A philanthropist spends his fortune to educate his children

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Nuran Çakmakçı – ISTANBUL

An 89-year-old retired nurse has devoted her entire life to educating children, spending all the money she has earned in six decades building schools and kindergartens across the country.

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“I couldn’t go to school because my parents wouldn’t allow it. All children should do it, especially girls, ”İfakat Yavuz told the Hürriyet daily on January 1, referring to his efforts.

Yavuz was born into a family of seven siblings in the village of Gökçe in the northern province of Vakfıkebir district in Trabzon on December 15, 1933.

When she was little, she attended the construction of a primary school in her village. “I carried sandbags to the construction site, dreaming of having an education in this school after it was built,” she said.

But his dream did not come true. Yavuz’s parents did not allow him to go to school because “she was a girl”.

“I never had a pencil or eraser in my childhood. I’ve had regret for this all my life, ”she added.

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Her life changed when she was hospitalized for three months at the age of 16 with rheumatism. She wanted to serve people as “nurses in this hospital”.

Learning to read and write on her own, she began to correspond with her cousin, who was a nurse in Istanbul, to learn more about the profession.

Her new life began when she came to Istanbul to meet her cousin at the age of 19.

After graduating from out-of-school education, she became a nurse at Samatya State Hospital. During her 60 years of profession, she saved money for the education of children.

She has spent all her money building schools and kindergartens across the country. By donating money to charity, she recently gave the last piece of her fortune to Darüşşafaka, a Turkish educational association founded to train apprentices.

“I was brought up with a ‘boys can go to school, girls can’t’ mentality. I could hardly get an education. This is why I gave all my money to educate the children; it doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl, ”she noted.


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