May 31, 2023

Karakum Special Needs School

go to the beach


By Margaret Sheard….

What a wonderful time everyone had on the occasion of a visit to Balci Plaza Hotel and beach in Yenierenkoy on Friday 2nd October and especially 14 of the children from Karakum Special Needs School.

Headmaster Musa Saygi and John Graham

The children were taken by coach together with the Headmaster – Musa Saygi, teachers and parents and the other guests made their way independently which included John and Jennifer Graham, Art and Mary Watson, some of the CESV volunteers. Tom Roach and Billie from Living Magazine,  Mike Ennis, and ourselves.  The trip was the idea of John Graham of the Little Society of Kyrenia (LSOK), with help from Mary Watson and Adem Osman Adem who also contribute their services to LSOK.  The trip was also ably assisted by some of the CESV volunteers who did a fabulous job of helping with the children when they were in the sea.

At the Beach 3

At the Beach 2

The looks on the faces of these children, especially those more severely handicapped was something wonderful to see.  Some of them had never seen the sea before, let alone had the opportunity of actually immersing themselves in it.  Again the CESV people helped with wheelchairs, no mean feat over sand, and lowering the children into the water.  If some of these children could express their feelings, I wonder what they would say?

At the beach 1

Everything had been thought of, with refreshments on the coach and various items to keep them amused – colouring books and crayons etc. and on the beach there were buckets and spades and other items to play with, all generously donated by Starling Supermarkets, but of course the children were most happy when they were in the sea.

Enjoying lunch

Then it was time to transport the children in the coach back up to the hotel where Hasan Balci had been busy preparing a lunch for everyone.   By the time the rest of us had arrived back at the hotel, the children and their families and teachers were busily tucking into their lunch and really enjoying themselves.

One of the guests, Mike Ennis, had brought his guitar and proceeded to entertain everyone with songs in Turkish and a rendition of Old MacDonald had a Farm, which went down very well.   This was followed by some music from Hasan on the Saz, a traditional Turkish instrument.

Hasan Balci and Mike Ennis

Eventually it was time for the children to leave and make their way back home after what I am sure was a lovely outing for them and one I am sure LSOK will want to repeat in the future.

I had a few words with Hasan Balci before we left and he told me he had bought the land some 20 years ago which was relatively barren and he proceeded to plant trees, many from seed, to establish what is now a very quiet and beautiful area, the hotel itself was built later and has been operational for 10 years.  Hasan was born in a village in the Karpaz but he also spent 50 years of his life in the London suburbs of the UK.   LSOK imageHe is very keen to support children’s charities and in fact he supplied everything for the children’s lunch himself when he was aware of the LSOK outing for the children of Karakum Special Needs School.  What a kind man, as is John Graham who, through LSOK, does so much for the youngsters of North Cyprus.

There are more pictures of this wonderful day in the slideshow below.

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