How we Make a Difference


COMMUNITY

Visitors are encouraged to support the pre-school unit in the village. Donations have been made as a result of the home stay scheme, and the unit is well on its way to being fully equipped. Other schemes include book donations for the school library in Hilvan, and a tree planting scheme which it is hoped will benefit all the villagers of Yuvacali. Full details of current schemes and how you can help will be given at the time of your visit.

Young girl playing

All money left by visitors to the village goes directly into local households, providing much-needed extra income in an environment where people live of less than a dollar a day. All tours organized benefit the local economy directly, especially since many of the sites visited are off the normal tourist route.

Visits to nomadic tribes benefit all of the tribe directly since part of the fee paid by visitors for the trip is used to present the tribe with essential goods such as sugar, oil, and tea.

All families taking part in the home stay scheme are local, and on low incomes. Training is given to the women of the families with regards to serving guests. All produce is home-grown or locally bought.

ENVIRONMENT

Heating in winter is provided by cow dung stoves. Cooking and bread making takes place over dung fires as much as is possible. All water is provided from local wells which are fed by rainwater. No pesticides or fertilisers whatsoever are used to cultivate the crops from which the food is sourced. Everything from the rice to the jam is organic and home produced. The organization is run from a home office on a paper free basis.

Children at school

There is abundant wildlife in the area including foxes, owls, reptiles, and occasional wolves. There is also a rich birdlife present with many birds using the village on migration routes. Resident birds include large numbers of hoopoes. The local economy is based totally on small-scale agriculture, and where the interests of wildlife do not clash with those of the farmer, wildlife is not only undisturbed, it is actively encouraged.

All bedding and seating cushions are produced by women in the village using their own wool.

We strongly urge visitors to observe local customs, especially with regards to dress. We aim to keep the culture of the Kurdish tribes with whom we stay intact. A cultural guideline is provided at the time of booking.

December's & January's Campaigns



Walk in Gollu

Nomad hopes to relieve the treeless landscape with the ecologically sound planting of fruit trees in Yuvacali and surrounding villages.

With a month or so to go before spring tree planting takes place, Nomad's Plant a Fruit Tree campaign, in conjunction with the Abraham Path Initiative, is well on target to plant 500 trees.

If you would like to help us achieve our goal, please use the contact form on this page.

Hats

Every winter, Yuvacali has received generous parcels of hand-knitted winter hats all the way from New Zealand. The hats, organized and posted to Turkey by Murray and Sheryll Thomson, are given out to local children.

This year, two packets have arrived just as the cold weather takes hold of the village.

Our thanks go out to the Thomsons and to the New Zealand knitters involved!

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to William Ury, Jess Lee, Miriam Lorie, Amirit Rosen, Jodi Hilton, Claire Tanik, Kate Clow, Mona Abdel, Josh Weiss, Murray and Sheryll Thomson, and Fred Argue (yet again).

We would also like to thank Jodi Hilton for kindly allowing us to use her wonderful photographs in this month's newsletter.

October's & November's Campaigns



Plant a Fruit Tree

Join us on our plant a fruit tree campaign.

Plant a Fruit Tree

If you would like to join Nomad Tours and Abraham's Path and Plant a Fruit Tree in spring 2013, now is the time to act.

We are looking to plant 500 fruit trees in and around Yuvacali in the spring of 2013.

The planting of trees has obvious environmental benefits, and fruit trees are chosen because of the nutritional value for the communities in which they are planted.

Trees are gifted to villagers who then tend the trees on their own land. Varieties include almond, apple, apricot, olive, pomegranate, and pistachio. One tree costs 10TRY/ $6 US/ €4.

If you would like to help us achieve the goal of 500 fruit trees, please contact us using the form on this page.

September's Campaigns



Yuvacali pre-schooler

Yuvacali pre-schooler amuses herself with the recently gifted play kitchen

Pre-school opens for Autumn term

Thanks to the continued generosity of guests, Yuvacali pre-school was able to open its doors to a fresh group of youngsters during the last weeks of September.

Visitors coming to Yuvacali, as a result of both the Nomad Tour'' home stay program and Yuvacali's involvement with the Abraham Path Initiative, have been instrumental in the day-to-day functioning of the pre-school.

Broken window panes were repaired, art equipment gifted to the school, the plumbing system serviced, and soap dispensers purchased. Guests' donations also provide for all of the cleaning materials and equipment for the school, since the education authorities do not contribute to the daily running costs of the school.

If you would like to help, the following is a list of some of the things which are currently needed for the pre-school:

  • play kitchen equipment
  • art equipment
  • cash donations to help with the purchase of a heating/ cooling system
  • Musical instruments

Please feel free to use the form on this page if you would like more details, and a member of our team will contact you directly.

July's Campaigns and Donations



Today’s Zaman, Turkey’s leading English language daily

Today’s Zaman, Turkey's leading English language daily, featured a full page on Yuvacali in the month of July

Yuvacali in the press

July saw Rough Guide author and long-time Turkey resident, Terry Richardson, visiting Yuvacali.

Terry stayed in the village, and his stay not only resulted in Terry waxing lyrical in the press about the very special experience that is Yuvacali, it also led to Terry making a very generous donation to Yuvacali's social projects.

Terry wrote about his Yuvacali visit in a full page spread in the English language Turkish newspaper, Today’s Zaman. Terry then decided that he would like to donate his writer's fee from the article to Yuvacali for use in one of the village’s social projects.

The full article, A Village beyond the Euphrates, can be read here. Details of how you too can help Yuvacali in its social projects can be gained by contacting us directly via the form on this page.

Outdoor art class, Yuvacali

Outdoor art class, Yuvacali

Suzie's Box

In January 2012, Nomad received an enquiry from Australian, Sue Schulz.

Sue was planning to visit Yuvacali, and emails began to pass back and forth between Sue and Nomad. As Su''s travel plans started to formulate, so did her ideas about a donation. As an educational/ child psychologist, Sue thought a gift of art equipment for little ones was right up her street. Sue shopped, and then packed a box of goodies for the pre-school to bring with her on her travels to Yuvacali.

