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The Big Karaduvar Clean-Up

By Ciara Johnson

Last October, 47 Tarsus American College (TAC) Prep Students and 12 TAC teacher and staff members worked to clean-up 300 meters of local beach in Karaduvar, on Turkey’s southern coast. The students spent the weeks leading up to the event looking at how litter and garbage can damage communities and the environment.
The three busses of students were greeted warmly by the Mutar of Karaduvar, Habip Hazar. With his cooperation and support the students were able to make a large impact on the local community by gathering nearly 100 bags of trash from the beach. Students worked together to gather larger items such as car tires and shipping nets, and remove them to the garbage collection points. Local community members then collected the garbage for removal.
After a morning spent working hard in the sun, the Prep students and TAC staff were treated to sikma (hand rolled sandwiches popular in southern Turkey) made by local community women, ayran (a cold yogurt drink), and éclairs at Mr. Hazar’s home. His beautiful garden made a wonderful resting spot after so many hours of hard work and his generous refreshments were appreciated by all of the beach clean-up participants.
The following day, Prep students participated in activities designed to help each person reflect on the event and internalize the reasons for to volunteering to clean the Karaduvar shoreline.
The day was capped off with an assembly where students presented the artifacts they prepared during the day. Some students shared posters encouraging others not to litter. Some presented a reflective essay written during the day. Some students presented video productions they had created with photos and short video clips from the outing.
The end of the ceremony featured an awards ceremony for students who had shown outstanding participation and a positive attitudes during the two-day event.
Overall, the project was a successful one. The Prep Department looks forward to repeating it next year. The continued partnership between TAC students and local community members is an important one, which will grow in the future.

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