an unusual name, it makes one wonder what may be behind it. One day I came
across a story on facebook about a batik course in Girne where people created
length of fabric in batik art for charity reasons under the supervision of
Ismet Hilmioğlu, an expert in this art. It made me curious and I contacted Oya
Kutsal who, as I learnt later, is the Head of the Girne Evkav Volunteers for
Kindness Group. I wanted to buy some of this batik material as it is my general
attitude to buy from artists and craftsmen when I am looking for presents for
family and friends.
I had acquired three beautiful batik lengths at her house, I asked Oya Kutsal to tell me a bit more
about the background and history of Evkaf İyilik Gönüllüleri / The Evkav
Volunteers for Kindness.
started with the very beginning, which is back to the roots and as one of the
principles of the Evkav Foundation.
is a foundation that administrates properties through trusts to help the poor
and needy and to meet all the vital necessities of the society. For some reason
this principle had been neglected in the past. When Ibrahim Benter was
appointed as the new head of Evkav, he started to bring this main principle to
the foreground again and supported the realization of the idea of Evkaf Volunteers
for Kindness as a bridge between the society and Evkaf. It took some years to
find volunteers to work for this aim. I accepted to be the leader of the Girne
Evkaf Volunteers for Kindness about two and a half years ago. Now we have
leaders in every area. Dr. Nurçin İncirli is the leader of Güzelyurt, Özlem Kadirağa is the leader of Famagusta,
Mustafa Samil is the leader of Nicosia. Each leader has his/her own team. But
there is a great will of cooperation between the various area leaders. Here is
an official link with more detailed information on Evkav.
are a very well organized group with a dense network. We cooperate very professionally
and solve the problems immediately. Especially recently, with the pandemic
controlling our lives, we were ready almost in ten minutes. I can say that we
became very visible during the pandemic and we have gained the respect of all during
those hard times.”
are the targets of the individual groups because I think that all areas have
different problems they have to work on, I was asking.
area has its own targets. In problematic times though, all groups work together
but normally we work for our own targets. We, the Girne Evkaf Volunteers for Kindness,
have a wide range of duties. We work for the environment, for historical
monuments, animals and for groups of people in need. We work not only for
Cyprus we work for all the people in need. For example we are helping a school
for the disabled in Kenya, we sent toys to Syria, we had worked for Samos and
Izmir after the earthquake and also for a Lebanese hospital after the horrid
explosion they experienced. .... For us humanity has no barrier of language,
religion or race.”
do you go about the various projects, for example environment?
it is mainly about creating awareness, sort of grassroot activities, standing
up at roundabouts with banners saying ‘PUT YOUR TRASH INTO YOUR BIN; THE ROADS
ARE NEITHER A BIN NOR AN ASHTRAY’ There is a special team who takes care of
island wide clean-ups. Just recently on Sunday, December 06, they worked
together with ÇADER to clean the Coronaro Beach, and we published the activity
to further create awareness.”
I have seen it and everybody talked about it, a seriously needed activity,
admonishing and educating society through example and discipline.
does your work concerning monuments involve?
try to assess all historical monuments in documentaries. Under ‘Metruk Tarihler
Ülkesi’ on internet you’ll find some youtube videos I have been doing together
with Genç TV on historical places and their background, for example here on
Lefkoşa, there are others such as about Esentepe, Balalan, or Karmi etc. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aPbgy4RPkaKKictivithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9aPbgy4RPkies you
were doing? Now presently you K
You mentioned the art and handicraft workshops, you get together
and create things for sale and then donate the income for charity?
“Yes, for example we painted stones and sold them for the
earthquake victims in Izmir and Samos; we did and still continue the Batik
Workshop for cancer patients, for the Lapta Nursing Home for the Elders but
also for the poor in Yemen.”
Do you have a website where people can follow you?
“Yes, we have, as part of Evkav: http://www.evkaf.org/site/sayfa.aspx?pkey=234
But we are also on facebook as Girne group https://www.facebook.com/Girne-%C4%B0yilik-G%C3%B6n%C3%BCll%C3%BCleri-291842701729398/
Or in general for all groups: https://www.facebook.com/iyilikgonulluleri/
you, Oya and also to all the other groups for doing this great job. I will
certainly follow you. I wish you all the support and success.
In the meantime, after the interview
which took place over several days, with questions going to and fro, I had the
opportunity to dig into the many information I have been given and do some
research on internet. My respect to all
of you, you are doing a great job for society and humanity.