May 31, 2023

The Pied Piper comes to the

Lefkosa Special Needs Centre 


By Chris Elliott……

Another week passes with so many events taking place in Northern Cyprus and I had the pleasure this time to be able to attend the Lefkosa Special Needs Centre on Friday 13th November. .

Arriving early, I was able to visit the ground floor centre and speak with headmistress Sezin Yildirim together with Ilkay Gokbulat who talked to me about their work with the children.

The A Team present a Laptop Computer 3
The A Team present a Laptop Computer

Gathering in the office of Soner Öyken the Müdür (Manager) of the Lefkoşa Lefkoşa Özel Eğitim ve İş Merkezi he  made a speech for BRTK TV who left for another filming appointment. Tired Demetra George Mustafaoğlu arrived with Figen Rasmussen 5 minutes later and told us they had been making many newspaper interviews and TV appearances and were quite exhausted.

They were joined by Hatice Kerimgil the other member of the  “A Halloween Happening 2” fundraising team and they made a presentation of a laptop computer to Soner Öyken from the proceeds of their event  They we were then conducted on a tour of the upper floor of the building where older children learn work skills and were very happy to see us.

We then went down to the ground  floor of the centre where the children start their education and training and our team of happy Halloween Happening 2 fund raisers presented a heater to headmistress  Sevin Yilderim who, with Ilkay Gokbulat, then conducted us on a tour of the ground floor where we saw the amazing work that had been taking place to create rooms that were designed and equipped to encourage the children’s reactions through the use of images, lighting and colours to help develop their sensory perception.

The A Team present the heater unit
The A Team present the heater unit

As Demetra said of the visit: “As we were introduced, the teachers queried what I did so I then gave big smiles to the gathering children and sang to them.  The effect on them was incredible and they all followed me around on the tour of the centre and it was if I was the Pied Piper of Hamelin and they wanted to touch and talk with us. We fed them cakes, sweets and baklava and exchanged stories with them and even found 2 children who had been at the Lefkoşa Çoçuk Yuvasi in the Çağlayan  area of Lefkoşa which benefitted from the first Halloween Happening event we held.

The centre did not seem to be using music and sound to gain the children’s attention and as the saying goes “Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast!” so I would like go back to the centre and sing for them again.”

Following this visit our happy fund raisers visited the offices of the Lefkoşa Municipality to meet with the Mayor, Mehmet Harmancı to talk to him about the Halloween Happening 2 event and the donations to Lefkoşa Özel Eğitim Merkezi and The Lefkoşa Özel Eğitim ve Lefkoşa Özel Eğitim ve İş Merkezi.

The Villa Diva A Team meet the Lefkosa Mayor, Mehmet Harmancı
The Villa Diva “A Team” meet the Lefkosa Mayor, Mehmet Harmancı

They also talked to him about the forthcoming “Concerts Without Borders” event to be held at the Lefkosa Bedesten and invited him to join them on Friday the 20th November and talked about future plans and thanked him for his interest and support.

To read more of the “Concerts Without Borders” event, please click here

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