Pebble’s Vision

I have known Pebble Jackson purely from a distance for 4 years as a cyber friend on Turkish Living. Her posts about her life in Turkey were always an amazing read in their detail and emotional comment about life there. During her recent illness her strength of character was awe inspiring as was the way she dealt with her health problems. Most of us in the same position could descend into an orgy of selfishness but Pebble didn’’t. She was constantly thinking about other cancer sufferers and continued to post messages of support until very late prior to her death.

She was a truly remarkable woman and it was my privilege to have been one of her confidantes over the last few months before she died.Her plans for her project really motivated her and gave her such strength and willpower and you could imagine her eyes lighting up with pride in what she hoped to do.

It was a positive energy and unselfish attitude that was breathtaking. I promised her that we in TLF would do our best to follow her vision through and achieve something positive ,however little it might be.

The following are a summary of Pebble,s own words .

“ My mother raised us to believe that we were invincible and can do anything. We were told that if we didn’t think we were the best of the best,why should anyone else? We therefore always thought we were the “bees knees” , not as a “notch above” or “better than you kind of attitude” or “I have more than you” because WE DIDN’T. Just instead a mind set that if I believed,I was!
It carried me through an awful lot and made me really gutsy.

Last summer of 2008 was my summer of fun and the best summer I could have had.Sun,sand and trips plus visits to old childhood friends. It was a ME summer. This summer 2009 was going to be my “Empower the women and children” summer.

I was going to spend last winter in the States,work,live with my family and do my research. I had started to research ways to help the women and children of Turkey whether rural, interior or eastern to do something positive to change their lives. There are so many programs you can tap into and so many organisations dying to do good. Unfortunately the headaches and general lethargy got in the way!!

Never mind I digress. This is the program I would put together which would put Turkish Living on the map and think of all the good it will bring. First of all,the majority of us are just a bunch of foreigners that have come in with our money expecting the locals to adore us, cater for our every whim,and treat us like royalty. As you all know I was born and raised in Turkey and my childhood was deeply ensconced in both cultures. My parents were right there in the local life,doing their good deeds on the sly.If only you knew what they did and people still cry when they see me in Izmir at the memory of my parents and how they helped put their kids through school and saved street people. There were always strangers in our house and it was a funny feeling. BUT GUESS WHAT,I ended up the same way!

Anyway that is just a background and I want to empower the women and children but how can I do that? My intention was to go back this summer of 2009 and start driving to the inner regions.Most of the villagers on the coast are likely to be ok, being close to the cities and more exposure to money influences. If we were to set up a fund from which we could buy school supplies, simple ones and distribute them to the schools and schoolchildren in the inner Anatolia and Eastern region. The education system in Turkey is only mandatory until the 8th grade after which they can drop out to work on the farms or homes whereas they might rather be in school. I suspect not many get to the 8th grade at times.

The way I would do it is…..I love back to school sales where you can buy notebooks for 10 cents. I used to buy them by the boxful with coloured pencils, funky pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners etc and take them back,giving them to the neighbours kids.
If we could each bring back some school supplies, colourful ones that the kids would be happy with and then figure out the logistics of distributing them. Start close to home and get it going within TLF. Get it in the public eye and teach the benefits of volunteering.
The most important thing a country has is “Brainpower”. Lets educate the children and pump them up for their education and ,let me tell you, these little kids are dying to learn!!
Give them some tools,something so simple and what more could you ask for?
Look what you have accomplished?

Feeling good (Priceless!!”
Good feeling in the community.
Turkish people will be amazed you are helping their children.

You will be making a difference and ,in the years that come, someone will thank you for a helping hand.
Do you need another reason?

My original project would have encompassed the handicapped children and teaching of mothers too.

SO what do you think?
It would be through TLF and Mushtaq,s forum that it would get started.
Get the goodwill going!
I want that to happen-the goodwill
I want this to be a foreign campaign to show we have good hearts.
The sky is the limit. YOU can make a difference!

That was Pebbles vision

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