“In a fast-paced, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news coverage atmosphere with rapidly changing current affairs and news content, most of the reporting is about dry and opaque statistics and facts. Yet numbers alone cannot possibly represent human lives.”

Using this idea as a starting point students who worked in this project were encouraged to create small documentaries to highlight the plight of Syrian refugees living in İstanbul.

Within the 6 weeks of Pre-Production period, the class indulged in the activites of brainstorming, researching, pitching, interviewing and production scheduling. They also attended lectures given by the invited guest speakers which include Former UN Commissary Metin Çorabatur, Koç University Research Associate Doğuş Şimşek and ABC Field Producer Engin Baş.

After choosing the educational problems of Syrian refugee children as their theme, PANN-class decided to work in collaboration with Bilgi University Child Studies Unit (ÇOCA) who held a valuable workshop on the ethics and issues of documenting children. ÇOCA’s support was vital since they also helped the class having access to the two primary schools in Eyup (Mehmet Akif Ersoy&Hacı Arif Bey İlköğretim Okulları) whose Syrian students and teachers were the subjects in the documentaries.

Having organized into four student teams, PANN-Class finally produced two documentaries with a motto “The future of Syria may be uncertain, but the future for children from Syria doesn’t have to be”. .

Işın Eliçin

Hüsam Hamzeh
Oğuz Yenen
Ertan Önsel

Children Are Not Numbers

Melis Us
Nilsu Zırhlıoğlu
Cansu Önder
Bercan Aktaş

Getting the Children to School

Oğuzhan Karakaş
Sedat Demirtopuz
Eren Kasapoğlu
Dilara Şenbilgin

Web Management İrem Koca

Children Are Not Numbers

Pupils from a State School in Istanbul tell how the war has changed their lives, how they feel about life in a new country and how they get on with the school where the language is a huge barrier.


Syrian Teachers from a Temporary Education Center in Istanbul talk candidly about the struggles of providing education to Syrian refugee children from economic hardships to traumatic issues.