Many students need books to inspire their interest and understanding of the subjects they study. Classroom supplies are always crucial for students to have a positive experience to help encourage their continued excitement to learn. However, some schools lack these very basic needs in the classroom. That is what BirSilgiBirKalem.org was created for. They enable people to fund school projects posted by teachers. Requests range from pencils and paper at an elementary school in the small town of Bilecik to classic children books for a class in Kars learning about world literature.
BirSilgiBirKalem.org was launched in 2011. During the early years, the initial team was fueled with aspiration and almost constant excitement. They were anxious about reaching their goals and finding donors who would respond to the needs of the schools. Then, they got official support from the Ministry of Education and have secured important sponsorships. In no time, the donors started to respond to needs.
From pencils to printers, teachers list their classroom needs at BirSilgiBirKalem.org. You can either make your purchase online and the organization takes care of the shipment; or you can buy your gifts and ship them directly. Either way, when your gift reaches its destination, the teacher posts a photo of the students with a thank you letter. This way, you know where your contribution goes exactly and have a chance to see the impact you made.
When BirSilgiBirKalem was first established, they thought that tech devices such as computers and projectors would be the most demanded materials by schools. However, they soon realized that the need for more basic necessities such as books, world maps and notebooks is bigger. The organization raised 848,719 TL, helped more than 2,547 schools, and funded over 2,134 projects that have aided the education of more than 85,360 students in just five years. The program has an audacious vision: to harness the power of the people to create change. “We want to use our site to galvanize people to give,” they say, “but also to take important steps towards real change in addressing educational needs.”
At TPF, every chance we get we leaf through the carefully lettered, colorfully illustrated thank-you notes and pictures from students that we receive from BirSilgiBirKalem. The notes and pictures express unbridled enthusiasm and gratitude to the people who’ve made these projects come to life. To us, they are like sunbeams, lighting up the darkness one pencil at a time. Take a look at BirSilgiBirKalem’s page and the heartwarming photos of the students.