For the first time in the Aegean region of Turkey, Best Buddies Turkey has started in Bergama. At the matching ceremony with 350 attendees, 15 new friendships have begun. Bergama District Municipality, District Governorship of Bergama and District Directorate of National Education have attended the matching ceremony as stakeholders of Best Buddies Turkey.
As a non-profit organisation, Best Buddies has been establishing relationships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities for 28 years in 48 countries with over 1 million volunteers has been carried out in Bergama -for the first time in the Aegean region of Turkey- after Istanbul, Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ.
Mayor Mehmet Gönenç, Deputy Mayor Ali Kahyaoğlu, District National Education Unit Head Bilal Ergen, Director of Public Education Center Hakan Ergüner, Best Buddies Turkey Ambassador Kanal D Prime-Time Newscaster Gözde Atasoy, Best Buddies Turkey Project Coordinators Sercan Duygan and Recep Altınordu, Bergama Spastic Children and Adults Association Vice Chairman Jale Gülsün and Rehabilitation Centers in Bergama have attended the matching ceremony hold in BerKM. 140 volunteer students from Bergama 70. Yıl Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School have also took part in the pilot project ceremony.
EVERYONE WAS FULL OF THE JOY OF SPRINGS
The event at the BerKM has started with the concert of Bergama City Orchestra. Program continued with 15 volunteer students and their buddies’ matching and new friendships have begun. The audience has shared the same feelings with them, as well. Volunteers’ criteria match has been completed in a month with face to face applications. Matches have been done regarding criteria of age, interest, place of residence and gender. The first match announced by Bergama Mayor Mehmet Gönenç. “Good things too happen in the world and as Bergama, we participated in a such thing. I hope good friendships are made and I thank to all contributors” said Mayor Gönenç.
Best Buddies Turkey Ambassador Kanal D Prime-Time Newscaster Gözde Atasoy has stated that that was the first time she had ever been in Bergama and added “I really like Bergama and am very happy to be here. I have been a Best Buddies volunteer for 6 years. I also have a buddy, whose name is Müge. The friendships that are made today will last for a life time. All of you will have precious moments and memories.” Best Buddies Turkey Project Coordinator Sercan Duygan stated that after the introductory meeting in Bergama last month, they had received application from many of schools in Aegen region.
In the ceremony, Best Buddies Turkey Project Coordinator Recep Altınordu who has been project manager voluntarily for over 5 years has been awarded with a plaque from USA Best Buddies Central Project Founder Anthony Kennedy Shriver. The plaque has been handed in by Hatice Çelikcan, mother of a person with disability. Çelikcan has put into words that they were grateful for such a project for their children.
THEY WILL SHARE THE LIFE
During the socialization project, buddies are to meet twice a month in person, once a week online and take part in 4 events in a year as a part of school project. In June, all volunteers who have had match or not, will receive their international certificates and fulfill their active responsibilities. Best Buddies Turkey has been active under the roof of Alternative Life Associaton (AYDER) since 2010. As friendship Ambassadors, Turkish Honorary Consul General Nurten Ural and Kanal D Prime-Time Newscaster Gözde Atasoy supports their works voluntarily.