Learning is reading

Learning is reading

Learning is reading 

We know the many advantages of reading alone and aloud for children: from increasing concentration to better text comprehension. Learning means reading, reading connects us and reading satisfies the curiosity, thirst for adventure and hunger for knowledge of children. They can dive into the exciting world of the stories and discover unknown worlds. Or they can find answers to their questions by looking something up. To make reading something that children don’t just have to do, but actually want to do, we need more interesting and age-appropriate literature. The SARIS Foundation wants to provide incentive for reading and give as many children as possible the opportunity to experience literature. 

The Mehmet Akif Ersoy Middle School in Şanlıurfa, south-east Turkey didn’t have enough books for its 1110 students, so the SARIAS Foundation donated 5 copies of a total of 189 different books. These included both works of Turkish literature, such as Dede Korkut, Kaşağı and 87 Oğuz, as well as international literature such as The Little Prince, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Andersen’s fairy tales, Pinocchio and Tom Sawyer. The small library at the Mehmet Akif Ersoy Middle School can now begin to grow and there is something for every student to read. 

Children’s shoes for Şanlıurfa

Children’s shoes for Şanlıurfa

Children’s shoes for Şanlıurfa

The population of Turkey as of 31 December 2019 is 83,154,997, of which children between the ages of 0 and 14 account for 24.29%, making them a large and important part of the Turkish population. They are the future. We all have a responsibility to uphold children’s rights, because every child has the same right to equal treatment, health, social participation, good opportunities in life and for development, and much more besides.

The majority of children in Turkey live in rural areas and are therefore closer to nature. The children spend much of their free time there playing, running around and climbing outdoors with their friends and siblings. The SARIAS Foundation heard about a middle school in Şanlıurfa, in the south-east of Turkey, where the shoes of some pupils in the 5th to 8th grades had suffered from playing a lot of football, climbing and running around in the sometimes rough outdoor environments. They therefore lacked adequate and seasonally appropriate footwear for walking to school and attending lessons. To remedy this, in January 2021, the SARIAS Foundation asked teachers at Mehmet Akif Ersoy Secondary School to determine the children’s requirements and was subsequently able to send 45 pairs of children’s shoes to the school. 15 girls and 30 boys between the ages of 10 and 14 each received a new, warm pair of shoes. Every size between a 34 (UK size 2) and a 41 (UK size 8) was provided and the children were very happy to exchange their old shoes for new ones.

The Ethiopian fairy tale back in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian fairy tale back in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian fairy tale back in Ethiopia

What could be more natural than to introduce our beautiful picture book to children living in Ethiopia?
To achieve this, the SARIAS Foundation has organised and financed a book shipment to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. 100 of the storybooks were donated to the German Embassy School in Addis Ababa by airfreight.

There are 140 of these German schools abroad in more than 70 countries around the world. Only about every fourth pupil comes from a German family, e.g. if the parents are in the country in question for professional reasons. The others are local children or those from other countries of origin; all learning together with and from each other.

Of course, there have been and still are school closures for longer periods of time at the school in Addis Ababa because of the pandemic. So the primary school children were all the more pleased when they were allowed to return to school and found the new picture books waiting for them there. The books are distributed in the primary school classes, but will remain as stock in the school for future classes. This way many children can enjoy them for a long time to come!

We wish the children many happy hours enjoying the story and the illustrations.

The 31st Berlin Fairytale Days

The 31st Berlin Fairytale Days

The 31st Berlin Fairytale Days

This year’s Berlin Fairytale Days took place from 5th to 22nd November 2020 under the motto of “Heaven and Earth – Fairy Tales and Stories from Above and Below”.

The uniting power of fairytales is vital in a culturally diverse society. They are an immeasurable treasure trove of experiences and life lessons. Each one contains values that all of humanity has in common, such as love, friendship, loyalty, courage and dedication.

The heroes of fairytales transcend boundaries and overcome obstacles between young and old, poor and rich, East and West and, as was the case this year, between Above and Below.

Due to the necessary measures that are currently in place, for the first time the festival took place online.

We should all stay within our own homes as much as possible. What could be more natural than settling down and immersing ourselves in the realm of adventure and other worlds?

Märchenland e.V. the organiser of the Fairytale Days, has put a great deal of effort into making sure we did not have to miss out on some wonderful fairytale time despite the pandemic. A lot of events can still be accessed in digital form by anyone at any time by visiting https://berliner-maerchentage.de.

For the second time, the SARIAS Foundation contributed to the success of the Berlin Fairytale Days with financial support and its very own event. Even though a great many things were different this year, we hope our viewers young and old still enjoyed these magical fairytales!

CD launch by Atilla Aldemir

CD launch by Atilla Aldemir

CD launch by Atilla Aldemir

In 2019, the SARIAS Foundation facilitated the creation of an exceptional CD recording: Johann Sebastian Bach’s legendary Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. Born in Istanbul, Atilla Aldemir is an award-winning violinist and violist, and the solo violist of the MDR Symphony Orchestra. He performed the pieces on a viola – the first time in its history – at St Agnus Church in Köthen. The CD was launched on 6th September 2020 during the Köthen Bach Festival at the same location as it was recorded.

Entry was free of charge, although donations to the Arche Children and Youth Welfare Centre in Köthen were requested.

The Next Generation Fairy Tale Concert

The Next Generation Fairy Tale Concert

The Next Generation Fairy Tale Concert 

“The Jackal and the Goat’s Little Calf”
The setting of our Ethiopian fairy tale celebrated its première in the Konzerthaus.

Every summer, the Young Euro Classic international music festival invites the best youth orchestras from all over the world to the Berliner Konzerthaus. One of the principal focusses of the festival is inspiring the next generation to take up classical music and related art forms. It must be made easier for children in educationally deprived groups to have access to cultural participation and in many cases that access must be facilitated in the first place. When it is approachable and configured openly, culture can convey a sense of belonging that transcends the boundaries of our own way of life. It was with this in mind that Young Euro Classic collaborated with the SARIAS Foundation in 2020 to develop an innovative format for a Families Day. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic the planned programme could not take place this year. The alternative programme was no less exciting, however.

A little calf is born, but who is the father? The leopard tries to deceive the other animals. How will the other animal characters solve the dispute? Sinem Altan has now set our Ethiopian fairy tale to music for future generations. In three afternoon performances, audiences young and old (aged 6 and over) could listen to actor Nellie Thalbach lend her voice to the animals and read our fairy tale to Sinem Altan’s musical composition in the Kleiner Saal of the Konzerthaus on the Gendarmenmarkt.

Another children’s concert with performer “Hans die Wanze” took place on the Gendarmenmarkt before the event.

Photos: Kai Bienert Mutesouvenir