September 23, 2023

Première of the documentary ‘Serap Derim, a successful female entrepreneur and charity person’ as one of the “41 Women – 41 Lives”, presented by KÖDER/ – Cyprus Women’s Stories Association

By Heidi Trautmann…

Yesterday, on 02 August 2023, I had the chance to learn about the life of a very courageous Cypriot woman which was presented to us as a documentary in the Social Activity Centre of the Degirmenlik-Akincilar Municipality. This documentary makes part of the KÖDER series of documentation in form of films, exhibitions, books about women ‘who have added value to our lives’. The past should not be forgotten is the important message along which KÖDER wants to make a contribution to social memory and to inspire our young generations.

KÖDER announced the new documentary with the following statement: “It is the life story of Serap Derim, one of the popular names in Cihangir where she was born in 1958. In her struggle for survival for herself and her two children, after the untimely death of her husband, Serap Derim started with a small sewing machine and later continued with a sewing workshop. She confessed that in the beginning, she felt like a fish out of water, but with discipline and craftsmanship, she made it work. Her two children were with special needs, they were deaf from birth, and that made her struggle the more difficult. She started travelling to sell her work, mostly children’s clothes, school uniforms, and her work became highly appreciated and thus she could extend her activities and secure work for dozens of women. With growing success she could then realize her dream to open the ELA Special Education and Rehabilitation Centre, which serves individuals with special needs all over the country, especially in the Değirmenlik region. In 2017 her success story was crowned with the Honor Award by the Business Women’s Association.” End of the Statement.

I include here the link for the ELA Centre:

The auditorium of the Social Activity Centre did not have enough room to seat all the visitors who had come for the show. Senay Ekingen, the President of KÖDER welcomed the guests, among them our President Ersin Tatar and the Mayor of Degirmenlik-Akincilar, Ali Karavezirler, and speeches of introduction were given. On stage, family members and a close friend were giving us their own impressions of Serap Derim’s life and work which they did with great emotion:

  1. Hüseyin Rakibet, teacher, married to Serap Derim’s sister-in-law;
  2. Dr. Derviş Özer, Serap Derim’s younger brother. He is a gynaecologist doctor of medicine;
  3. Emine Ziver Emel, a former school teacher, currently working in the Ministry of Education as an inspector.

We then saw the film during which Serap Derim narrates episodes of her life accompanied by photos. It is a very touching story and my admiration for this woman grew by the minute.

After the Show, the guests were invited to a small reception and they had the chance to meet Serap Derim, the woman of the evening, and family members and friends to discuss the event. Today, I heard, the enterprise is led by the daughter Deray Derim.

My thanks go to KÖDER to give us an opportunity to learn about women like Serap Derim and others of Cyprus and I am looking forward to the next documentary.

To see more pictures please go to my Facebook page

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