An enormous earthquake that devastated Turkey’s eastern region on February 6, 2023, left a path of devastation and ruin in its wake. Thousands of people were left homeless and hurt by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake, which also destroyed homes, buildings, and infrastructure. Kültür 2000 College and Kültür College joined the community in providing aid to people in need in the wake of the tragedy.

As part of Istanbul Kültür Educational Institutions (IKEK), Kültür 2000 College and Kültür College are private schools that are dedicated to promoting academic excellence, global citizenship, and cultural understanding. Both institutions adhere to the International Baccalaureate (IB) educational philosophy, which places an emphasis on enabling students to become active, compassionate learners throughout their lives.

The vision and mission of the Kültür schools were put into practice as they worked to aid individuals impacted by the disaster in the days following the earthquake. The schools understood the value of giving back to the community and assisting those in need because of their strong emphasis on global citizenship. They quickly gathered their resources and started fundraising campaigns to help the victims.

All the stakeholders of the schools’ communities, including parents, students, instructors, and staff, overwhelmingly supported their efforts. Together they collected large quantities of donations and goods, including food, water, clothing, and medical supplies.

The way the Kültür schools handled the earthquake is a testament to the effectiveness of education in bringing about positive change and improving people’s lives. The schools showed their dedication to creating students who are not only academically strong, but also socially responsible and compassionate by putting their IB education philosophy into practice.

Additionally, Turkish private schools have launched an initiative to welcome visiting students who were impacted by the tragic earthquake. These children have received assistance from the schools in the form of education and housing. Students who lost their homes, schools, or had to relocate as a result of the earthquake are now welcome in the schools. The aim is to provide these students with a secure environment so they can complete their studies uninterrupted. This initiative by Turkish private schools is a touching example of how groups of people can come together to support one another during difficult times.

The well-being of members of the two schools’ own students was taken into consideration as well. For students, Kültür schools also launched educational campaigns that attempted to spread knowledge about the earthquake and its effects on the local population. The schools believed that by implementing these programs, their students would develop greater empathy and understanding, leading to a rise in their level of civic engagement.

From a 2nd Year DP Student

“The earthquake on February 6, 2023, affected everyone deeply. Even though we didn’t really experience the earthquake in İstanbul, our hearts beat with those who experienced this earthquake and tried to get news from their relatives or loved ones. We followed the news day and night, and it was incredibly disappointing as we were unable to intervene. It was a tragic and significant event for our entire nation and us; we decided to organize and get involved in campaigns at our school from fundraising to packing the goods and clothing we purchased. My emotions as a DP student who was actively involved in these activities were a mix of sympathy for the victims, resolve to make a difference, and appreciation for the chance to assist. A strong sense of duty and empathy was sparked by seeing the results of our work.”

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