Ozel Enka Okullari

School Type: Private, Primary-Secondary School

Age group: 5-18

Number of students: 600

Year Elected


Founded after the 1999 Marmara Earthquake in the North of Turkey, ENKA Adapazari was built to provide shelter and education for the children who had lost homes and families in the disaster. In the city of Adapazari, 70 percent of all buildings were destroyed, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, a group led by senior Ashoka fellow Ibrahim Betil and the ENKA foundation set about building a temporary school where children who had lost their homes or families could both study and live. Their vision is to cultivate students who are sensitive to both local and international issues and since its inception, the school and the community have remained inextricably linked.  Students are encouraged as activists and entrepreneurs to play a role in their local society. Changemaking and empathy are embedded in the DNA of ENKA Adapazari and are carefully woven into every aspect of school life. Through inquiry-based and experiential learning techniques, students’ natural curiosities are constantly engaged, empowering them to actively solve the issues impacting their lives and their communities.

Changemaking Initiatives:

  • The children are given a role in all major decisions taken in school including choice of uniform, designing a play area in school and choosing which foreign languages are taught. 
  • A trans-disciplinary approach encouraged where teachers from different subjects often team up and co-create engaging combined lessons. 
  • During classes on sustainable energy they save up wasted fuel from home and bring it in and converted to bio diesel, recorded a video for refugees, are involved in eco-schools project for recycling.
  • Students travel for one week on local public transport, talk to passengers, identify problems and then lobby local municipality for changes.