Expat Heroes: Calis Children Charity

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Expat Heroes: Calis Children Charity

WHAT AND WHERE: The Calis Children's Charity, nicknamed the 3C's, supports local disadvantaged children through a calendar of local "fun-raising" activities. Based in the beach resort of Calis in Fethiye and acting legally under the banner of the Fethiye Tourism, Promotion, Education, Culture and Environment Foundation (FETAV), the charity is mostly run by retired British expats. Since its creation, the charity has raised over 75,000 TL (£28,600) and this year is expected to be their most successful to date.

THE TEAM: The 3C's committee is a small collection of hardworking volunteers who came together in 2007 comprising British expats, Turkish locals and other European friends. Outside of the hot summer months, the committee holds meetings every fortnight to plan the calendar of events and discuss worthy causes to assist. Committee duties can consist of visiting schools and children's groups, running the website and organizing the monthly car boot sales, which have become famous throughout Turkey. Chairman Peter Clark and several other members also help out on the committee of the much celebrated Calis Carnival.

COSTS AND FUNDING: The money raised by the charity comes entirely from fund-raising events and promotional goods, such as the annual charity calendar, which alone raised 6,000 TL (£2,300) in 2010. This year the 3C's anticipates raising around 34,000 TL (£13,000) from activities, ranging from the lively beach barbeque on the Calis promenade during carnival week through to themed nights featuring cabaret acts from the committee! Part of the 2010 funds allocation went towards providing educational games for a local rehabilitation centre and much needed items for local schoolchildren, as well as purchasing a wheelchair for a young girl with brittle bone disease and a nebuliser for a baby with hydrocephalus. For the last three years the charity has also funded ten bursaries to support students through university who would otherwise be unable to afford to go.
Voice of a Volunteer

Mark Pietsch, who moved to Turkey in 2006, works with the 3C's outside of his 9-5 job

"My wife Joanne and I are relatively young compared to the rest of the committee, being in our mid 40s! We joined primarily to give something back to the local community and country we have chosen to make our home. The good friends of all nationalities that we have made along the way is a real bonus.

"We enjoy running activities and designed the first 'Boxing Day Splash' event which we now hold every year. In it locals and visitors get sponsorship to swim in the sea in fancy dress. We raised 1,500 TL (£570) on the day and all the Turkish press turned out in force to watch the mad splashers! "Also, for the past two years I have been Tommy Turtle, the carnival mascot, and made appearances throughout the year, but nobody knows it's me."

A Place In The Sun