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Old 14th June 2016, 11:37   #1 (permalink)
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An Inspiring Story

Every now and then I hear of stories that makes me sit back in awe re the determination of people who strive to get on in life who face huge obstacles but are still determined to succeed. Two days ago we answered a knock on our door to find a big smiling 25 year old we had not seen in 5 years. He hails from Diyarbakir province and we first met him when he was employed as a watchman on our complex - aged 20 . We became friendly and this was him making a special journey to come and thank my wife for starting him on his road to achieving his life goal.

He was an unusual lad in our experience of adult males who had come to the Aegean region from South East Turkey - he was hugely principled, hard working, respectful and above all - trustworthy .People may not like these comments but believe me I have every reason to hold such views given our experiences .
He had originally left the family home in Diyarbakir province when he was aged 14. Disillusioned with his education and totally against his family's wishes he went to Istanbul, attended school there and lived in a hostel. Aged 18, he started up a gardening business with 2 elder cousins but that failed due to the misuse of business monies to meet the elder cousins unrealistic lifestyle - expensive cars and good living. He had an overwhelming desire to learn English as that was a pre- requisite to kick start his dream of going to university to do a degree in English. So he ended up on our majority UK owner complex - as a watchman/ security staffmember. By far the youngest of the staff there, who all came from the South East, he was very quietly spoken and did his job diligently ,with pride and according to the book. He never fell sleep during his nightshift (something his colleagues couldn't claim) and he was always smart, respectful and not open to “under the radar” opportunities that sometimes came his way. Interestingly, his elder colleagues treated him with the utmost respect.

My wife ( who is a UK qualified teacher) used to spend hours giving him free English lessons and homework during his spare time. He spent 12 months on our site before succumbing to family pressure to go back home to the South East. He learned to drive and passed his test very quickly. However he yearned to go to university and he got very down at his family’s opposition to him leaving his village community . Undeterred, he applied for foreign scholarships eg USA, Europe. He duly was offered a scholarship to go to St Petersburg University in Russia but his father would not give him " permission" to accept it. One year later, very down and disheartened, and much against the will of his parents ( it still preys on his mind that his mother stated she would never forgive him if he left the family home ) he returned to Istanbul .His heart was still set on going to university. Again he appled for scholarships. This time around, he received one offer - a full 4 year scholarship to attend university in Karachi to do an honours degree course in English. Despite the known risks and volatility in that country he accepted the offer. He is now in hs 4th and final year. In his spare time he teaches English to young children in very deprived areas. He wants to give something back to the country that gave him this opportunity. A measure of this 26 year old lad is that he pays one 11 year old student to attend his voluntary classes. The young boy is one of the millions of children involved in the child labour sweatshops. For the 5 hour period that was involved in attending the English tuition, this 11 year old would be losing the equivalent of £2 wages. Rather than see the young boy default the classes , our 26 year old Turkish friend pays the young boy so that he can continue to attend classes. Truly admirable in my opinion.
The money used by our friend to fund such children comes from the “earners” he has from the university, Turkish Embassy and Pakistani govt. He is frequently used as a translator and facilitator by these agencies in Karachi. - he is now fluent in English, Urdu and Sindhi.
Apologies if I have bored some of you but I just thought that his story was so inspiring and a motivating example to others who face huge cultural, social and economic obstacles to achieving their dreams in life. We have hugely enjoyed the last 2 days that this young man has stayed in our house and we just wish it could have been longer.

Last edited by WIDDRINGTON; 14th June 2016 at 12:52..
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inspiring , story

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