Welcome to the heart of KEP, a non-governmental organisation that focuses on women empowerment, and which also strongly practises respect among its team members, volunteer and participants. In this article, we explore the profound meaning of respect and how it shapes the organisation's culture.
Discovering the Nature of Respect
Respect is not just a word at KEP; it's a guiding principle that is present in every single interaction and initiative between everyone. At its core, respect embodies a commitment to recognising the inherent worth and dignity of every individual. This commitment goes beyond superficial details ; it is deeply found in the DNA of the organisation.
One of the many ways in which KEP demonstrates respect is by ensuring that everyone's voice is not only heard but valued. Whether people are participants in one of our programmes, volunteers, or team members, their thoughts and opinions are not only welcome, but vital to our collective growth. Marie, one of the current volunteer, explains ''From the first step I took into KEP, I could feel the admiration of everyone for everything. There is only one mood at KEP - the happy mood that starts from the first ''günaydın'' - Good morning in Turkish - of the day to the last ''görüşürüz'' - See you in Turkish. For me the respect is this consideration from one to another that you can easily find in the house''.
In a world often dominated by vertical structures, KEP defies the norm. Respect, combined with the principle of equality, has given rise to a horizontal organisational structure. Here, ideas flourish regardless of rank, and every woman, regardless of her background, contributes to the collective vision of empowerment. After a few weeks with the association, as a volunteer, Marie testifies that ‘’the whole team has a professional name: ‘coordinator’ of something. They all have their specific areas of expertise and everyone works in harmony. I think this is only possible because of their great communication skills, respect, support and love for each other’’.
Indeed, communication is essential for a high level of respect between people. ‘’When you feel listened to and given time and opportunity to express yourself, you feel empowered and you want to replicate this behaviour with others’’. It is through respect that individuals gain confidence, discover their strengths, and, in turn, learn the importance of empowering others. Participants in our programmes, not only learn practical skills, but also experience the transformative effect of respect.
A Commitment to Continuous Improvement
Marie, the volunteer, continues ‘’Before KEP, giving feedback to improve yourself was only theoretical until I volunteered with KEP. Through my volunteering experience, I not only learned about communication skills in the field, but also how much love, trust and support can reveal so much beauty in yourself. I also discovered that when you are encouraged to give your feedback and feel listened to, you automatically feel comfortable receiving constructive feedback and changing your way of doing things''.
In summary, respect at KEP is not static; it's an evolving commitment to fostering a nurturing environment. As we reflect on our journey, we recognise that there is always room for improvement. The commitment to be more respectful, inclusive, and empowering echoes throughout the organisation, guiding our actions today and shaping our vision for tomorrow, and we hope to inspire other textile Ateliers to follow the same path.
Join us on a transformative journey as we rewrite the narrative for a brighter, more inclusive future, and help us by donating or joining our team as a volunteer.
To read more about KEP’s values, discover our article ‘’All women are welcome !’’