The box travelled with Sue from her home in Brisbane, to the far North of Australia, then to Toronto where she visited her son. After Canada, Sue flew to see her daughter in Stuttgart, still with the box in her luggage. After Germany, Sue travelled to Barcelona and France, and then to Jordan, where the box of pre-school supplies joined Sue at a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum. From there, Sue did make it to Turkey, and started to head east. She visited Mardin. However, in Mardin, Sue fell ill, and was forced to turn back west, never making it as far as Yuvacali.

In July, Nomad received an email from Sue, to say that she had unfortunately had to give Yuvacali a miss, but that she had sent a well-travelled box of art equipment from Selcuk, near Ephesus on the west coast of Turkey. The packet arrived in Yuvacali by courier service a few days later! Sue wrote, ‘It is only a small contribution, but from the heart. I love what you do!’

If you would like to help Nomad by providing pre-school art supplies, donations are always welcome. Nomad not only supplies two pre-schools with art equipment, it also holds impromptu outdoor art classes in Yuvacali throughout the school vacations. Visitors are also invited to help with art classes as well as donate art equipment. For more information, use the form on this page to contact us.

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Fred Argue (yet again), Sue Schultz, Christopher Sander, Violet Hugon, Terry Richardson, Debi de Nardo, Suzie Amodio, and the Orengil family.

June's Campaigns and Donations



Yuvacali youngsters proudly display their art work, after a free visitor-led class

Yuvacali youngsters proudly display their art work, after a free visitor-led class

School is out for the summer, but learning is in..

Schools all over Turkey close for a long three month break every summer, and Yuvacali is no exception.

However, with the help of Nomad guests and donations of art supplies from all over the world, art classes have been held free of charge throughout the summer in the gardens of Yuvacali's home stays.

Anyone staying in Yuvacali throughout the summer months can volunteer to hold an art class while in the village; just let us know before your visit.

Campaigns

As ever, Nomad is looking for art equipment. Pop a paint brush in your backpack, bring a packet of crayons, or contact us using the form on this page for larger donations from abroad.

Other things that are currently needed are plastic play kitchen equipment, art aprons (age 4-6), toothpaste, and a sturdy train set for the pre-school.

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Josh Weiss, Stefan Szepesi, Cynthia Orengil, Ryan McCarthy, and Murray Thomson.

May's Campaigns and Donations



Face painting was a great attraction at the art day.

Face painting was a great attraction at the art day.

Bake sale in Paris

A group of students from Paris visited Yuvacali in April and enjoyed a tour of the southeast organized by Nomad.

Before coming to Yuvacali, the group had organized a bake sale to raise money for the pre-school. An amazing total of 584 Euros was raised by their efforts. The money enabled the Nomad team to purchase two play kitchens for two separate local pre-schools: one in Yuvacali and one in Hilvan. The play kitchens had long been wanted for the schools, to aid the children’s limited role playing skills.

The kitchens were sourced from the Early Learning Centre in Antalya and shipped to Yuvacali with the help of the store management.

Donations are now being sought for play kitchen equipment from plastic plates to hamburgers. If you would like to help, please use the contact form on this page.

The French students also organized an open day of art for the children of Yuvacali to enjoy.

Students set up stalls in the garden of a home stay offering, among other activities, balloon painting, paper aeroplane making, sock puppets, friendship bracelets, and face painting to the children of Yuvacali. The afternoon was a great success with over 50 children attending the art session, and each taking home their handicrafts and a bag of sweets.

play kitchens awaiting kitchen equipment at Yuvacali pre-school

Play kitchens awaiting kitchen equipment at Yuvacali pre-school

Campaigns

This month especially, Nomad is seeking play kitchen equipment. With two schools to provide for, all types of utensils, plastic cutlery, and plastic kitchen equipment are welcome.

As always, art equipment, toothpaste, and musical instruments are needed.

Please contact us using the form on this page if you would like specific details of how you can help.

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Fred Argue, Wendy Ross, Lewis Morris, Lisa McComb, Sheila Hodge, Louise Sibley, Jane Storr, Elin Babcock, Anne Reiff, Sue Willingham, Cristina Nevans, Medina Fatacean, and the students from Istanbul International Community School and the Contextual Learning Group from Paris.

March’s Campaigns and Donations



Village children show off Kathleen’s handiwork

Village children show off Kathleen’s handiwork.

Beanies from Auckland

Murray and Sheryll Thomson visited Yuvacali in September 2011.

On their return to New Zealand, they decided to see what they could do to help the people of Yuvacali.

Friends of the Thomson’s in Auckland supported them, and last month Murray and Sheryll posted some of the beanies they had collected for the village. The beanies had been knitted by the mother of a friend, Kathleen, who at age 85 and resident in Selwyn Village retirement home in New Zealand had been spending her days knitting for Yuvacali.

Nomad would like to thank the Thomson’s and Kathleen for the thoughtful donation.

Pre-school art lesson. .

Pre-school art lesson.

Toys and art equipment for the pre-school

One of this month's most heart-warming donations came from Chris Bond in the UK. Surprisingly, Mr Bond has never visited Yuvacali, although he is an avid reader of the newsletter. A planned visit in 2011, which later failed to materialize, led to Chris Bond’s interest in the village of Yuvacali, and this month he decided to make a donation.

Mr. Bond's cash donation enabled Nomad to buy much-needed pre-school equipment locally.

Musical instruments, paper, wax crayons, large wooden jigsaw puzzles, and other wooden games were purchased with the donation.

Nomad would like to thank Mr Bond for his help.

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to our friends in Memphis, Eva Bernhardt and friends, and Donna Ambalid.

February’s Campaigns and Donations



Yuvacali pre-schoolers delight in the new books

Yuvacali pre-schoolers delight in the new books

Pocket money donation from the U.S.

When Josh Weiss from Boston was preparing to visit Yuvacali last December, he shared the plight of Yuvacali's low literacy rates with his three daughters Kayla, 10, Aylee, 8, and Talya, 5.

Prior to his visit, Josh showed his daughters pictures of the pre-school project and Yuvacali kids. The girls cleared out cupboards and sent gifts of soft baby toys and other things which they had outgrown.

At the same time, Josh wrote a touching email to the Nomad team asking what they most needed for the pre-school as his daughters were wanting to donate their pocket money.

