My father was especially involved and supported NGOs. But he opposed establishing family foundation, as he believed that these activities must be done by volunteers, because he thought that these activities were work of the heart. My father used to tell us, “You support NGOs, the charity should be anonymous” and we did so. But after his death, we established a foundation on behalf of my beloved father, for research in food which is our area of expertise.
One of the projects we are very proud of the Sabri Ulker Foundation, which is still Turkey’s most comprehensive and sustainable training project; “Balanced Diet” for children in primary schools. With the aim of raising healthy generations, we started teaching in four pilot provinces in cooperation with the T.C. Ministry of National Education. In 2018/19 Academic Year, project continued in 750 primary schools in Sinop, Trabzon, Ankara, Adana, Bursa, Eskisehir and Rize. The project has reached over 6 million students, parents and teachers in total. The message of the “Balance Diet” project was simple; you must feed yourselves in a balance way, all you have to do is learn how to create balance. Within time I visit various schools in these cities and met with school principals, teachers and parents while participating in the “Balance Diet” lessons with the children. I honestly believe it’s a working project.
On this occasion, I would like to thank all our teachers and parents who supported the project. Naturally, we had to take a break during the pandemic. But now, we will continue our support for the project with our full strength and ask support of teachers and parents. The training materials of the project can be downloaded free of charge from the website www.yemektedenge.org. My own children even have grown up by following the principles of Balanced Diet.
Also, as an inspiration from this project, we prepared books for children in various age groups that teach healthy life and nutrition rules and increase curiosity towards science by Sabri Ulker Foundation in early 2020. They are all carefully selected works regarding child pedagogy. The books are printed with non-toxic ink at affordable prices and distributed through Sok Market for all parents and children in Turkey. To date, 12 different kind of books are delivered, including Healthy Living Rules (6), Wonder Science (4), Kukuli Healthy Live and Nutrition (2).
Guess how many books have met with the children in about seven months in total? 450 thousand books.
These books especially help parents who want to educate and entertain their children at home during the pandemic. I wonder how many books are sold for children as a bench; the best-selling children’s book in Turkey was the Little Prince and predicted 300,000 copies a year. Now I know Sabri Ulker Foundation Children’s Books succeeded in short time. I congratulate all my friends who contributed. Meanwhile, the fourth project titled “Improve Your Health”, books are delivered at a very reasonable price, 30 cents. Our motto is; “There should be no child who has not read a book”. We target to publish one million books on wellness, nutrition and science annually to meet every child all around Turkey.
I think our Yildiz Holding motto “make happy, be happy” has been well embraced within all our institutions. You see, when it comes to children nothing can stop us to make children happy.
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