organizers. He vouches absolutely for their integrity, competence, and compassion. 


Most of the photographs you see here were taken by Joseph. They depict the refugee camp near the village of Adanalioglu, near Mersin, and the school in its previous location. The Turkish authorities withdrew authorization for use of the building as a school in the fall of 2017. The Maya students were not afterward enrolled in a state school and are without any kind of educational or recreational facilities. 


Accordingly Maya has acquired a lease in a village premises, from where it now operates. This required significant if basic construction work—installation of lavatories, walls, etc.—and donations from the U.S. successfully financed the project. Going forward, donations are needed for the operational expenses involved in running a small school. Over the last three years, Maya has established itself as a highly effective organization delivering a vital service. Please give generously to this worthy and highly cost-effective cause.

Make your fully tax deductible donation in any amount today and support this incredible school.