Turkey’s Changemakers: Teacher Dilek changes the destiny of a village
The Sabancı Foundation’s Turkey’s Changemakers Program continues in its 6th season to share the unique stories of extraordinary people who have contributed to social development. The 14th Changemaker of the 6th season is Dilek Livaneli.
Livaneli has been in the profession of teaching for 13 years, the last six years of which she spent in the Kumköy Primary School in the Black Sea province of Samsun. She has undertaken many projects in this small village as a teacher, employee and manager of the school.
Livaneli teaches four different classes in a single classroom in the village school in Kumköy. She also carries out projects for adults and children living in the village outside of her working hours. Livaneli started with the “My School Regenerating” project. She transformed a room in the school into a hobby room. She developed tens of projects so that her students were better equipped to participate in life. She helped introduce her students to ice skating, opera, cinema and theater for the first time. Livaneli’s efforts helped the students in the small village school to not fall behind their peers.
She developed projects not only for her students but also for the people living in Kumköy. She gave literacy courses for illiterate women in the community and founded a shoe atelier with the support of private and public institutions to empower women in the community. This helped the local women develop their self-confidence and gain economic independence.
Livaneli is an idealist. Due to her successful initiatives, she was nominated for the 2015 Global Teacher Prize by the Varkey Gems Foundation, the honorary chairman of which is former U.S. president Bill Clinton. She became the first Turkish teacher to be selected among the top 50 teachers in the world.
She changed the destiny of a village. She made a big difference in the lives of her students at the school and in the lives of the women living in the village.