|About Raindrop Turkish House|
Raindrop Turkish House is a non-profit 501(c)(3), educational, charitable, social and cultural organization founded by Turkish-Americans in Houston in 2000 and now it operates in eight states: Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee and Louisiana.
Next to being a home to Turkish-Americans, Raindrop Turkish House addresses their social and cultural needs and helps them integrate into this multicultural society better. The mission of Raindrop is to introduce Turkish culture into American society and cultivate friendship and promote the understanding of diverse cultures through its unique services to the community, through dialog and cooperation.
Raindrop organizes every year its traditional Turkic Cultures and Children’s Festival where the kaleidoscope of varying people from Turkic World is showcased. Representative bodies and communities from Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, The Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan and more celebrate the rich mosaic of variant cultures and heritages with the help of both local and international sponsors. Not only an educational accomplishment for those mesmerized by the amazing sights or for those involved, the Turkic Cultures and Children’s Festival is an entertaining event that joins together international communities. This event includes the famous Ottoman Army Band, handcrafts, calligraphy, music groups, folk dances, and of course delicious worldwide known Turkish cuisine.
One of the main events that Raindrop Turkish House organizes is the annual Turkish Language and Culture Olympiad. Turkish is one of the critical languages under the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI). NSLI is an interagency initiative of the Departments of State, Education, and Defense, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The initiative is designed to dramatically increase the number of Americans learning critical need foreign languages such as Turkish, Chinese, Persian and others through new and expanded programs from kindergarten throughout university and into the workforce. In order to encourage students to study Turkish and start doing this as early as possible, Raindrop has been organizing Turkish Language and Culture Olympiad with an increasing participation each year.
Raindrop organizes and sponsors Intercultural Trips to Turkey every year. Our tours don’t just take participants to the sites, the museums, and the natural sites, rather help them feel Turkey: palace-museums and housing relics dating back more than a millennium, bustle of markets where vendors have haggled with buyers for hundreds of years, artisans who practice crafts passed down for generations. Moreover, we invite them to dine on tables set on sidewalks overlooking the evening traffic of Anatolian cities. We welcome all to our friends’ homes to share meals.
Raindrop contributes in colorful life of society by organizing, sponsoring and hosting cultural and social events such as Turkish cuisine classes, cultural nights, Nevruz picnics, traditional dinners, Turkish coffee nights, International Women’s day, soccer games, Noah’s pudding days, Whirling Dervishes’ performances, and Intercultural Dialog Dinners where we enjoy and strengthen friendship ties with our neighbors and local communities and form a culture of “living together”. In addition, we host artistic exhibitions throughout the year. Kids, youngsters, and adults are all together once a year but its taste is always in our minds: Raindrop family workshops, which include many activities such as sports, reading, delicious meals, and more.
Raindrop also offers educational services such as Turkish and English classes, music courses, seminars and international conferences. These educational activities mentor students from various majors through its affiliations with the University of Houston, Texas Tech University, and University of Houston Clear Lake and help university students become well versed in community matters and be aware of the international world.
Raindrop also helps the needy through its charity organization called “Helping Hands.” The purpose of Helping Hands is to help, with all forms of aid within our possibilities, people such as the needy, homeless, destitute, widowers, patients, orphans, veterans, and the ones affected by catastrophes such as earthquake, flood, fire, etc. Helping Hands also aims to develop and strengthen social responsibility, solidarity, aid, consciousness and contribute in improving socioeconomic level of the society.
Raindrop organizes Breakfast & Morning conversations, which is a series of public conversations that draw together diverse minds to discuss critical issues and engage in cooperative social action. Raindrop ties together the vision, values, and cooperative spirit of Houston’s different communities to work together toward common ground. For the current events and past activities, you can visit our website at www.raindropturkishhouse.org or www.turkishhouse.org Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Board of Directors
Chairman : Suleyman Cifci
Vice Chairman : Cemil Teber
Treasurer : Ruhi Ozgel
Board Member : Vedat Alpkiray
Board Member : Dr. Tuba Alpat
Board Member : Serpil Erdin
President/CEO : Mehmet Okumus