Books are always in demand at the pre-school, and the Weiss family happily obliged by making a donation that allowed Nomad to order good quality books from the Homer Bookstore in Istanbul. Mr Weiss and his wife matched their daughters’ donation; and February saw the arrival of the books in the village.

Nomad would like to thank not only the Weiss family for their very touching gift, but also Homer Bookstore, which ships books to Yuvacali free of charge.

HPre-school fun.

Pre-school fun

Fred Argue

Regular readers of Nomadic News will know that septuagenarian Canadian, Fred Argue, is a frequent donator to Nomad's dental hygiene program. Fred's donations are so regular that they even invite comment from the local post office!

This month, however, Fred has changed tactics, and thanks to Fred's cash donation, Nomad has been able to purchase hand soap for the pre-school, sweeping brushes and mops for the primary school, wash bags for the dental campaign, and paper for pre-school art classes.

A lot of what Nomad provides is bought locally with cash donations, especially cleaning equipment and art basics.

What’s needed now...

Currently Nomad needs good quality pre-school toys such as plastic cups and plates for a kitchen corner, sturdy dolls, and a toddler-proof train set! Please ask for a specific list. As ever, art equipment and musical instruments are needed, and currently toothpaste is wanted more than toothbrushes, although both are very welcome.

If you would like to help, please use the form on this page to contact us.

November’s Campaigns and Donations



Omer of Nomad Tours helps distribute handmade clothing to nomads.

Omer of Nomad Tours helps distribute handmade clothing to nomads.

Books for Books

All guests coming to Yuvacali are asked to leave a book that they no longer need on the bookshelf at the home stay. Books are sold for 2TL and the money raised is used to purchase high quality pre-school books. So far, nine books have been bought for the pre-school.

Please leave (and buy!) a book, and help foster a love of books among Yuvacali’s pre-schoolers.

Art and Music.

Donations of art equipment and musical instruments are always needed. Please use the form on this page to contact us to find out how you can help.

Other donations.

Children’s clothes, baby blankets, and toys are always welcome. Please contact us if you would like to make a donation.

Finally….

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Fred Argue, Keith and Melva Whiteside, Hannah Antonova, and Miguel Batista.

October's donations and campaigns



Thanks to donations, the pre-school unit now has running water

Children at the pre-school using scissors and other art equipment kindly donated by Ken and Carol Taylor

Donations

Following our campaign focused on the pre-school last month, guests both old and new have proved amazing in their generosity.

This month, donations for the pre-school have enabled Nomad to repair broken window panes and complete unfinished floor tiling in the pre-school. Curtains for the pre-school have been fitted, cleaning equipment for a whole year has been bought, and a public sound system, which is to be used in school productions, has been installed. At the same time, visitors to Yuvacali have brought scissors, craft paper, glue, puppets, stickers, crayons, drawing paper, brushes and paints to the school. Musical instruments have been donated both by post and in person.

Home stay guests have also not forgotten Nomad's other ongoing campaigns, and money for tree planting as well as dental hygiene equipment has been donated.

However, as ever, more things are needed, especially for the pre-school unit.

Donations of books and specific toys are being sought this month.

Books need to be sourced locally, so cash donations are required or, for those living in Turkey, details of how to purchase relevant books can be provided. At the same time, specific educational toys from ELC are needed urgently. If you have ELC in your country of origin, please use the form on this page to contact us. Note: Postage to Turkey is free for UK residents who make donations.

Home stay host, Pero Salva, with her fledging fruit trees in a garden fed by drip irrigation.

Fred Argue, whose donations by post from Canada to Yuvacali have been so regular as to even invite comment from the local postmaster!

Fred Argue

Septuagenarian Canadian, Fred Argue, visited Yuvacali earlier in the year as part of a tour of the Middle East with Intrepid Travel. By his own admission, Fred is 'not materially wealthy', but he has been a strong and constant supporter of Nomad's dental hygiene campaign and pre-school since his visit.

Read Fred’s comments about how and why he contributes to Nomad’s campaigns, and be inspired. Every little bit really does make a difference:

‘With some considerable pleasure the Village of Yuvacali comes to mind when I think of meaningful travel. This is for several reasons ... first, our Intrepid group was composed of special people and secondly, the homestay with Pero, Halil and Fatih Salva was warm, educational and authentic. This occasion was enriched with the presence of Alison Tanik and daughter India who told me in our round circle chat, “Fred, you ask the hardest questions.”

As a person who inherited a Mother’s itchy foot some seventy years ago, travel has been a lifelong passion that has taken me to a good many distant places – even camping in Turkey in 1986. For me travel is not about the “where”, it is about the “with whom”, the “how” and “who did you meet”. As a Life Member of Hostelling International since 1963 (formerly Youth Hostel Association) I had an organization that nurtured my wanderlust and as recently as this August I spent nine nights at the Nairobi hostel. Another recollection I have is from the author Paul Theroux who stated: “You do not travel through a country, the country travels through you.” As testimony to this statement is the infection I caught when I met the Salva family with Alison and had a village tour with Fatih. While being travelers we give with our payments; however, we take by way of gained information, changed attitudes and enhanced beliefs.

In life I’ve looked for a balance or fairness ... and while I’ve enjoyed much on the receiving side from my parents, friends, family and employers, there has always been a felt need to have an offsetting sense of purpose ... a sense to be of service. When Alison in April of 2011 asked our Intrepid homestay group to help her community with donations to (i) the dental hygiene programme, (ii) the fruit tree project (iii) nursery school or (iv) greatest need, everyone happily responded with cash. We were invited to continue this initiative when we returned to our homes and it has been an easy and pleasant endeavor to send off some small package every month or two. I’ve found tooth brushes an easy item to purchase and mail ... they are light and sturdy and I can often find sales of packages of six or eight. Postage on these is modest. Alison has been true to her word and has communicated with regular and quality email reports on Yuvacali. When she called for items for the Nursery School it was simple to make up a small package of paint brushes, a few scissors and puzzles. One wonders if such a tiny parcel could make a difference, but I can only trust there are many people all willing to do their bit. And, every now and again, there is a special person who can make a big difference with a sizable gift ... but all people can help according to their situation. One way I trick myself is to give up buying a jug of beer, take the money saved and send a donation ... then it is a win-win situation: I’m better off without the alcohol and the children are better off with the toothbrushes or school supplies.

