1. AMERICAN HOSPITAL
  2. CORPORATE

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROJECTS

UMUDA PEDAL – BIKE TO HOPE

The “Umuda Pedal (Bike to Hope)” cause which effectively combines sport and social responsibility was founded by bike riding enthusiast employees of the American Hospital and Koç University in 2016 in order to initiate worthwhile charitable projects for various notable causes. Conducting joint projects with non-governmental organizations, our team aims to increase public awareness, popularize sports and put projects into practice by collecting funds through well-run campaigns.

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In order to realize the ONKOBIS project (a bicycle with a serum holder) which was the first social responsibility project jointly organized with the Association of Anti-cancer Warriors, compassionate participants cycled from Vienna to Berlin in 2016 and from London to Dusseldorf in 2017 as part of the Global Biking Initiative (GBI). Charitable biking events took place in the Belgrade Forest and in the Kaş district jointly with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2018 for the Grouper Protection Project. Volunteers cycled from Gothenburg to Hamburg in 2018 to establish and subsequently increase the number of Design and Skill Workshops that were jointly organized by the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV) which focused on the betterment of children’s education. After workshops were opened in Bakırköy/Istanbul and Batman, cyclists rode from Mardin to Göbeklitepe on the 6-7 April 2019 with the inspired motto “Travel to the past to support the future” to raise funds for beneficial workshops to be established in Savur/Mardin. The number of team members aiming to participate in the charitable bike ride from Milan to Munich in 2019 as part of the Global Biking Initiative (GBI) to support the further establishment of new workshops is continuously increasing as a result of the ever-appealing combination of sports and social responsibility. You can follow our truly altruistic ‘bike to hope’ team’s progress on Instagram and YouTube .
 
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SAÇIM SAÇIN OLSUN - LET MY HAIR BE YOUR HAIR

Temporary hair loss is a problem endured by more than half of patients who receive chemotherapy after cancer diagnoses. Patients with hair loss consider themselves conspicuous in public life due to their altered physical appearance and therefore, they prefer to isolate themselves from social situations and the workplace. Hair loss may lead to very serious psychological problems, including depression, increased unwillingness to socialize and self-confidence problems, especially for female patients who are still receiving chemotherapy. Some patients may reject chemotherapy or prefer drug therapies that are less effective at fighting cancer cells than chemo because they do not produce the undesirable hair loss side effects. Although hair loss is not usually focussed on during the chemotherapy process because life is literally at stake, the physical and psychological changes that drastically affect a patient’s present and future quality of life are extremely real. Therefore patients with final diagnosis use hair wigs as a psychological remedy. Since wigs made of real hair can be expensive, patients who require wigs generally prefer synthetic hair wigs. Although these items are cost-effective comparatively speaking, they pose a substantial risk of transferring or acerbating infection as well as a tendency to provoke allergies. Ultimately they threaten the health of patients with cancer, who with compromised immune systems are already at a very high risk of infection. A wig made of real hair is regarded as a real luxury item by many although they are more easily cleaned and they do not provide any risk of infection.



Although there are several examples around the world, there are no other foundations in Turkey, which provide patients maintained on anti-cancer treatment, with free-of-charge wigs made from donated hair until a project was set up in 2016 by the Association of Anti-Cancer Warriors called “Let My Hair Be Your Hair”. Patients who lost their hair secondary to chemotherapy have experienced certain problems, including but not limited to changes in physical appearance, psychological issues and invariable isolation from routine life. Officials at the association and volunteers want to clarify that everyone can do at least something for patients diagnosed with cancer and support them in coping by not only donating their hair but also reminding those who have lost their hair that they are not alone.
 
In “Let My Hair Be Your Hair” project that is expressed through the association's social media accounts, patients who are receiving anti-cancer treatment can notify volunteers about the type of wig they would like to wear; wigs are then custom produced over a one month period before being gifted to each patient once final diagnosis has been established. Over the last 3 years within the scope of this project, more than 1000 cancer warriors have received high-quality wigs. 


HYGIENE IN SCHOOLS 

For a healthier society, we believe that virtuous habits associated with increased hygiene should be learned at an early age. Therefore since 2011, we have been organizing hygiene training at schools which of course are the optimal learning environments for both young children and adolescents. This education initiative is particularly significant as school-age children may become easily vulnerable to bacteria & diseases; also there are many children and adolescents with poor personal hygiene habits and also many shared areas throughout schools that are far from clean. Clean shared areas and compliance with personal hygiene rules will prevent children from disease. As instructors we also share our insights into optimizing personal hygiene, increasing awareness about food hygiene and shared physical spaces with students, teachers, and school staff during practical hygiene training sessions organized by the Infection Control Team.

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So far hygiene training sessions were provided at the following schools:
 
Location of Training Date
Nursing School, Koç University 2011-2016
Irmak Schools 2011/2014/2018
Istanbul Kültür University 2012
Ayazağa Secondary School 2013
Kağıthane Zuhal Secondary School 2015/2017
Üsküdar Selami Ali Secondary School 2018
Koç Secondary School 2019
Maçka Pakmaya Secondary School 2019
Istanbul Juvenile Open Prison Training Unit 2019
The Association for Supporting Contemporary Life (ÇYDD) 2019

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