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Jun 4, 2018

Three Teachers and Their Students in Rural Turkey

Students sending their love and happiness to you..
Students sending their love and happiness to you..

Summer break is starting in Turkey on Friday, June 8th. Thank you  so much for all the support that you have given to our projects in 2017-2018 school year. We feel lucky to have been able to touch the lives of many students and teachers and change their lives for the better...

We would like to share the stories of some of the teachers that you supported with your generous donations through BTF in 2017-18 school year:

"Thank you so much for sending my students these brand new sneakers for our Children's Celebration Day on 23rd of April. I would like to tell you what my students said and asked me: Ogretmenim(my teacher in Turkish), we are all living under the same sky...If we go outside and look up in the sky and smile, would the generous people who send us these gifts be able to see our happiness? I was so surprised and moved by their way of thinking of my students and said yes they would..Let's go outside and smile by looking up in the sky. That is what we did and my students sent innocent smiles and happiness back to you. Thank you so much for your generosity and kind heart...With our gratitude and love..Mustafa Ogretmen."

"Hello Bridge to Turkiye, we have received backpacks, dictionaries and sneakers this week and delivered them to our students in class. It was priceless for me to witness the happiness of my students..It is also a privilege for me to have met you and to witness the happiness of my students. Thank you from the bottom of my heart...I sent you the photos that shows the joy of my students when they opened their gifts...I tried to capture the happiness of one of my students and so wished that you were here with me to share their excitement, happiness and joy..They were asking me if they could bring their backpacks and shoes home to show them to their mothers. I told them about you, the BTF volunteers and the importance of sharing and caring for others...They are too young now to understand...However, I am sure they will remember what I meant in the future and appreciate it and be grateful...Thank you so much again for making us feel privileged and happy...With all my love, Ozlem ogretmen..."

"Dear Bridge to Turkiye Fund, the books and educational toys that you sent to our kindergarten class are well loved and used by our students. They are looking forward to coming to school now and they are not missing school anymore. Once they start playing with the toys and reading the books, it is hard for them to leave the school. Thank you all so much for all the support, encouragement and love that you are sending us...Mehmet Ogretmen"

These are some of our teachers who wrote to us when they received their gifts from you for their students. There are many more teachers and students like them who share their students' happiness by writing back to us after they receive their gifts...Wish we could share them all with you to show you your impact since they are all so inspiring and full of hope and gratitude...You are changing lives and giving hope where it is most needed...

The rural area teachers need a lot more support and school supplies to educate and motivate their students. With your continued support, we are hoping to reach as many teachers and students as we could in 2018-2019 school year...

Have a great summer...

Love from Bridge to Turkiye Volunteers

Happiness in colors...
Happiness in colors...
Thank you dear donor for all the support...
Thank you dear donor for all the support...
Did you see my new backpack?
Did you see my new backpack?
I just love books:-)
I just love books:-)
Our new books are amazing, thank you:-)
Our new books are amazing, thank you:-)
See our new toys:-)
See our new toys:-)
Look at our new dictionaries from BTF:-)
Look at our new dictionaries from BTF:-)

Links:

Apr 24, 2018

Refugee Children are building a new life in Imece

Children in one of the camps in Izmir
Children in one of the camps in Izmir

Most of what we will talk about today is the result of a few great souled people coming together, relentlessly working to save refugees, providing life support, and other humanitarian services, searching and finding local & international support over the course multiple years in Turkey. It would be just an injustice just to give an update about what we have done, and not to share the magnitude of the Imece’s support for the refugee population since 2015. Imece has been on multiple fronts; giving life-support, providing food & supplies, hygiene products, and offering educational activities for the refugee children in multiple tent camps they serve and their families who made it to Turkey though multiple ways and ended up in Izmir trying to build a new life.

Last August in 2017, we released a dedicated blog post about Imece & Hadra—an 11 yr old refugee girl to share one of the education projects we partnered with them. At the end of that blog we gave heads-up that they were getting ready for a master project to impact the refugees in a meaningful way. That project is building a land & village for the refugee community, a self sustaining life where moms are at work produce or create goods while children socialize, learn language & different skills to integrate into a new society. Earlier in the same year, through the support of our donors, we have provided $10,000 in financial aid to help them purchase 3 container houses for the planned village. As the refugee families don’t have a roof to stay or have weather resilient places to get classes or education, these containers do come very handy. We are pleased to know that these containers are put into good use, integrated to the village life and helping and enabling Imece to accomplish many of the objectives they laid out for the community . Imece team has spent the last 6 months completing the infrastructure and technical details and permits to go live, they converted these containers into livable places, buying furniture and the essentials to host families, or use as a classroom, and made them fully functional.