To be congratulated in this topic of community support is the Australian company Intrepid and also Alison with Nomad Tours. What every community needs is regular, on-going business. The citizens need a chance to earn their way by providing goods and services, which in turn means they can draw upon others for the goods and services they need. I am fortunate to live in Canada where the Government does much good work through taxation to spread assistance from the more gifted to the less able, from the healthy to the sick and by providing affordable education to all. This is a model to endorse personally. Through my good fortune I am happy to partner with the people of Yuvacali as you have a plan and direction that I can understand and that I believe will bring desired results. Health, education and local food sources are the cornerstones of all our lives. You are working hard in each of these areas and it is a pleasure to encourage you with ongoing supplies. It is my belief that in one generation today’s youth of Yuvacali will be the leaders of your region, supplying creative ideas, a rich culture and local initiatives that will benefit many.’

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Elizabeth Atahan, Mark IJkelenstam, Patrick Lodiers, Ken and Carol Taylor, Bill and Carol Roach, the International Women of Antalya, Fred Argue, Julie Maloney, Chantelle Pion, Margaret Shore, Kristi Shore and family, Toby Shore and family, Lori Harrison-Shore and family, Wendy and Graeme Ross.

September's donations and campaigns



Pre-school campaign

Yuvacali first got a pre-school in 2009. Housed in a disused, government- built carpet course building, the pre-school was desperately needed and warmly welcomed.

When it opened its doors in September 2009, however, there were no books, no toys, no educational equipment, no blackboard, and no running water.

Thanks to the amazing generosity of Nomad's visitors the pre-school came to be fairly well equipped over time.

This summer, a new purpose-built pre-school has been constructed, and yet again part of the cost of the building has been met by donations made to Nomad. We would like to thank everyone who contributed.

Pre-school education in Yuvacali is vital. The village has high rates of illiteracy and many problems associated with a lack of early education, as well as large numbers of children with learning difficulties. In Turkey as a whole, the school starting age is 7, while in Yuvacali children as old as 9 are entering first grade at primary school. The problems for the teaching staff are immense. 'What can I do with a nine year old who doesn't know how to hold a pen or speak Turkish?' asks the school headmaster. He agrees wholeheartedly that preschool education in Yuvacali is a must. There simply aren't the resources available to pay individual children the attention they need at an older age.

Yuvacali's pre-school currently and desperately needs the following:

  • ART AND MUSIC: Efforts to provide a superbly equipped preschool continue. Art equipment is very much needed, as are musical instruments. So, how about coming with a triangle or a rainmaker in your suitcase, or bringing us tissue paper, crayons, stickers, paint brushes, palettes, aprons, colored card or tissue paper in your backpack? Every little bit helps. Please use the form on this page if you would like a more detailed list of what we need.
  • SPECIFIC DONATIONS OF GAMES AND TOYS: for visitors with access to Early Learning Centers in their country of origin, there is an ongoing list of ELC equipment that is needed. Please use the form on this page to contact us for details.
  • CASH DONATIONS FOR THE PRE-SCHOOL: Locally, we purchase cupboards, bookcases, books, and learning equipment based on the Turkish language. We have also provided things in the past like curtains, brushes and mops, general cleaning equipment, washbasins, liquid soap, paper towels, and floor cushions. All of these things are cash purchases. For guests who wish to make cash donations official receipts are available from our drivers and at home stays. We welcome donations from 5TL.

Every little bit really does count.

August's donations and campaigns



Teacher and art class

Pre-school teacher with art class.

Music and Art

Since its inception, Nomad Tours has tried to encourage an interaction between the schoolchildren in Yuvacali and art and music. Coming from very disadvantaged backgrounds, most of the children who attend the school will have never had the luxury of any artistic stimulation at home.

The need for art equipment is urgent. We need all kinds of craft and art equipment including sponges for painting, aprons., and brushes. Any kind of craft donation is welcome. Because of the weight of the items, we are not looking for paints or paper. Please contact us if you feel you can help.

Finally...

A sincere thanks from all involved in the Yuvacali project.

July's donations and campaigns



Duygu

5 year old Duygu is one of Yuvacali's pre-schoolers who will benefit from the new building

Yuvacali's new pre-school

Yuvacali's pre-school unit has long been in need of updating. Based in a building which was actually first built to house carpet weavers, the pre-school has been short of space and lacking in facilities. since its inception in 2009. Indeed, until donations from Nomad guests enabled the fitting of washbasins and a water tank, the pre-school had always operated without running water.

Now, yet again thanks in part to the generous donations of visitors to Yuvacali, the village is due to see its new, purpose-built pre-school open in the autumn.

While the new building was initiated by the government at the beginning of the summer, the Nomad team immediately set about rallying financial support for the project from this summer's visitors. Donations totaling 2.500 TL (approximately $1500 US) have been collected and passed on to the Governorship of Hilvan.

We would like to thank everyone who left donations for education this summer. We will be posting updates of the new building - and what it needs! - in Nomadic News on a regular basis.

Yuvacali children

Yuvacali has a population of around 1000, most of whom are under 25 years of age.

Here is a list of current projects and how you can help:

Dental Hygiene:Guests can leave age-appropriate toothbrushes and toothpaste in the donation boxes at the home stays. Toothpaste is particularly needed at the moment. Even one brush or one tube of toothpaste is a welcome donation.

Education: Cash donations are welcome for the new pre-school. Other than that art equipment (except for paper, paints, and crayons) and musical instruments for pre-schoolers are very welcome. Official receipts are given for cash donations

Tree planting: 5TL buys one tree. Every spring Nomad aims to gift fruit trees to villagers in order to improve the environment and to help to fight malnutrition. This spring, 150 fruit trees were planted as a result of the generous donations received throughout 2010. Nomad aims to plant 500 fruit trees in the spring of 2012. Again, official receipts are given for cash donations.

Books for books: leave your used books on the bookshelf at the home stay. We sell books for 2TL each to visitors. The aim is to raise cash to buy high quality story and educational books for the pre-school.

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Jim Welsh, Luke Scales, and Fred Argue.

