Selma Demirelli Special Episode
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Selma Demirelli Continues to Give Hope to the Women Living in Earthquake-torn Duzce

During the summer months of 2012, Sabancı Foundation’s Turkey’s Changemaker’s program continues to share the unique stories of extraordinary people who contribute to social development. In these special “before-after” episodes, people from the first and second seasons of Turkeys Changemakers Program are re-visited to report the changes and developments in their work and lives since they were first on the show.

Selma Demirelli, who lost her family in the devastating Duzce earthquake in 1999 but then held on tight to life, became a Changemaker in the second season of the program. She brought women together in Duzce after she started working in a center for Women and Children supported by the Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work (FSWW). In order to find a solution to for women’s housing problems and economic instability, she established the Water Lily Women’s Cooperative. After she was invited to Turkey’s Changemakers Program in April 2011, the activities of the Cooperative have expanded steadily. Until today 500 children have benefited from the preschool services and 48 women received housing support. Nearly 2000 women and children were supported in terms of early childhood education and development. Also, around 250 women had the opportunity to benefit from micro credit programs.


Selma Demirelli is still supporting women and children through programs in the Cooperative and continues to make a difference in people’s lives with her new “Industrial Kitchen” project.

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