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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” 

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Yazgi Akata_edited.jpg

As a kid, I had a strong idea of “the good guys” and “the bad guys”. Good would only do good, and bad would only do bad, acting according to their chosen strict role. World seemed like a moon cookie, a canvas of pure black and white. This idea really stuck with me until I realized that the existence of darkness and light was not because of pre-chosen roles, more so light occurred because someone among all decides to bring it. Not perfectly, not wholly but to the extent of their capability… A driving force of creativity, not being happy with the current state and finding a solution towards the better is what changes our world and makes it better. YGA Bilim Seferberligi is a project like this. Briefly, Bilim Seferberligi is an initiative associated with Young Guru Academy. It aims to bring the heart of science and technology to the children in disadvantaged areas, and encourage questioning and constructive mindsets. Since I am not an expert about the project, I will just leave a link for more information about the project down below. 


During this break I had the chance of witnessing and working with people, who are passionate about what they do and do what they do from the bottom of their heart, transforming lives. With YGA, we went to Defne, Hatay, which was one of the most impacted places from the February 6th earthquake. 


This was an emotionally intense experience. After seeing the ruins, which were still there even after almost a full year, in Defne, one could not help but feel furious about the malpractices and the ignorance around the malpractices that led to a whole municipality crumbling into pieces, the death of millions of lives, which could easily be prevented. In the meantime, working closely with bright kids, seeing the light and the joy of building something together, exploration and science brought into their eyes gave me hope. Working together with the kids on the Twin Sets felt very similar to my experience as an undergraduate teaching assistant. Getting to know the teachers, who stood tall and strong when everything around them crumbled into pieces, who decisively took action to stay and transform inspired me. It was healing to be there for a good reason, to take action to transform young minds so that such disasters don’t happen again and to know that there is a whole community that poured their hearts into this cause. Despite the conditions, our hosts welcomed us so warmly. At the time we went it was the time of New Year celebrations in the region. Our teachers also provided delicious dishes that they prepared. This way we also experienced authentic food of Hatay, which is a city famous for its culinary. It was also my first time visiting Hatay. In the classroom, we also had a four-legged guest. ☺ After our workshop, on our way back to the airport we also had “Seyir”, which is a YGA tradition. 


This was a beyond special experience, and I want to thank the Young Guru Academy for opening their hearts, including me and letting me be part of their journey as well as they became a part of mine.


Here are some visuals from this experience:


A video of the devastation in Hatay 

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