June's donations and campaigns



cluttered classroom

The storage cupboards for Yuvacali's pre-school are desperately needed.

Storage Equipment for Yuvacali's pre-school

Following months of collecting donations to enable us to buy storage equipment for the pre-school, this month has seen enough donations come in to allow the purchase of cupboards for the school.

The pre-school, which was set up in 2009 by the Turkish government, started out with only tables and chairs in an otherwise bare room. Due to the unfailing generosity of Nomad's guests and large gifts from Intrepid Istanbul, the pre-school in Yuvacali now has a wide range of equipment for the children to use. Donations of books, toys, art equipment, and musical instruments have been of huge benefit to the children, but have also resulted in a cluttered classroom, desperately in need of a storage system. Such a large purchase seemed difficult to achieve until recently.

Thanks to the generosity of recent visitors to the village, Nomad has now been able to purchase the storage equipment needed. The cupboards for the school have been ordered from Istanbul, and Nomad hopes to have the school fully fitted out before the end of the term.

Books for books: leave your used books on the bookshelf at the home stay. We sell books for 2TL each to visitors. The aim is to raise cash to buy high quality story and educational books for the pre-school.

Barren landscape

The desperate need for trees is revealed by this view from the settlement mound

Here is a list of current projects and how you can help:

Dental Hygiene: Guests can leave age-appropriate toothbrushes and toothpaste in the donation boxes at the home stays. Toothpaste is particularly needed at the moment. Even one brush or one tube of toothpaste is a welcome donation.

Education: cash donations are welcome for a storage system which is sorely needed at the pre-school. Other than that art equipment (except for paper, paints, and crayons) and musical instruments for pre-schoolers are very welcome. Official receipts are given for cash donations

Tree planting: 5TL buys one tree. Every spring Nomad aims to gift fruit trees to villagers in order to improve the environment and to help to fight malnutrition. This spring, 150 fruit trees were planted as a result of the generous donations received throughout 2010. Nomad aims to plant 500 fruit trees in the spring of 2012. Again, official receipts are given for cash donations.

Books for books: leave your used books on the bookshelf at the home stay. We sell books for 2TL each to visitors. The aim is to raise cash to buy high quality story and educational books for the pre-school.

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Alec Nicholson, Monica Adriaans. Rachel Gray. Chris Morton, and Naomi Clarce.

May's donations and campaigns



children on settlement mound

With illiteracy rates in Yuvacali at 50%, and 50% knowledge of Turkish among villagers, many of the children start the village school with huge disadvantages.

Here is a list of current projects and how you can help:

Dental Hygiene: Guests can leave age-appropriate toothbrushes and toothpaste in the donation boxes at the home stays. Toothpaste is particularly needed at the moment. Even one brush or one tube of toothpaste is a welcome donation.

Education: cash donations are welcome for a storage system which is sorely needed at the pre-school. Other than that art equipment (except for paper, paints, and crayons) and musical instruments for pre-schoolers are very welcome. Official receipts are given for cash donations

Tree planting: 5TL buys one tree. Every spring Nomad aims to gift fruit trees to villagers in order to improve the environment and to help to fight malnutrition. This spring, 150 fruit trees were planted as a result of the generous donations received throughout 2010. Nomad aims to plant 500 fruit trees in the spring of 2012. Again, official receipts are given for cash donations.

Books for books: leave your used books on the bookshelf at the home stay. We sell books for 2TL each to visitors. The aim is to raise cash to buy high quality story and educational books for the pre-school.

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Robert Maxwell, Tanya Jensen, Holly Hodges, Stacey Mazuik, Sue Graham, Natasha Kelly, Rick Termath, Chris Coghill, Amy Carr, Fred Argue, Helen and Terry South, Ian and Clare Smiley, Cor Riethof, Heather Davison, Fran Gleeson, Tim Magee, Samuel O'Connor, Peter Sharrock, Sharon Britliff, Elaine Carter, Ruth Cristine, Phil Salter, Tadas Juodaits, Larry Parton, James Riddoch, and Nick Ashworth.

April's donations and campaigns



kids with instruments

Children at the pre-school enjoying playing with the donation of instruments received from France

Musical Instruments

Due to the particular learning difficulties that the students at Yuvacali pre-school experience, Nomad runs an ongoing art and music campaign. Donations of art equipment and of musical instruments are always very welcome.

Ankara residents Chantal and Georges Pion visited Yuvacali during a tour of the southeast in the summer of 2010. Chantal decided she would like to help the pre-school in some way and set about sourcing good quality children's musical instruments during a recent visit to France. She posted a wonderful package from France to Turkey, and all of the pre-schoolers were overjoyed with tambourines, triangles, castanets, maracas, and bells when the donation arrived at the school this week.

The generosity of our guests has enabled us to buy 150 fruit and fir trees, which have been planted over the last few days. The trees included olive, pomegranate trees and mulberry.

Previously the number of musical instruments at the pre-school had been very limited with a handful of instruments being shared by the 30 under-7s who attend the school.

If you would like to help with Nomad's ongoing art and music campaign, please use the form on this page to contact us.

School children in Yuvacali

Even the smallest donation can help change a child's life in Yuvacali

How you can help us to make a difference

At Nomad we never tire of asking for help. New visitors can help tremendously by bringing toothpaste and toothbrushes, donating English novels they no longer want, or simply by leaving cash donations for which official receipts are given. Here is a list of current projects and how you can help:

Dental Hygiene: Guests can leave age-appropriate toothbrushes and toothpaste in the donation boxes at the home stays. Toothpaste is particularly needed at the moment. Even one brush or one tube of toothpaste is a welcome donation.

Education: cash donations are welcome for a storage system which is sorely needed at the pre-school. Other than that art equipment (except for paper, paints, and crayons) and musical instruments for pre-schoolers are very welcome. Official receipts are given for cash donations

Tree planting: 5TL buys one tree. Every spring Nomad aims to gift fruit trees to villagers in order to improve the environment and to help to fight malnutrition. This spring, 150 fruit trees were planted as a result of the generous donations received throughout 2010. Nomad aims to plant 500 fruit trees in the spring of 2012. Again, official receipts are given for cash donations.

