Everywhere We Go! – Türkiye, November (Donation 93)

Colourful Hopes Association (Rengarek Umutlar Dernegi)

The Tartan Army Sunshine Appeals 93rd consecutive donation was made in Diyarbakir on 16 November 2022.

Diyarbakir had proved challenging to find children’s charities in, not least because of the very short three week timescale we faced once the venue was finally announced, and the challenge of finding an organisation with no religious or political affiliations. Huge thanks to Turkey Mosaik for their help in understanding these charities and their work and for translating!

Colourful Hopes Association was set up in 2015 following unrest in Diyarbakir to help children who witnessed and were affected by the Sur siege which displaced some 250,000 people in the city with a further 3,000 sadly being killed. They carry out activities and workshops to develop and spread the culture of international human rights and to aid the healing of children aged 5-18 affected by the conflict. They currently help about 200 children in Diyarbakir.

Following their success in being chosen as the Sunshine Appeal recipient, they sent a very detailed plan of what they intend to do with the £4000 (roughly 80,000TKL) (details at the end of the article).

The first challenge of the day was to actually find their office! Old town Diyarbakir has a maze of old streets and alleyways most inaccessible by car so that was the first adventure.

On arriving at their premises it soon became apparent that we had chosen well, their offices were most definitely a little rundown as they prefer to spend the money they do raise and receive on the children 💙

One project they run which we were not aware of, is a project to get the children to read. They borrow a book from the library and have a week to read it. When they return the book they have to answer questions on the book and, if they pass, are given the loan of a bike for a week. This is a huge deal for these kids although I’m not sure the bikes would pass many safety inspections here 🙄 Suggestions were made that perhaps part of our donation could be invested in this area!

Once we’d had the tour, we got on with the official business of the presentation where we were served with some (very strong!) Turkish coffee and some local cakes made by one of the Colourful Hopes volunteers ❤️

It’s probably fair to say the presentation took a bit longer than normal as Neil explained a bit about the Sunshine Appeal’s work and Osge explained about Colourful Hopes’ work. A lot of translation from English to Turkish and Turkish to English took place! At this point we should say a huge thanks to the consular team from the Embassy in Ankara who were in Diyarbakir covering the game and came along to support the presentation, Denize’s help with the translating was invaluable.

Eventually the cheque was formally handed over amid many photos!

Again, as ever, huge thanks to all the Tartan Army foot soldiers who made the effort to come along to the presentation (and to a few who tried to find us but gave up!) and my own special thanks to Mark Love (definitely the official Sunshine Appeal piper now!) and to Carol Smith for all the photos while I was running around trying to get things organised!

Colourful Hopes Association (Rengarek Umutlar Dernegi) – Intended use of funds:

Workshops will be prepared with the participation of 60 children aged 8-16, divided into 3 groups according to their age (8-10, 11-13, 14-16). The proposed workshops are as follows:

– Oral history workshop: A study will be conducted in which children (between 8-10 years old) are researchers Cultural tales will be collected from the elders and the forgotten street games will be collected. All will be published as a book at the end of the study.

– Upcycling workshop: Children between the ages of 8-10 will work on toys and handicrafts by converting easily accessible waste materials. At the end of the work, the materials produced will be exhibited.

– Music workshops: Children in the 11-13 age group will receive arbane (def) training and vocal training, and they will form a choir and rhythm group where they sing songs in the mother tongue of 4 ethnic groups who lived in Sur. At the end of the semester, this group will perform on stage.

– Philosophy Workshop: Children between the ages of 14-16 will discuss and reflect upon concepts such as war-peace, good-evil, justice-equality, etc. Discussions will enable them to reveal the importance and method of contemplating problems, and to find ways to think rationally. The series “Crispy Philosophy” written by Brigitte Labbé will be used as a source.

– Photography workshop: It will be a workshop where children (14-16) will explore the historical and cultural heritage of Sur, explore the venues on site, and archive them by photographing. At the end of the work, a photography exhibition titled “Street through the eyes of children” will be held in a historical place determined by the children.

– Life skills trainings: The training series to be delivered in each of the 3 groups consists of 10 modules prepared according to age groups. “Non-violent communication, privacy, sexual health, dating violence, peer bullying, children’s rights, gender, environment and ecology, first aid, self-confidence and looking to the future” A module will be covered each week.

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