About three years ago a delightful young lady by the name of Anna learned about our village primary school. Anna, who was also at primary school in the UK, was shocked when she realised that, compared with the facilities that she and her fellow pupils enjoyed, our children had to get by with very basic equipment.
Knowing that one of our school’s dreams was to have a science cupboard she set about the business of turning dreams into reality. With a bit of help and support Anna baked cakes and biscuits that she then sold at a ‘Cake Bake’ stall. In all she raised the princely sum of £100 which was handed over to the school on her behalf when her nanny came out to Turkey on holiday.
Anyway, as often happens here in Turkey, suddenly everything changed. First it was announced that the state was going to supply science equipment to primary schools and so our staff waited to see what would materialise before spending Anna’s gift. They waited, and then they waited some more! Nothing! Then came the great reorganisation with primary, secondary and high school divided into a 4:4:4 system. Before anyone realised, three years had gone by and poor Anna had no idea how her money had been spent (or in this case, not).
It was with some relief that J and I had a call from the school staff to say that they had learned that the state wasn’t going to come up with anything so could we please get back on course with the science cupboard. We met with them and together with Anna’s £100 we guaranteed a further 700 lira from the Okçular Book Project funds and ‘Voila!’ our school now has some really good quality equipment for the children to use.
Most of the stuff, as you would expect, is made up of boring things like beakers, bunsen burners, pipettes, slides and the like. Pride of place goes to a beautiful, top quality microscope and two figures for anatomy lessons. So, on behalf of Anna whose initiative really got this ball rolling, let me introduce you to ‘Osman’, a really old Turk, Mike O’Scope and some of the Cupboard Crew.
l-r head teacher Erdal, ‘Osman’, teacher Mahmud
gruesome twosome – Osman and Brainiac
So, a really big ‘thanks to you Anna’ from the present and future pupils of Okçular İlkokul (Primary School).
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü