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UEL alumna recognised for her outstanding work with street children in Turkey 

east london and thames river

Former UEL student Havva Ozden Bademci has won a prestigious award in recognition of her pioneering work in her native Turkey.

By Lee Pinkerton 

Former University of East London (UEL) student Havva Ozden Bademci (front row, second from right) has won a prestigious award in recognition of her pioneering work researching and supporting high-risk street children in her native Turkey.

Havva, who completed an MA in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies at UEL and the Tavistock Clinic in 2002, was presented with the Social Impact Award at the Study UK Alumni Awards.

The awards are part of the Education is GREAT campaign, organised by the British Council, to celebrate the outstanding achievements of international alumni of UK universities and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education.

Award winners and finalists were leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying in the UK to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries. 

After gaining her UEL degree, Havva studied for a PhD at the University of Kent on the service provision for street children in Istanbul.

Her research thesis gave her the idea of establishing a centre for street children and she went on to become the founder and director of Maltepe University Research and Application Centre (SOYAÇ) in 2010.

SOYAÇ is the first research and application centre established at a university in Turkey to address the issues facing street children. It facilitates and supports projects to improve conditions for high-risk children and their families and conducts advocacy campaigns to raise awareness about street children.

Havva said, “I was very much inspired by the idea of applying psychoanalytic thinking in a non-clinical setting by using observation both as an application and research method.

“The infant and young child observation that I carried out at Tavistock helped me to understand not only the developmental trauma that all street children suffer from, but develop a novel approach.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Margaret Jack, Director Turkey, British Council said, “Education has the power to transform lives. The finalists of this year’s Study UK Alumni Awards all clearly demonstrate how a UK education can produce outstanding individuals who possess the competitive edge to thrive in a global job market.

“I am delighted that this year we are able to recognise for the second time in Turkey the achievements of those who have used their studies to outstanding effect in their professional lives, implementing the knowledge and skills they acquired in the UK to positively affect Turkey.”