Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 5934

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Caretta Caretta...Voyage to Turquoise
Category: 7. Health and the Environment

School: Eastern Mediterranean College
    Famagusta, Famagusta, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

4 students, ages 16-15-15-15 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 24, 2009. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2004

Classes and Teachers: Guncem Kinay Goksan, Sevim Erol, Mert, Yilmaz, Burcu, Merve

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Generally speaking people are not using resources wisely and they don’t protect the environment around them. This is leading the world into serious chaos like global warming. Hence, we put an endangered species, sea turtles, into the frame and observed what could be done to protect them. Our team consists of Mert (16), Yilmaz (15), Burcu (15) and Merve (15) Burcu is the workaholic and she designed the website. For the past two years she improved her website design skills immensely. While her age makes her sound young and naive, she is extremely good in using her intelligence. She is the brain of the group. Mert is the researcher of the team. He started the project rolling and coordinated the event. He visited the Environment Club gathering material and photographs. He contacted Mr. Asaf Senol who is the coordinator who started the conservation projects with UNDP, USAID and UNOPS. Merve is an extremely intelligent personality. She is very efficient in conducting research. She the group perfectly with her knowhow on sea turtles. She planned the whole event perfectly. Yilmaz had so many fantastic ideas. He is an intelligent person and he has different ideas most of the time. He helped us a great deal in designing our web site and animations became more meaningful due to his vreative style. Mrs. Guncem Kinay Goksan is our supervisor. She is extremely diligent in her work as ICT teacher. Hard work is her strength. She helped Burcu in website design. Never say die attitude is her trademark. Ms.Sevim Erol is the school’s librarian. She could work for 24 hours without complaining! She is extremely polite and she has a heart which wouldn’t even hurt an ant (local saying!) That’s why we called her “The Aunt”. She is the master in Googling.

2. Summary of Our Project

We are interested in Sea Turtles in general and Caretta Carettas specifically because they are under danger of extinction. We are sure it’s not too late to rescue those animals and we think the first thing we could do is to inform other people about the ways how we can rescue them and create public awareness starting from our own community.

We started by collecting information about what is being done globally and included measurements taken locally. We tried to create awareness starting from our school and spreaded it over to local community by way of different media channels. This is tailor made to the theme of “Think Globally, Act Locally”. If we are to approach the problem systematically we should start creating awareness starting from our own community. Sea Turtles have been visiting our sunny and beach rich island for many years. Caretta Caretta has become a local hero and these species can easily be associated to our history and identity. As the global warming and pollution is making life difficult on earth and seas, sea turtles who needs crystal clear sea and noisless and clean beaches are finding it difficult to cope with it. We conducted interviews, visited specialist groups all for the sake of gaining more information and becoming more conscious about sea turtles. All for the sake of helping lovely turtles to survive and more importantly grow in numbers by acting locally and help to save them globally.

There are some people providing financial help to charities involved with turtles. We are putting our efforts into this cause mainly by starting from the scratch. This will be done by educating people at younger ages. Creating the awareness and acting accordingly is the way to it. All for the sake of a better world for the sea turtles.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The busy timetable at school limited our working schedule. We have finished our project but we had some ideas which couldn’t be materialised. However, it is a good idea that CyberFair allows projects to continue on for the coming years and we will have upgrading opportunity. Afterall, this is a great chance to come to terms with realities of life and plan what should be done about it in the future. In other words, our project does not end here and infact everything is starting after the project will be put into the air. Thus, with an army of aware youngsters we are ready to act to make our beaches a better place for the sea turtles.

Some friends live far away from school and sometimes these friends couldn’t come to meetings. Hwever, we did more than our best to complete this project successfully by working during the weekends and compensate for the lost time. It was crucial that we had to work together in a team spirit and take the decisions together.

Last of all, and may be the most crucial one, we were aware that we had to act locally but we concentrated on acting globally. Hence, we decided that the web site should be prepared for the teenagers and we planned to learn Flash program so that we could present our case in an animated caricature format. However, mastering Flash program was not an easy task and it needed lots of patience while learning it which is not easy at all for 15 years old energetic students. We would like to thank our coaches for all their patience and the people they received assistance while bringing our skills to an adequate level.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Diplomacy is an art of handling a situation skiklfully. In other words, the objective could be hard to attain but ways of persuading people should be tried patiently. Hence, the key to this is gathering lots of information (learning your stuff perfectly) and using it skilfully in creating awareness in the mass of people.

We worked as a team throughout the project to put our plans into action skilfully towards creating awareness amongst our peers. After we created this awareness in our school we started spreading our knowhow to our local people by using media channels. Having to do lots of research on the internet, arrange and do interviews helped us to present our project better.This project certainly made us walk away from the classroom and still gain a vast amount of knowledge concerning our culture. This was a step in learning that education is as effective in the fields as in the classroom and we believe that we have more self confidence and self esteem after we finished the project. We strongly believe that every human being should first of all think about a better world to live in and start helping this cause by acting locally.

