A total of 1,396 wells have been drilled in 13 African countries since Nov. 1, 2014, as part of a project called “Selsebil Water Wells,” which was launched by charitable organization Kimse Yok Mu (KYM) in 2011, in cooperation with Fatih University students and Genç-İz Academy Association members.
A closing ceremony for the project was held at the Fırat Cultural Center in İstanbul’s historic Çemberlitaş quarter on Sunday, where Turkish volunteers made speeches about the project. Among the well-known figures who attended the ceremony hosted by the Samanyolu TV anchorman Ahmet Bozkuş were Zaman columnist Mehmet Kamış, Zaman Deputy Editor-in-Chief Bülent Korucu, Samanyolu Haber news channel Editor-in-Chief Metin Yıkar, journalist Erkan Akkuş and Samanyolu TV anchor Kemal Gülen.
Project officer İrem Oturaklıoğlu spoke during the ceremony, saying that the project was aimed at creating awareness about the severe drought in Africa. “We are extending [people in Africa] a helping hand with the support of our friends and you. We, as a group of university students, made a decision. We thought that if an African child can’t receive education because of the obligation to look for water, we — as those who are lucky enough to be educated — should utilize all the opportunities we have in order to help them. We started the project under the guidance of the KYM charity organization; however, we’ve realized that we aren’t alone when it comes to helping people. In Africa, water means family, health, life, being able to worship and having a future,” Oturaklıoğlu said. Oturaklıoğlu also informed the people attending the ceremony that the end date of the project has been postponed for another year and that they aim to have drilled 5,000 wells by that time.
İsmail Cingöz, president of KYM, also spoke during the event over the phone and said his heart beat together with the crowd that filled the cultural center. Emphasizing that the project has been supported by many people across Europe and US, Cingöz added: “We have united our dreams with our purposes. No one will be strong enough to disturb this peace. We laid the foundations of this project five years ago. We have witnessed the advancement that comes with water.”
Writer Cemil Tokpınar said that words fail to express how great the project is and added: “I support these young people with my prayers and appreciation.”