Books for books: leave your used books on the bookshelf at the home stay. We sell books for 2TL each to visitors. The aim is to raise cash to buy high quality story and educational books for the pre-school.

Finally...

The sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Cemil Kara of Intrepid, Tess Rivers, Krys Tell, Stamatis Kalogiannidis, Jenni Meaney, and Chantal and Georges Pion for their generous donations.

March's donations and campaigns



Nofi

Widowed mother of 12, Nofi, plants an olive tree in her garden.

Tree planting campaign

Thanks to donations received from visitors throughout 2010, Nomad has been able to implement its first tree planting campaign.

With the dual aims of fighting malnutrition and helping to improve the village ecosystem, Nomad has initiated a long-term project to gift fruit trees to village families, which will be planted each spring beginning in 2011.

The generosity of our guests has enabled us to buy 150 fruit and fir trees, which have been planted over the last few days. The trees included olive, pomegranate trees and mulberry.

A third of the homes in the village were able to benefit from the scheme, and Nomad hopes to broaden the scope of the project over the coming year. In addition to trees given directly to families, a total of 15 trees were gifted to the village primary school.

Our sincere thanks go out to visitors who contributed to the scheme throughout 2010.

One fruit tree costs only 5TL, and if you would like to contribute to the campaign, please use the form on this page to contact us.

youngsters at Yuvacali’s pre-school

Youngsters at Yuvacali's pre-school benefit from art and music lessons as a direct result of donations made to Nomad.

Art and Music

As ever, Nomad is focusing on the educational needs of the children of Yuvacali, with special attention to art and music.

This month, a donation from Australia delighted children at Yuvacali's pre-school unit, when stickers, tissue paper, sparkly glue, stampers and other art equipment arrived.

Donna Ambalid from Australia was inspired by her visit to Yuvacali last summer, and on returning home got together with friends to send the wonderful package described above to Yuvacali. Not only did the parcel contain hard-to-get art equipment for the pre-schoolers, Donna had thoughtfully included 15 classical music CDs.

A big thank you to Donna, and to all other visitors who have contributed to this campaign in the past.

Please remember that the campaign is on-going and we welcome donations of musical instruments and art equipment.

Duygu

Duygu, aged 6, is now able to brush her teeth twice a day times a day

Dental campaign: an outstanding success

Since its inception, the dental campaign, which aimed to provide all children in Yuvacali with toothbrushes and toothpaste, has gone from strength to strength. Prior to Nomad's dental initiative, dental hygiene in the village was non-existent.

Today, over 100 children of school age in Yuvacali have been provided with brushes and paste, as well as allotted time within the school day to brush their teeth.

As more donations are received daily, the campaign has been able to expand its horizons.

Nomad has spread this initiative to outlying villages.

Pre-schools and primary schools in the villages of Dindek, Saluca, and Arica are now included in the scheme. This means that a further 115 children will have the means to develop dental hygiene habits at school.

It is, however, essential to keep the campaign going, and all visitors to Yuvacali are requested to bring a child's toothbrush or a tube of toothpaste with them. Without the generosity of visitors, this great success would not have been possible. Thank you to all who have contributed in the past to this scheme.

February's donations and campaigns



David enjoying Turkey

London-based David Bolt, pictured here enjoying his time in Turkey

Generous donation for the ongoing dental hygiene campaign

Following their visit to Yuvacali in August 2010, London-based equine vets, David Bolt and Bettina Dunkel, felt that they wanted to contribute to the ongoing dental campaign. December saw an extremely generous gift of over 200 toothbrushes and many tubes of toothpaste arriving from the couple. This kind gift is allowing the project to continue unabated during the winter months.

Over one hundred children in the village benefit from the toothbrushes and toothpaste that well-wishers have donated over the past months. In conjunction with the village pre-school and primary school, a daily tooth-brushing campaign is underway which allows the children to brush up several times a day. Previously the children had not been introduced to any form of oral hygiene.

David Bolt and Bettina Dunkel made use of a postal system for gifts and donations which is available for UK residents. Please fill in the form on this page if you are a UK resident and you would like to donate to either the dental hygiene campaign or the art and music campaign.

village kids

With the generous help of guests, Nomad Tours has already helped to improve village life for Yuvacali residents

Campaigns for 2011

Nomad Tours is aiming to make 2011 a year to remember for the community of Yuvacali. Not only will two home stays be operational on a fulltime basis, thus improving the livelihoods of a total of 8 families in the village, but Nomad's social projects will also be in full swing, aiming to improve life for the community on three fronts: health, education, and the environment.

Nomad is currently seeking donations for all of its campaigns.

Donations of toothbrushes, toothpaste, musical instruments (everything from triangles to rainmakers) and all art equipment except paints are sought from guests old and new. As ever, cash donations are invited for the tree-planting campaign.

For UK residents, we are able to accept donations to a UK address by post.

Please contact us at Nomad if you can help in any way.

Girl with special needs

Yuvacali's pre-school is also attended by children with special needs

Books for Books

A small library has been set up in a corner of Pero's home for travelers to use. Many English books have been donated to Nomad over the years, and until now they have been put to little use.

2011 will see a book scheme in operation in which books gifted to Nomad are sold on to other travelers at a very small price. The money raised will then be used to buy books for the pre-school unit in Yuvacali. Since we believe that even one book makes a difference and can help to change a child's life for the good, we are hoping to receive unprecedented support for this project.

Nomad is asking visitors old and new to donate good quality English books for re-sale as part of the Books for Books scheme. Books will be sold on at 2 TL each to other guests, and the money raised will be used to buy books which are needed at the pre-school unit. Donations of all types of books are welcome, so long as they are in good condition. Please use the form on this page to contact Nomad if you would like to know more about the scheme.

Please remember that around half of the children attending school in Yuvacali come from homes where the parents are illiterate, fostering a love of books at this age is seen as an important task for the pre-school unit.

Decembers's donations and campaigns



Group Photo

Andrea with other members of the Belmont Roteract Club whose hard work has meant 240 children's toothbrushes and 70 tubes of toothpaste making their way from Melbourne to Yuvacali

More donations for the ongoing dental hygiene campaign

During the summer months, Andrea Pearson from Australia visited Yuvacali, and on returning home was so inspired by her visit that she encouraged her local Roteract Club to support Nomad's campaigns. The Rotaract Club of Belmont held a chocolate drive in order to raise funds in support of the Oral Hygiene Campaign.

