Monday, March 13th, 2017

The International Benevolence Awards Have Been Announced

The President of the Presidency of Religious Affairs and Turkiye Diyanet Foundations Board of Trustees General Mehmet Gormez announced the names for the winners of the International Benevolence Awards.

With the bravery that he put forward on the Night of 15th June 2016

Every shoot represent an act of kindness!
Mustafa GOCER / Kayseri-Turkey

Mustafa Gocer who is a retired technician at the age of 59 living in Kayseri has been planting love for the past 40 years. Since his retirement Gocer has been planting trees to every place which he sees that needs help while also organizing nature walks in order to inject love for nature in teenagers. Till today Gocer has brought together more than 60 thousand people with nature and a million seeds with soil. The 40 years in which he has lived to leave a better world for the next generation has earned our country thousands of young trees.

Lighting a Candle to Darkness
Muhammed EYUP / Islamabad-Pakistan

This is a story of a Pakistani fireman fighting against the flames of ignorance… Muhammed Eyup from Islamabad who was left to work after his fathers dad while also having to complete his studies, is an education volunteer who has devoted his life to giving kids working on streets educational support.

Fire fighter Muhammed Eyup himself had to complete his education under difficult situations, 30 years ago he came across a boy who due to financial situations could not receive an educations and was instead cleaning cars. Muhammed Eyup rolled up his sleeves and starting giving lesson to the little boy in their local park. As the days went on the number of students increased… Muhammed Eyup who is now giving his lessons at the part near the building of Parliament, provides the students with books and pencils which he purchases himself, says that he has lost count of the number of his students, today has a total of 200 students receiving lessons from him . The 58 year old firefighter who is a lover of education and educating wishes to open up a school once he retires.

Benevolence is a butterfly effect
Merve CIRISOGLU / Istanbul-Turkey

University student Merve Cirisoglu studying in Bogazici University started a book marker project with her friends in 2011. They aimed to become a source of hope for the oppressed with the income from the sales of the handmade book markers. They used the first 360 Turkish liras made to open the eyes of three cataract patients. The campaign they started turned into a benevolence movement soon after trending on social media. They collected enough to pay for the cataract operations of 21 patiences. The book marker project which soon became popular in the university, allowed the students to collect a total of 130 thousand Turkish Liras which was used to built an orphanage for 46 people in Africa’s 4th most poor country Malavi. Merve Cirisoglu’s step towards kindness soon became to expand, and came to a position where they could provide for the expenses of orphans from Turkey, the Middle East, the Balkans, Southeast Asia and Africa. With the support from charitable individuals the project is being carried out in 64 towns in Turkey alongside 5 other countries. Benevolence has a butterfly effect which starts of with small steps that one day turn into a big walk.

Benevolence is calling to the truth at a place where everyone else keeps quiet
Susanna BARAKAT / San Francisco-USA

Susanna Barakat’s brother Deah, sister in law Yusor and Yusor’s sister Razan were victims to an Islamophobic assassination performed by their neighbor Craig Hicks on the 10th of February 2015 in the North state of Carolina / America, this incident effected Susanna Barakat deeply.

Barakat who is a doctor at San Francisco Hospital, has become the brave voice crying out the wickedness of hate crimes and discrimination in America where discrimination and othering is at its peak, since 2015 she has been fighting for the discrimination and hate crimes to come to an end in every platform and more people are joining her fight. It is difficult to be calling to the truth at a place and time where everyone else chooses to stay quiet… Susanna Barakat is achieving the impossible.

Benevolence is the only key to opening up hearts
Yahya KAMCI / Diyarbakir-Turkey

Yahya Kamçı, a social sciences teacher from Diyarbakir for the past 17 years. He has become a peace messenger in his region, for putting an end to 1174 blood feuds. Yahya Kamci who is an idealist teacher also leads many social awareness projects… He is the name who started of the project of collecting 150 thousand water bottle lids, 2 thousand liters of waste oils and 250kg of waste batteries, all to be used for the purchase of wheel chairs for the disabled.

Kamci who was choose as teacher of the year in Diyarbakir during 2015 by non governmental organizations expressed that “ Peace is the best word in the world” he also added “ I dream of a world where peace rules over everywhere. Benevolence is the only key to peoples hearts….”

Opening the doors to your heart for others
Cavit & Hafize ETLEC / Ankara-Turkey

The Etlec couple have displayed a perfect example of being like the Ensar, by devoting their lives to the Syrian refugees living in Ankara’s Altindag Onder neighborhood. The old couples house door is quiet literally open 24 hours a day…. Helping the thousand Syrian families from the 2500 in the region, Cavit Etlec and Hafize Etlec have become like family for the refugees. The help that comes to the neighborhood is given into the trusted hands of this duo, which is the distributed to the homes of the needy refugees that have been located by the couple. The charitable couple who deliver the help without waiting for anything back and working no matter what time of the day, not only provide the families with materialistic help but also emotional help. The Cahit and Hafize Etler couple who have turned their years of retirement into carrying out acts of kindness, are visited by charitable individuals, non-governmental organizations and high level officers.

The couple who have devoted their lives to the refugees, once again displayed that the essence of benevolence is opening up the doors to our hearts to others in a world in which doors are being closed upon many.

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