Ziyamet Special Needs School Playground Presentation

By Chris Elliott…….

Having been involved from the onset in supporting a very kind group of people who wanted to make a difference to the lives of the children who attended the Ziyamet Special Needs School it was great to go back today 9th May 2016 to see the opening of the children’s playground.

It was good to see Art and Mary Watson and Adem Bayman and Cemil Saricizmeli the Mayor of Mehmetcik plus other friends who had helped make today a very special day for these very special children and of course their parents and it is best summed up in the speech that Art Watson made that was translated into Turkish by Mayor, Cemil Saricizmeli.

Mayor Mesut Yikici, Adem Bayman, Art Watson and Mayor Cemil Saricizmeli

Mayor Mesut Yikici, Adem Bayman, Art Watson and Mayor Cemil Saricizmeli


“Good morning and welcome to Ziyamet Special Needs School.

When I first came to the school over 2 years ago, two things were obvious – the school needed a great deal of equipment to stimulate the students, and the children were really SPECIAL.

It is difficult being a special needs child in Northern Cyprus and it’s even more challenging in the Karpaz where facilities and opportunities are limited.

With the help of a number of supporters – many of whom are here today we have improved the children’s lives. They now have a TV, comfortable sofas, wooden toys to stimulate senses and a wonderful indoor playground.

Toys and indoor play area

What I wanted to do was to give them an outside playground so that they would have somewhere to play when the weather is warm. So the Kumyali Nature Walk for Special Children was conceived and took place in October 2015 to raise the necessary funds. With Adem Bayman, Cemil Saricizmeli the Mayor of Mehmetcik, Mesut Yikici the Mayor of  Yeni Erenkoy and everyone else who took part we achieved our first goal. And here it is, together with the first phase of a sensory garden being created by Claire and Bob Lamb, friends and supporters.  We have delivered the children’s dream.

Enjoying the Ziyamet school playground

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how generous people are and our thanks go to Paul and Marilyn for their fund raising efforts which together with money donated on behalf of Demetra George Mustafoglu by Figen Rasmussen and friends has helped to provide the external  and internal playground equipment. 

This is just the start with another walk planned this year and a determination to raise more money so we can enrich the lives of these children even more.

Cutting the ribbon tn the Ziyamet Special Needs School playground

So it’s with pride that I invite two of the children to cut the ribbon to officially open the playground.”


At times like this when everyone is very happy and relaxed, it’s difficult to understand just how much effort they all put into creating an event which has achieved so much and we ask you to click on the links below to read and fully understand the determination of all of these people to achieve much to help these children and if any reader would like to help with future activities, please contact Art Watson by email on


Timeline of Events – Click the links to read and appreciate some of the hard work involved in achieving the outcome of this event.

  1. Kumyali Nature Walk for Ziyamet Special Needs School. The event planning is launched and includes video interviews with EFRAR Chairman Art Watson and Cemil Saricizmeli the Mayor of Mehmetcik.
  2. Kumyali Nature Walk In Aid Of Ziyamet Special Needs School Preparation work starts at the site of the Kumyali Nature Walk.
  3. Kumyalı Nature Walk for Special Children Sunday 18th October 2015 – EFRAR Committee review of the event.
  4. Kumyali Nature Walk in aid of Ziyamet Special Needs School – review of the event.
  5. Ziyamet Special Needs School – Donation Of Toys – News of further donations to the Ziyamet Special Needs School.
  6. Kumyali Nature Walk Update – EFRAR committee review and report advising that the walk was very successful and gave thanks for the 15,500TL which was raised and an additional 11,000TL donated by Demetra George Mustafoglu from her very successful ‘Concert without Borders event in Lefkosa.

    Indoor play ground presented by Demetra George from her ‘Concert without Borders1 event in Lefkosa

    Indoor playground presented by Demetra George Mustafoglu from her ‘Concert without Borders event in Lefkosa