On April 1, 2010 Mr Uli Piller and his wife, representing the association, and Mrs Irene Raab from Kaleidoskop Turizm in Girne who has supported Red Dove activities from the beginning, accompanied by Leonie Brittain who had initially drawn attention to the needs of the Bülent Ecevit Rehabilitation Centre in Gönyeli, have officially presented cheques of privately donated money from Germany to the recipients: Özel Eğitim ve İs Eğitim Merkezi (the school for deaf and mute children and hard of hearing), and Bülent Ecevit Rehabilitasyon Merkezi Gönyeli (home for the elderly and chronically sick).
The daughter of the first German Ambassador in Cyprus, Mrs Ursula Schölz-Koenig, fulfilled her dream of supporting Cypriot-Turkish medical institutions in need of equipment when she founded the Charitable Association RED DOVE – KIRMIZI GÜVERCIN – in 2002. She spent part of her youth in Cyprus while her father was serving there as ambassador. In those problem (war-)stricken years of 1963 – 1964, she discovered and never lost her sympathy for the Cypriot-Turkish community and during the later years she spent there, she decided to found the association with help of many willing hands. The association and its activities also serves to keep alive the connection with their roots for those families who have come from Cyprus to live permanently in Germany, strengthening the bonds between two countries.
In 2008, the association was first able to bring a sizeable donation of private money to North Cyprus, collected by voluntary workers of the association at Christmas and Easter Markets. The amount they collected was Euro 8,500 altogether: Euro 7,000 to the Çengiz Topel Hospital in Lefke and Euro 1,500 to a school for deaf and dumb children, the Özel Eğitim ve İs Eğitim Merkezi in Lefkoşa. This last contact had been made through the Thursday Group of St. Andrews Church who also supports the school. Unfortunately, Mrs Ursula Schölz-Koenig was prevented from personally attending the presentation of the cheque in 2008 due to a severe illness, but was represented by Mr Uli Piller, the Honorary Representative of the TRNC in Germany and also a member of the board of the association who has done his part in collecting for TRNC institutions on many occasions, and Ilker Şekerzade, vice president of the association, from Güzelyurt, now living in Germany with his family.
The donation made in 2010 totals Euro 1,500, again given by private individuals in Germany, and went once more to Özel Eğitim ve İs Eğitim Merkezi, (the school for deaf and mute children) in Lefkoşa with Euro 1,000 for an urgently needed air conditioning plant and educational material. Mr Uli Piller handed over the cheque in the name of the RED DOVE to the head master Ahmet Cem Aşgar and in return was given a certificate including the many thanks to be taken home for Mrs Ursula Schölz-Koenig. Two ladies from the St. Andrews Church were also present. When the visiting group learnt that it was the birthday of one of the children, they sang for him to wish him luck. After the ceremony the delegation was led to the teachers’ office where they were invited to have a small snack and thus had the opportunity to discuss school matters with the teachers. The school also furthers professional training of those hard of hearing to enable them to earn their own living one day. The delegation was given a painting made by a boy named Mustafa who presented one of his paintings to Mr Uli Piller to take home to Mrs Schölz-Koenig as a present.
An amount of Euro 500 was allocated to a home for the elderly and chronically sick - the Bülent Ecevit Rehabilitasyon Merkezi in Gönyeli – for the acquisition of wheelchairs and air mattresses. The donation made was received by happy patients who can now be moved around the compound. The matron was not shy to discuss the need for a badly needed training bicycle for her patients and Mr Uli Piller promised to recommend this acquisition to the RED DOVE for next year’s programme.
Leonie Brittain has been visiting the Gönyeli Rehabilitation Centre for over one and a half years, since she discovered an elderly woman there who never received visitors. The centre cares not only for the elderly, some of whom suffer from dementia, but also for those with chronic conditions, such as paralysis after strokes or accidents, and those with learning difficulties. Leonie's visits have expanded to include such patients, and she tries to arrange small projects - such as a mobile concert, which took place on 19 March with the musicians moving from room to room to play for the bedridden - to make their lives less monotonous and more pleasant. The centre was short of properly functioning equipment, such as wheelchairs and air mattresses and when she mentioned this to Mrs Irene Raab, the Red Dove Association became involved.
May the Red Dove grow strong feathers for many returns to North Cyprus.
Özel Eğitim ve İs Eğitim Merkezi
School for deaf and dumb and children with defects in hearing
36 children beween the age of 4 to 17
Contact: Teacher Emirali Evcimen
Headmaster of School: Ahmet Cem Aşgar
The school is just behind the General Hospital
Burhan Nalbantoğlu Devlet Hastanesi arkasında
Şht. İbrahim İlkman Sok.Göçmenköy
Lefkoşa (BNDH Yeni polikilinik yanı
Bülent Ecevit Rehabilitasyon Merkezi Gönyeli
Behind the Mercedes Centre
Contact: Nurse / Hemsire Hatun
Tel. 223 9071/2