"İmece” is a well-known Turkish tradition especially in villages where people come together for collective collaboration to help others in the community. A website going by the name of this concept brings together volunteers from around Turkey to help the new heroes of the country: health care workers. As they work tirelessly against the COVID-19 pandemic and to help the outbreak’s victims, imece.biz gives a platform to more than 300 volunteers to help doctors, nurses and others overwhelmed with work. They do everything to help, from finding babysitters for health care staff’s children separated from their overworked parents to shopping for doctors and nurses.
Founded by Aykut Türker, Ceyhan Yıldız and Barış Esmer, three entrepreneurs seeking to showcase Turkey’s solidarity in the time of the outbreak, the website focuses on the basic needs of health care workers who cannot leave the hospitals for fear of infecting others and have had to work long shifts at intensive care units. It basically arranges the matching of health care professionals with volunteers offering several services. For some doctors, nurses and paramedics, it is a basic dry cleaning job, while others seek help educating their children or doing grocery shopping. Aykut Türker told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Monday that they have so far received nearly 100 requests from health care workers. “Certainly, the state helps relieve several burdens on them, but we want to contribute too. We had positive feedback from them. Some say they are more motivated now,” he said. “Our volunteers shop for doctors, nurses and paramedics who have to stay in guesthouses after their shift ends. Psychiatrists among our volunteers also offer psychiatric consultation sessions for them. Some ask for our assistance to help their children study. A couple, both health care workers, asked for a babysitter, and we helped them to find one,” he said.
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