Building libraries to brighten the future for students
by Hasan Ay
ISTANBULMar 01, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Hasan Ay
Mar 01, 2015 12:00 am
Nineteen university students who continue their education in Istanbul founded a nongovernmental organization that provides assistance to schools in distant parts of Anatolia with various projects such as establishing libraries
Before stepping into the business life, 19 university students, who continue their education in Istanbul, founded a nongovernmental organization that reaches out to those in need. The members of Mavi Pusula Eğitim ve Yardımlaşma Derneği (MAPUDER) (Blue Compass Education and Beneficial Association) establish a library in a school in Anatolia every six months. The members of the association, who organize career days in high schools and cultural events at orphanages, intend to open a café in aid of children with Downs Syndrome and establish seven libraries in seven regions in Turkey.
The students that founded the association one-and-a-half years ago have traveled to places that they had never been to before, discovering the distant parts of Anatolia and becoming guests in villages. They brought an overhead projector, books and clothes to Şanlıurfa Halfeti Günece Elementary School and clothes to Elazığ Yünlüce Elementary School. Following this aid, they rolled up their sleeves to establish libraries in schools every six months. The members of MAPUDER very carefully develop library projects, design the necessary furniture and determine the books that will be featured in the libraries. After they provide the books and the furniture thanks to donations to the association, they go to the school and build the library themselves. The members of the association take care when painting the walls, installing furniture, placing books and cleaning all by themselves. They play educational games with students and answer questions about university life and education after they deliver a library featuring 1,000 books to the school administration. MAPUDER built its first library in Sinop Fatih Elementary School and later they established another library in Bilecik Söğüt 100. Yıl Atatürk Middle School. The members of MAPUDER, who continue to work on a new library project in Iğdır, also visit orphanages, old people's homes and animal shelters in Istanbul. They take children in orphanages to museums and theater plays and organize career days in high schools, sharing their university experiences with the students.
MAPUDER President Emre Kurt, 24, who is a civil engineering student at Istanbul Technical University, said: "We wanted to do something in terms of social responsibility throughout our lives as students. Finally, we came together with other university students from other universities to take action." The association will apply to a Ministry of Youth and Sports' grant program for two different projects: One of them is titled "Seven Libraries in Seven Regions" and the other one is "Downs Café" whose revenue will be donated to schools that specialize in the education of children with Downs Syndrome. MAPUDER board member Uygur Tanrıverdi, 24, who is a student at the Faculty of Medicine at Istanbul University stated: "When we began our work I asked myself why we had not done this before. We wanted to do something bigger than us." The association managed to reach out to almost 2,000 people through their social responsibility works. "Even little donations make huge changes in those children's lives," he added.
Graduate student Murat Panayır, 25, of the Department of Aircraft Engineering of Istanbul Technical University said: "I realized that making people happy during the events makes me happier. It is very important for me to be a part of this association and work for other people."
Tan Tansel, 24, who is a student in the Faculty of Dentistry at Istanbul University, noted that they wanted to do something so they are working in terms of a sense of responsibility. "I believe our association can do more than this. Since I began working for the association, I have understood that the happiness that comes with the job is indescribable," he stated.
"I believe that happiness multiplies when it is shared," said Özgenur Özakyol, 24, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Istanbul Technical University. "That is why I am a part of this association. I think we were too late in founding this association. The more we organize events, the more the awareness for social responsibility projects increases. I hope this awareness spreads everywhere," she went on.
Sare Tanrıverdi, 20, of Istanbul University who studies Turkish Language and Literature said she witnessed the happiness of children when they went to Söğüt to establish a library in a middle school. "Sharing that excitement and working for a project such as this is an incredible feeling. God willing, we will experience more happiness in the future," she said.
When they told me about the association, I felt the urge to do something so I joined it. We have done many rewarding projects. When we see our achievements, I become eager," said Öznil Yücedağ of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Istanbul Technical University.