Selcuk Var (Season 02 - Episode 26)
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This Week's Changemaker; Selcuk Var Motivates Teachers through Theater

 

On 28 April 2011 Sabanci Foundation's ''Turkey's Changemakers'' program hosts Selcuk Var, who uses the power of art to help teachers in Harran, a Southeastern district get connected to a rural setting that they have never experienced before.

 

When Selçuk Var was appointed as a teacher in the Harran district of Sanliurfa, he was only 22 years old. Raised in an urban neighborhood, when he arrived at the small village of Buldum, his first thought was to quit and go back. He started his career in classes exceeding standard capacity filled with children whose mother tongue was Arabic.

 

Gradually getting to know the children and experiencing the divine profession of teaching, his thoughts of leaving started to fade. He was teaching a new language to children whose native language was not Turkish. Yet, instead of complaining, he was determined to make that village the happiest place on earth.

 

Upon realizing the lack of cultural activities around the village, Selcuk Var decided to initiate some projects. Therefore, building on his former experience as an amateur performer, he established a theatre group called "Cur-cuna" (Uproar in Turkish.) Along with his colleagues, the goal was to initiate an activity that would help teachers feel connected to the district of Harran, a rural setting that they have never experienced before.

 

After a long process of preparations, Selcuk Var and his colleagues performed for the first time in 2010. Their first play attracted 270 spectators. This modest theatre group consisting of 9 teachers then went on a small tour to neighboring villages. A total of 500 viewers in Harran came to watch the play- a place that have never hosted a theater before. Selcuk Var and his friends also fulfilled some of their school's pressing needs with the modest amount of money they made thorough performing.

 

"Harran is in need of new classrooms. We wanted to contribute to the building of new classrooms in Harran by donating 4.500 TL generated by the Cur-cuna. With the support of our District Governor, we built a new classroom for our school. Seeing that classroom makes me proud of my colleagues and myself." says Selcuk Var.

 

In a place where once the time never passed, Selcuk Var developed a project that engaged teachers of the Buldum Elementary School with an activity, help them get connected to Harran and watch the time flow by.

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