If you haven’t yet, please be sure to check out the village video . A picture/video is worth a thousand words and it shows you how the self-sustaining village idea is put int action. Here are some more specifics from the village and the use of containers:

1- They hosted 2 families of which 1 still resides in the village and uses one of the containers, a family of a single mom and her 3 children. Imece’s focus is to have the children attain a good level of Turkish so that they can be integrated to the primary elementary education system afterwards. Last semester they provided the same education, and language and rehabilitation services to 24 kids of which all have been integrated to the mainstream education & schools.Kids playing on sand on the ground in Imece Village

2- They hosted another family in one of the containers on a temporary basis, and the family has been transitioned swiftly to Sanliurfa city where the children receive more comprehensive rehabilitation services.

3- They recently organized a workshop (April 9–24) where they provided grooming services, learned soap making as means of learning “how to fish”. Imece sells these soaps and similar hand-made goods in local markets and in festivals to raise additional funds for supporting the needs of the refugees or the village.

The Imece village includes many amenities such as a farm land where they raise crops, a kitchen producing meals—3 times a week for 40 people, a tent that offers various hand made goods workshops for the moms, an area to grow chickens and lambs, an olive tree field, laundry, toilet and bathrooms, and the 3 containers to use for accommodation for needed families and to serve as a classroom for children, and a patio for gathering a large group for various discussions and conversations. A self-sustaining village at its best to serve the refugees.

Refugee Moms in soap making workshop in Imece Village

We are delighted to see this progress in Imece Village, it was a dream come true by Imece founders for the benefit of refugee families & children to build a better life. We are excited that they have accomplished this master plan and we have been able to help them in a meaningful way with our containers. If you happen to visit the area, be sure to check it out, and you will see firsthand the happiness and hope of the villagers. The children are happy, playing on the grounds, learning, doing educational activities, and growing. As we wrap up our post, we would like to thank again many of our supporters who contributed to our Syrian refugee children education programs with over $150,000 investment in the last 3 years. We hope this writing is a good one where you feel your impact and you continue to support us and many of our relentlessly working partners in the field…

Thank you!

Bridge to Turkiye Fund

 

The view of the repurposed container
The view of the repurposed container

Links:

Mar 6, 2018

News From BTF 4Kids Programs-March 2018 Update

"The colors of the world will never disappear as long as people like you exist" a rural student wrote to us when his class of 15 students received new winter boots, coats and school bags...Receiving such meaningful letters from students and teachers give us one more reason to keep doing what we are doing at Bridge to Turkiye Fund..

From the begining of this school year, we had sent 1059 coats and 978 boots to rural students in 21 village schools..Every school year, during winter, we try to reach as many students as possible through our Boots4Kids and Coats4kids campaigns. Thanks to our generous donors like you, we  manage to deliver warmth and happiness to hundreds of rural students every winter...

As BTF, we have other projects that we merged under 4Kids Programs. Going forward, we decided to carry some of our 4Kids Programs to GlobalGiving platform to combine them with Boots4Kids&Sneakers4Kids projects. These projects are SchoolBags4Kids, Books4Kids, Dictionaries4Kids and EducationalToys4Kids. Other projects will follow them in the future...

Since the begining of 2017-2018 school year, we had sent 31 sets of elementary level story books to 31 schools,10 sets of kindergarten level books to 10 schools, 12 sets of educational toys to 12 schools, 2382 English-Turkish dictionaries to 18 schools, 1034 school bags to 19 schools as well as boots and coats... Our Kindergarten book set has 80 picture books and elementary level book set has 135 picture books from Turkish and World literature. The aim of Books4Kids project is to improve reading level of students and help them introduce different worlds, ideas and characters. Schoolbags4Kids filled with school supplies lift their spirit and give them confidence. EducationalToys4Kids project help kindergarteners gain motor skills and problem solving skills as well as helping them use their imagination.

In this school year with six projects combined, BTF has delivered much needed educational materials to more than 1000 students in 42 schools in rural Turkey as well as happiness and hope...

With your support and generosity, we are planning on reaching more students and enriching the lives of as many kids as possible in the coming months...

As one of the teachers put it  "You make life worth living and the world a better place..."

Thanks a million for your generosity and trust in us...

Links:

 
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