Toronto – Earlier this spring, guard.me International Insurance joined a² Fairs to help build a school library in the remote mountain village of Aladağ, 100 km north of Adana in the southern part of Turkey. Last year, a sudden fire broke out in one of the dormitories at the central school resulting in the deaths of 11 female students and one teacher.
Nestled in the Aladağlar Mountains (an extension of the Taurus Mountains), the people of Aladağ make their living from chromium mining, agriculture, and forestry. Because of its isolation and limited access, children from around the area live at school during the week and only go home on weekends. The fire was a devastating loss to the close-knit community of 17,000 people who have spent the last few months in mourning.
“We wanted to create a little bit of hope for the community after all they had been through,” says Keith Segal, President of guard.me. “We know it can’t replace the lives that were lost, but it is a small step in helping their family and friends move forward and heal.”
The new library is located in the Ataturk Secondary School and will serve as a year-round resource for the entire community. In an area where the internet is limited and morale has been low, the library is a welcome relief for the students and villagers of Aladağ.
“The village is small, maybe two blocks long, and I was the first Canadian to ever visit,” says Lorie Lee, Director of Business Development for guard.me. “When I got there and saw the excitement of the teachers – only one spoke English – I felt very privileged to be there.”
The latest library project is part of an ongoing initiative created by a² Fairs to provide books and learning opportunities to underdeveloped communities in Turkey. This is the fourth library that a² has built in Turkey and the third that guard.me International Insurance has been involved in.