Gedikpasa Armenian School

$8,505 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 59 people in 51 months
Shooshan Kechichian  WASHINGTON, DC
My name is Shooshan Kechichian.

As an Armenian American living here in Turkey, I want to tell you about a group of largely forgotten Armenian kids here in Istanbul.

I'm talking about the children of workers from Armenia, young boys and girls whose parents have come to Turkey to find jobs, but who don't have official documentation.

They want to learn, they deserve an education, but they need our help.

The problem is that these largely invisible kids have fallen through cracks in the system. Turkish law prohibits "undocumented" children from attending either public school or minority status Turkish-Armenian schools.

The good news is that there is a solution.

Wonderful Armenians - friends of mine - are running a remarkable school - the Gedikpasa "Hrant Dink" Armenian School in Istanbul - offering year-round educational services for these forgotten families. This school, the only one of its kind, provides a safe and nurturing educational environment for approximately 150 children from Pre-School through 8th grade.

The kind souls running this small school are caring as the children they serve.

They operate out of a church basement. Underfunded and overcrowded, the 7th and 8th graders don't have classrooms and are taught while sitting in the pews of the chapel. Funding for 14 teachers, a great cook and a kind janitor come from tuition, paid by families barely able to make ends meet. They simply can't do it on their own.

Please open your heart for these forgotten children. Every penny you can give will go directly to the School, and make a real difference in the lives of these students.

Help us defray the cost of school lunches ($700 a week), dishwasher detergent ($70 a month) or buy the six blankets  we need for pre-schoolers to use during naptime. We also need two laundry drying racks, a clothes dryer, three security cameras, three microphones, beginner English-language learning CDs, cleaning supplies, kitchen equipment, educational toys and just about anything else a simple school requires.

I will be visiting the school often and will make periodic updates. Thank you so much for your support!

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Update 14
Posted by Shooshan Kechichian
37 months ago
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Hello friends,

As we enter this season of giving, it is with great pleasure that I announce that the goal for my campaign has been exceeded!

The generous folks at Go Fund Me are giving back this holiday season and they chose my campaign to award $1000! I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the nominator and to Go Fund Me for their kindness and their compassion.

I also wanted to share that last week, the 6th, 7th and 8th graders (our last group) went on a field trip to Miniaturk. The municipality was kind enough to provide free bus service, so the campaign only needed to cover the cost of the entrance which was 93TL.

More updates to come and we consider how we will spend the extra $1000!

Although my campaign has officially met its goal, there is still lots to be done for this school. If you are interested in donating $30 to cover one month's school expenses of a needy student, $150 to cover half the year or $300 to cover a full year's tuition, then contact me!

With love,
Shooshan

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Update 13
Posted by Shooshan Kechichian
38 months ago
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Hi Friends,

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I'm very happy to share a few pictures from Monday's outing. With your generosity, we were able to take the kindergarten class and the 1st and 2nd graders to the zoo! This was their FIRST EVER visit to a zoo and they were overjoyed!

The zoo entrance was 912 TL for 76 children and we spent 950 TL on transportation for a total of 1,862TL.

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

With love,
Shooshan
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Update 12
Posted by Shooshan Kechichian
38 months ago
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Hello Friends,

I am happy to report, that because of your generosity, we were able to take children from grades 3, 4 and 5 to the Istanbul Aquarium last week!

We paid 1100TL or $378 for 48 students and 3 teachers to enter the aquarium. In addition, we paid 450TL or $154 for transportation.

When I started this campaign for the Gedikpasa Armenian School, I knew that I wanted a portion of the funds to benefit the children directly. Although the school provides a loving and enriching atmosphere, space constraints do not allow for the children to run around outside; and financial restraints make field trips an impossibility.

Just look at the happy faces!

We have trips planned for the children in the other grades, too. Stay tuned!

With love,
Shooshan
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Update 11
Posted by Shooshan Kechichian
40 months ago
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Hello Friends!

I just wanted to send a quick update on our efforts! The Gedikpasa Hrant Dink Armenian School has officially begun their 2015-16 school year. This September, our campaign awarded $3,000 in scholarships. This covers full tuition for five children and a grant of $300 toward a 6th child's tuition. The remaining funds have been earmarked for a school field trip to the Istanbul Aquarium.

Attached is a thank you letter to the friends and family of our campaign for their very generous donations.

We are still $750 shy of our goal so please spread the word!

Any funding that remains after the aquarium trip will be awarded as scholarships to the neediest children.

Thank you for your generosity! It's a wonderful feeling to make a difference in the education of such wonderful deserving children!

Stay tuned for updates on our trip to the aquarium!

With love,
Shooshan
Official Thank you letter from school
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$8,505 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 59 people in 51 months
Created November 7, 2014
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$200
Anonymous
37 months ago
TT
$1,000
The GoFundMe Team
37 months ago

We’re excited to be able to Give Back to campaigns that have touched us here at GoFundMe. We wish you the best, - The GoFundMe Team

$55
Anonymous
38 months ago
$400
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38 months ago
$100
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40 months ago
$350
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41 months ago
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43 months ago
$25
Anonymous
45 months ago
DK
$20
Dikran Kabbendjian
45 months ago

Thank you for your work.

JL
$25
Jennifer Langley
45 months ago
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