Yesilyurt Special Needs School
By Mary Watson…..
So what makes Special Needs children special?
Over the last year I have been lucky to spend some time with children at the Special Needs Schools in Girne, Lefkosa, Ziyamet and Yesilyurt.
I don’t know what makes them special but I do know that they are welcoming, affectionate and delighted to enjoy new opportunities. Much of it must be a reflection of the Head Teachers who work hard to attract funds for new educational equipment and organise trips to broaden their experiences. The mothers that I have met, who often spend the school hours with their children, also deserve credit. When I have visited schools the mothers turn out in force and it is impossible to refuse their offers of drinks and a superb variety of food.
My latest visit was Friday 19th February with Adem Bayman to the Special Needs School in Yesilyurt. Adem has always supported Special Needs children and our visit centred around taking gifts for the 15 children and a TV and DVD player which was generously donated by Mike and Anita Harman from Esentepe. The toys were supplied by Starling, who have also given toys to the Special Needs Schools in Lefkosa, Girne and Ziyamet.
We were greeted with smiles and cuddles and one little girl insisted in holding my hand wherever I went. Many of the children tried hard to speak some English, greeting us and wanting to know our names. The school is in a very rural area and doesn’t have much in the way of facilities but the garden is well tended with brightly painted stones, some painted as ladybirds, and the internal areas are cosy and relaxing.
Esma, the Head Teacher is a real inspiration and believes in helping the children make the most of their lives. As a scout leader she is able to arrange trips for the children in Turkey with able bodied scouts. She finds funding from a variety of charities and the parents are able to stay at home and have a break. Esma is proud to say that by the time the students leave the school, they have all been on a plane.
Support for the Special Needs Schools continues to grow. Thanks to funding from the Kumyali walk last October and the Concert without Borders in November, an external and internal playground for the Ziyamet Special Needs School have been ordered. The first stage of laying the foundations has begun and the playground will be completed within the next few days.