Well, it’s about using sales of our books; ‘Okçular Village – a Guide’ and ‘Backways & Trackways’, to generate income that can be spent on environmental and community projects in our village. It works like this; you make a donation of 15 or 20TL (depending which book) or more and in return you get a copy of the book of your choice. All of the outlets that stock the books take no profit or commission from any sale – all of the money goes towards funding the projects. So far our kids have a new playground and then we set about transforming Okçular Primary School by painting murals on all of the buildings. The effect is stunning and has drawn attention from national media and the school featured in the 2011 Polisan Paints Catalogue, a singularly impressive endorsement. If you are passing through Okçular why not do what many tourist buses have started to do – stop and come inside for a look around; you’ll be made very welcome. Here’s a link to a post on this blog. Next we acquired and restored a beautiful old garden chess set and built a new outdoor playing board for the school chess club. There is also the ongoing Photo Archive which aims to preserve and propagate as many of the old photographs of Okçular and its people as we can.
So, that’s what we’ve done so far; what are we planning next? Next we have been asked to paint murals on the new village centre (Polisan Company have donated the paints needed so this will only use our time). We also want to begin the planting of native trees at selected places around the village.
To meet this challenge we need to ‘sell’ more Okçular books and that’s where you come in.
What’s in it for you? Well, for your donation you get a pretty good deal; ‘Okçular Village – a Guide’ has something for everyone. There’s some village history, some stories from our old folks and some walks around the area complete with accurate, hand-drawn maps and lists of flora and fauna. Each page has English and Turkish text so it is a useful tool for those learning either language. The book is a jolly good read, it is printed on good quality paper to enhance the many photos and it is stitched for security. All-in-all it makes a great keep-sake or gift and you get that great feeling that comes from supporting a really worthwhile cause.
Since February 2011 and following many requests from those who enjoyed exploring the beauties of Okçular using our book we have published a new, very high quality guide of walks and cycle rides that will please everyone from casual walker/cyclist to seasoned veterans. Priced at only 20TL it is exceptional value for your money. Check out the information on the order page.
For a list of outlets or how you can order online securely via PayPal for delivery anywhere in the world go to: http://okcular.net/shopping.html or click on the ‘Okçular Book Bazaar’ tab at the top of this page.
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü