Turkey's Changemakers: Selma Demirelli continues to give hope to women living in quake-torn Düzce
So far, 500 children have benefited from the cooperative’s preschool services.During the summer months of 2012, the Sabancı Foundation’s Turkey’s Changemakers program has continued 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 Turkey’s Changemakers Program have been revisited 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 Düzce earthquake of 1999 but then held on tight to life, became a Changemaker in the second season of the program. She brought women together in Düzce 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.
So far, 500 children have benefited from the cooperative’s preschool services and 48 women have received housing support. Nearly 2,000 women and children have been supported in terms of early childhood education and development. Also, around 250 women have had the opportunity to benefit from microcredit 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.