Two Inspiring LEAF Events from Turkey

Trees are our Legacy

72 LEAF students and 30 educators from Eskisehir 1. Hava Ikmal Bakim Merkezi Primary School in Turkey recently had the opportunity to participate in a four-day Nature Training Camp held at the Kizilay Hasirca Camp from 26-30 July 2018. The theme of the training camp was "Let Trees be our Trace, Let the Climate not Change."

The purpose of the event was to use nature-based activities to build participants’ awareness of the importance of forests in mitigating the impacts of climate change. These activities included games, art projects, sports, experiments, book readings and seminars, all aimed at engaging students and educators with the relationship between forests and climate change.

TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) conducted the training camp as one of their 4004 Nature Training and Science Schools Projects. The event marked the first time that one of these projects was carried out at the primary school level in Turkey.

The photos below show some of the inspiring activities that students and educators participated in during the training camp.

A Drop of Hope for Birds

On 27 December 2017, over 20,000 children from 12 countries around the world took part in “A Drop of Hope for Birds” day by creating and hanging their own bird feeders. Fatma Ayan, the teacher coordinator at Alayna Mahmutlar Kilicarslan Primary School in Turkey, initially launched the campaign as part of the school’s LEAF programme. The event has since spread to include students from Kenya, Russia, Korea, South Africa, Mali, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Indonesia and Cyprus in addition to Turkey. The students were all united by their common slogan: “let the birds be fed, let the children smile!”

In Turkey alone, students from over 150 schools participated by crafting bird feeders with their own hands and hanging them in nearby trees and other outdoor areas. The bird feeders helped to ensure that birds would have a source of food as the colder weather started to set in. The event was both fun and educational; the students learned about birds while also engaging in an enjoyable crafts project. The students were able to watch the impact of their hard work as birds visited the feeders over the course of winter. As the event’s founder and coordinator Fatma Ayan said, “from now on we have created awareness about the birds; I believe that more sensitivity will be demonstrated after this moment.”

Going forward, “A Drop of Hope for Birds” day will be repeated every year as a LEAF programme event. The photos below show LEAF students from Turkey creating and hanging their bird feeders.

Story and photos provided by TÜRÇEV- Turkish Environmental Education Foundation