Belmont Rotaract, a community service organisation for young professionals aged 18-30, is located an hour outside Melbourne, Australia, and has a long tradition of supporting similar causes. Vice President, Andrea Pearson, visited Yuvacali earlier this year on an Intrepid tour and instantly knew she wanted to support the village in some way.

"I really loved staying in the village, everyone was so welcoming and friendly and it's an experience that is a definite highlight of all my travels, not just Turkey. I knew my club would be happy to help the village, whether in a big or small way and luckily, through some hard work, we've been able to do that, so far raising over AU$400," Andrea says.

If you live in the vicinity of the Belmont Roteract Club and would like to join in our effort, please contact Andrea for more information on +61 449 981 467, or visit the Rotaract Club of Belmont at www.rotaract.org.au/belmont. Those living elsewhere, may contact Nomad directly using the form on this page to find out how you can make a difference.

Local boys with hats

Julie and Don's generous parcel provided warm hats for both boys and girls.

Woolly hats for winter

Long-time Nomad Tours supporters Julie and Don Maloney of New South Wales have been, as always, astoundingly generous and thoughtful during this recent Islamic holiday period. Just like Christmas and Easter in the west, the two major Islamic holidays of the year are times when gifts are given, principally new clothes for children. For poor families, especially, these are difficult times of the year.

Julie's handmade girls' skirts were a great hit at the end of Ramadan, as Nomad distributed them to poor families in time for the holiday period. That was a couple of months ago. For this holiday period, Julie turned her hand to knitting dozens of brightly coloured woolly hats.

Nomad distributed the hats during the holiday period to poor families in Yuvacali and other outlying villages. As the weather turns much colder over the next months, the hats will be invaluable, especially to families who are unable to buy coats or other warm clothing for their children.

Finally...

Although the season is coming to an end in Yuvacali, there have still been many donations.

Yet again, the sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Maggie Gale, Nancy Pinna, Barbara Johnson, Tony and Jenny Teggins, and Rod and Pam Crosthwaite.

November's donations and campaigns



Thanks to donations, the pre-school unit now has running water

Thanks to donations, the pre-school unit now has running water

Dental hygiene in practice

Following last month’s outstanding donation from Switzerland, the dental hygiene programme in Yuvacali is fully underway. Now every child in Yuvacali who attends school is following a brushing routine with the support of the teaching staff at the village schools.

However, in order to facilitate the dental hygiene programme, it was necessary to have some system of running water installed in Yuvacali’s pre-school unit. The school had never had running water before. So, before we could even think about asking the kids to brush their teeth, the first bridge to cross was providing water and washbasins for the 20 children who attend pre-school in the village.

Cash donations from visitors enabled the installation of a water tank, a rudimentary plumbing system, and two outside washbasins.

While all the children in the village are busy brushing their teeth after meals, the children at the pre-school unit are now also able to wash their hands during the school day for the first time.

Everyone in Yuvacali would like to express their sincere thanks to our many visitors who have donated toothbrushes and toothpaste, and also to visitors whose cash donations have allowed the water system at the pre-school to be installed.

Finally, the drive for toothbrushes and toothpaste is not over yet.. We need a continual supply of dental hygiene goods in order to make this campaign work. Please use the form on this page if you would like to help us make a difference.

Home stay host, Pero Salva, with her fledging fruit trees in a garden fed by drip irrigation.

Home stay host, Pero Salva, with her fledging fruit trees in a garden fed by drip irrigation.

Tree planting Campaign

In spring 2011, Nomad Tours aims to realize its goal of gifting 5 fruit trees to each household. The fruit trees will not only have environmental benefits, but also provide families with a source of nutrition in an area where undernourishment and malnutrition are rife.

There is no doubt that the once-verdant landscape around Yuvacali would benefit enormously from some form of tree planting. At the same time, the fact that malnutrition is one of the most commonly diagnosed illnesses among young children in the area led Nomad Tours to initiate its fruit tree planting scheme.

The aim is to gift 500 fruit trees to the village residents in spring 2011. Due to the severe water shortages that Yuvacali suffers, each gift will be accompanied by enough ‘drip’ irrigation piping to allow a very minimum amount of water to be used.

One fruit tree costs only 5TL (around €2.5 or $3.5).

Please use the form on this page if you would like to join Nomad in its campaign to make Yuvacali green again.

A creative art class at Yuvacali’s pre-school

A creative art class at Yuvacali’s pre-school

Music and Art

Since its inception, Nomad Tours has tried to encourage an interaction between the schoolchildren in Yuvacali and art and music. Coming from very disadvantaged backgrounds, most of the children who attend the school will have never had the luxury of any artistic stimulation at home.

Donations left by visitors to the village have allowed for the purchasing of musical equipment for the pre-school this month. We still need many small items including classical music CDs and instruments such as triangles and tambourines. The need for art equipment is also urgent. Please contact us if you feel you can help.

Finally...

There have been so many donations this month that unfortunately we only have room for a brief thank you here.

Yet again, the sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Phil and Tanya Johnson, David Christiansen and Sharon Pond, Sheryl Austen-Hofer, Benedict Buller, Victoria Busch, Ruth Boettcher and family, John Waldron, Sheila Murphy, Tracey Weier, Lesley Richardson, Gavin Taylor, Melissa Richardson, Alison Trent, Beth Bowles, "Mac", Karl Williams, Catherine Percival, Safae Damir, and Georgia Edwards.

October's donations and campaigns



Intrepid guests try on local clothes

Intrepid guests try on local clothes

Intrepid Istanbul

Intrepid Istanbul has long since supported the families of the village and Yuvacali's two schools.

This alternative, Australian-based travel company was the inspiration behind the home stay scheme from day 1, and has been the largest provider of pre-school equipment for the village. This month, as the village schools open their doors for the new school year, a plaque was finally put in place at the school to thank one and all at Intrepid for their contributions.

At the same time, Intrepid has sent gifts of paper, pens, and pencils to coincide with the new school year.