6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Until now we used to read other people’s views and do little questioning. This time we had to prepare something for other people. We had a role of learning first and then organising what we had learned and trying to send the messages we wanted other people to receive. We learned to question in great deal. We learned to think critically. We had to listen carefully and understand what was being told to us and this is something not included in our curriculum. When we started this project we thought we knew lots of the facilities available on the computer. Then we discovered that we knew very little. We surfed a lot on the internet. Just because most of the things are cooked and served in front of us we tend to think that most of the things are “easy stuff”. Not at all friends! When we rolled our sleeves and started to learn Flash, then we discovered how life could be difficult. But in the end we know one more facility of computing and let us tell you that preparing a page by using Flash is a hell of a matter. You learn how to work with patience and; certainly, appreciate what other people does quickly. Another learning experience was working as a team. Shouldering responsibility, organising division of labour, criticizing without harming feelings, and covering ground as a group of people is what we did. Sharing became a pert of our lives. We felt more stronger than ever before.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?

1. Mobile Telephone:To contact with each other, to arrange interviews and to discuss each day’s work. 2. Digital camera:To frame anything which looked interesting, to capture resources as many as we can and then load it to our computers without too much of a hustle and certainly without having it to be printed by the local photographer. 3. Computer & the Internet: : P4 1.6 GHZ, 256 MB RAM, 10.4 GB HDD. For editing photos, recording findings, sending and receiving e-mail’s, surfing for more information, 4. Computer software: Photoshop, Paint ShopPro8, Macromedia Flash MX, Microsoft Office XP. 5. Scanner: To scan some interesting old pictures of craftswoman and newspaper articles. 6. Tape recorder: We used it in interviews. 7. Photocopier: To read photocopied articles at home.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line and in person.

We made lots of friends during this project. Most of the people are experienced people involved in conservation of sea turtles and they know us just like we know them. We will be in a better posiion to organise volunteering activities stating from this summer and continuing every year. Our school will become a centre in this volunteering activities.

We contacted all the newspapers during our project and our activites convinced journalists that our project was worthwhile to find good coverage in their newspapers. In other words, our knowledge and communication skills played a significant role in geting through our messages in the way that we planned it initially. What better way to act as ambassadors?

We would like to mention that on the day that we finished our web site and while we were putting the last touches we received an interview program request from the TV station which reaches to the highest number of audience. Hence, we took the chance by both hands and we had an interview which will be screened nationwide during the coming days. The feeling of talking to cameras was very exciting. It certainly takes some time to get adjusted to it but you are aware that time has slipped away and the camera is on! This event is a true reflection of our objective. Our project will be on air on March 24 but everything for the sake of a safer planet for the turtles will be starting from now on. In short, we believe that we are not undressing to become ambassadors anymore. The public and media are choosing each one of us at Eastern Mediterranean College to act like an ambassador to the kingdom of sea turtles!

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Our project will certainly create a better awareness towards the difficulties sea turtles face while trying to survive. Most of our peers now have a better pictire in their minds that if we want to continue to enjoy the beauites our world present to us than every person must act accordingly and put in his share of responsibility. It is nio good sitting at home and hope that everything will work out fine! Other people around the world will be more consciouss about the sea turtles and how to use local beaches. Our web site is the bridge between acting local and thinking global.

We are in direct contact with the Department Of Environment, Cyprus Turtle Conservation Club and Environment Club of Eastern Mediterranean University (just to name a few) all over our country who devoted themselves to protect and conserve the lives of sea turtles. We are in direct relationship with these people and they feel that our participation into their cause and with our project they will have a good support from the up and coming youngsters of Cyprus in the very near future.

The feedback we received is that we are sure that there will be many youngsters from our school acting a s volunteers starting from this summer. All for the sake of seeing more turtles in the turquoise. An army of teenagers with awareness to the problem is a weapon no one could stand against.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Our group leader helped us a lot while designig the web site and gave us lots of ideas. This was a great help because we certainly wanted to get our messages across very clearly. We believe that due to this support we have a good web site to send our message globally. On the local side we have many teenagers to act as volunteerts during the hatching period of sea turtles.

Since our project received coverage in the media we are receiving calls and e-mail messages from citizens of Famagusta and other cities and the people are interested to play their part in the conservation of sea turtles. There are families whom would like to make donations to help us for our expenses of leaflets and brochures. Our sister organization, Eastern Mediterranean University is planning a seminar which we will be invited as guest speakers. Additionally, our school’s web site is receiving e-mails from people abroad who are interested in gaining more information about conservation of sea turtles. At the same time some clubs from abroad are replying to our messages and sending us information about their activities.

Additionally, Kibrisonline provided us free web space to present our project.

All the people volunteering to help the turtles also provided us great support and we would like to thank them. We would like to single out Mr. Asaf Senol because his web site and immense knowledge on sea turtles certainly helped us to have a clear ideas about sea turtles.

Our teachers and school management provided us lots of help during this project and we know that without their support and motivation this projec5t would not have been succesful.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Love and friendship should not be limited with human beings only. If there is care for all the species and flora on earth than friendship and love becomes more meaningful.

The older generations should do all the best they can to teach the younger generations the beauties evident in the world. Thus, sharing and helping to other living organisims becomes meaningful. Every child may start to care for flora and other species if we rightly teach them their importance.

This project certainly showed us that sea turtles are amongst the most beautiful creatures on earth. We are now aware that after thousands of hatchlings open their eyes only 1 percent is able to survive. Since this is the uinberable truth than we must do everything we can to present them a better place to live in.

After this project we are aware that we must learn more about what goes around us and in the world. This is crucial for a better quality lifestyle.

There is another great learning after we finished this project. Nowadays we are more aware that the world used to be more practical place to live in. We feel that we started something worthwhile because we have only one country to live on and share everything on it and if we try to conserve all the species around us than we will have a better world to live in. One for all, all for one that is!!


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 5934)

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