Parents are weighing in on the value of the Unified Schools Program in Turkey. Muradiye Akalar is the mother of twins Aral and Ural, aged 4, who participate in inclusive equestrian activities in Samsun on the north coast of Turkey.

“I don’t want people to look at my children in a different way. Through this program, all children, with and without disabilities, share the same environment. This has helped me and my children become more confident.” Sabahat Demirtaş and Tuncay Demirtaş, also from Samsun, can see the impact of the program on their daughter, Buket, aged 28, a swimmer.

“Buket feels free and happy in the water and it is good to see her make new friends and gain confidence when she interacts with Unified partners,” said her mother Sabahat. The Unified Schools Program, supported by the Sabanci Foundation, involves 800 children and youths from schools, clubs and universities who participate in inclusive sport, education and volunteering activities.