Intrepid contributes to the village economy by placing Yuvacali well and truly on the map for its overland travelers doing Istanbul to Cairo and Cairo to Istanbul. At the same time, both the company itself and its travelers are among the key donators to educational and other schemes in the village.

Nomad would like to take this opportunity to thank Intrepid Istanbul, and all of Intrepid's intrepid travelers for making the project of home stays in Yuvacali a reality.

Karacadag girl courtesy of June Low

Families receiving clothes in time for the end of Ramadan festivities. Photograph courtesy of June Low

Karaca Dag, clothes distribution

The remote and bleak mountain range of Karaca Dag suffers from poverty, isolation, a lack of services, and extremely poor educational standards. Nomad Tours has always tried to support the region by promotingsmall scale tourism there, and by including this off-the-beaten-track destination as a routine part of its four day tour.

As the fasting of Ramadan drew to a close, Nomad visited the area to distribute donations of clothing for the holiday period.

All of the children in the region expect a new set of clothes for the festivities at the end of Ramadan. This year donations were made by Don and Julie Maloney of New South Wales, who contributed greatly with Julie's homemade skirts, and by Treehouse children's store in Istanbul.

The clothes were distributed by Omer from Nomad Tours, together with the help of visitors from Singapore and the UK.

Nomad hopes to repeat the distribution of clothes for the holiday festivities in mid-November. Please contact us using the form on this page if you would like to help us make a difference.

Kathy and Peter

All of the children in Yuvacali will benefit from the campaign

Dental Campaign, update..

We've done it! A donation of an amazing 110 toothbrushes and 95 tubes of toothpaste from Baerbel and Peter Hirschi (Switzerland) has meant that our dental hygiene campaign is up and running.

100 items were needed by the headmaster of the school in order to enable him to implement a teeth brushing campaign across the board. Now, every child who attends school in Yuvacali will have a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste inside a named toiletry bag for use during the school day. Dental hygiene is not practiced in the area at all, and Nomad conceived the campaign for toothbrushes and toothpaste so that children could get used to the practice at a young age.

Thanks to the cooperation of the headmaster, brushing teeth after meals will now be a part of the daily school routine for every child in Yuvacali.

It is hoped that within a few years, the children, and their parents, will be encouraged to continue the hygiene campaign at home.

Peter Hirschi, who is a dental technician from Switzerland, was inspired to make the donation after his daughter, Rachel, visited the village in September. When Rachel told her parents about the campaign and about the lack of dental hygiene in the area, Peter was moved to help.

The toiletry bags were provided for via cash donations from various sources including September's Intrepid visitors.

Thanks to their very generous donation, the dental campaign is now underway, and Nomad is asking for continuing gifts to keep the campaign going. If you want to help us make a difference, use the enquiry form on this page to contact us.

Finally...

There have been so many donations this month that unfortunately we only have room for a brief thank you here.

Yet again, the sincere thanks of all involved in the Yuvacali project go out to Anny Brown, Julie Ingham, Judith O'Leary, Carol Devisser, Georgia Humphries, Alice Heitkonig, Peggy Gregory, Nick Zilber, Hok Seon Kim, Eun Ok Kim, John and Lynn Lander, and Sarah Graff and Adam Snetman.

September's donations and campaigns



Kathy and Peter

Kathy Murphy donated the wheelchair to Nesat in memory of her late husband Peter

Wheelchair donation

Nesat was just learning to crawl as a baby when he had an accident which left him unable to use his legs. Now aged 25, Nesat has always relied on family members to physically carry him from place to place. When Leeann Murphy visited Yuvacali with Intrepid Travel in July and heard Nesat's story she decided to do something to help and contacted her family and friends in Australia to see what they could do. When Leeann's mother, Kathy Murphy became aware of the campaign, she was personally moved to help.

Kathy said,

"When I heard Nesat's story I was touched. I was a carer for my husband when he was confined to a wheelchair for four years with PSP - a neurological illness. I decided to donate a wheelchair to make life more comfortable and easier for Nesat and his family. The donation is in honour of my late husband, Peter."

This week, Nesat was presented with the wheelchair, kindly donated by Kathy Murphy. Nesat's family were both touched and surprised, and couldn't express their gratitude enough. The wheelchair will make a huge difference to both Nesa's lifet and to that of his chief carer, his mother, who is in her 50s.

All at Nomad would like to join Nesat's family in expressing a heartfelt thank you to Kathy, to Leeann, and to all our other visitors who decide to make a difference.

Aylin

Aylin wearing one of Julie Maloney's lovely creations

Clothes for the festivities

Ramadan is drawing to a close, and in the three-day festivities, which mark the end of the fasting, every child in Turkey will be expecting a new set of clothes. Like Christmas in the West, this is a very difficult time for the poor and needy. Thanks to the efforts of Don and Julie Maloney from New South Wales, there will be many young girls delighted with new clothes this holiday period.

Julie Maloney decided to make lots of pretty clothes at home in Australia and send them out to Yuvacali in time for the festivities:

"In May this year my husband and I, along with a group of friends had the opportunity to have a home stay in the village of Yuvacali. What a wonderful experience! We were all so warmly received that I felt I should say thank you in a different kind of way, and decided that some of the little girls in the village and outlying areas might like some new clothing. What young woman doesn't like a new dress? So, on our return to Australia I searched out my old sewing machine and set to work making a few very colourful long skirts for some of the girls. My sewing machine and I have spent many happy hours together. I enjoy my sewing and I also take great delight in the fact that I can also be helping people at the same time."

Nomad will be distributing Julie's wonderful skirts on the last day of Ramadan in the poor and underdeveloped Karaca Mountain region. In the meantime, Aylin, aged 10, has been happy to model the beautiful outfits

Yuvacali Kids by Portuguese travel writer and photographer, Filipe Gomes

Yuvacali Kids by Portuguese travel writer and photographer, Filipe Gomes

How you can help..

Dental hygiene is nonexistent in the area, and with school about to open, Nomad Tours is focusing its efforts on providing every child in Yuvacali with a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste.

The teachers in Yuvacali have agreed to implement a dental hygiene program at school as soon as Nomad can come up with enough supplies for 100 children. If you would like to help make a difference, please contact us using the form on this page.