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Masalevi: Where Fairytales Come True!
March 11, 2000

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Tent village of Holidere, home of the very first Fairytale House
"...And they lived happily ever after." You recognize this famous phrase as the closing words to every great fairytale. Usually, fairytales are imaginary. But what happens when they come true?

After a horrible earthquake hit the Golcuck region of Turkey on August 16 last year, many, many homes were destroyed. People had to live in tents, in the middle of rainy, windy weather. The children who survived this earthquake must have been very scared, and must have lost many things that were important to them. Lucky for them, a real-life fairy godfather was there to help. His name was Ercu, and he built a 'Fairytale House' for the children of the Golcuck region. Here, every day, kids' dreams come true and fairytales become a reality.

Ercu's dedication and the magical sparkle in his eye reminded me never to lose hope and to do what I can to help those in need. We can all play a significant role! At the Fairytale House, a group of volunteers spend their time nurturing children and families who desperately need their help. I decided the best thing to do was to visit the Fairytale Houses and see for myself. When I arrived, I saw the bright smiling faces of dozens of cheerful, beautiful children pouring into the Fairytale tent house.

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Necdet, Father of Masalevi, with two Holidere village children.
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Jazz with a sign the kids drew that says
"Necdet Kutlucan, the Father of Masalevi, looks proudly on at two Holidere village boys who are smiling, happy and healthy again."

It only took a few minutes for the children and me to get past our language barrier, and then the day full of fun and games whizzed by. I took pictures of the kids with a digital camera, and instantly showed them their portraits on the camera screen. By noon, the Fairytale House tent was bursting with energy and activity. We colored, danced, had storytime, and even put on a theatrical performance. By the end of the day I was completely worn out. It takes a lot of energy to play! Luckily, we were all served a delicious Turkish meal at the end of the day. The Fairytale Houses proved to me that, with the help of wonderful people like Ercu, fairytales can come true!

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Two students put together puzzles at the speed of light! They were good!
"At Masalevi kids realize that they are a success. Volunteers help them make it through another day and remain hopeful for the next... and with such beautiful smiles"


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