Last month, Christine Pulliam of the CfA forwarded an email sent by Sehit Ibrahim, a psychological and guidance counselor at the Karaoglanoglu Secondary School in Ipekyolu town, Van City, Turkey. Sehit wrote that the student populace is comprised of children of low social economic status and fragmented families. He had noted that many were fascinated by astronomy, and he regretted the fact that the school had few resources to bring that interest to life. He asked for the possible donation of a telescope to his school, as well as information on starting an astronomy club. Mansur summarized the purpose of his request succinctly. “We should take care of children more and more and help them have a better future.”
I forwarded the email to the ATMoB membership and within an hour received a half dozen replies. Joe Henry suggested that Mansur contact “Spaceturk,” a Turkish space research group that holds events around the country to commemorate space exploration and promote public interest. Haldun Menali (a native of Turkey) emailed that he would contact an ATM group he helped establish in Turkey and asked for Mansur’s email address so he might be able to contact him personally. His wife Gamze, an ex-technical assistant at the AAVSO and a member of the Astronomers without Borders, offered her help as well.
As for the telescope, Juan Jimenez stepped to the plate by offering to donate an Astroscan to the school. All he asked for was reimbursement from ATMoB for shipping costs, which came to $56. The money was quickly collected at the January monthly meeting, and Treasurer Eileen Myers promptly mailed a check to Juan. The scope has been shipped to Mansur, and I sent him an email offering any advice and/or assistance he and his school might need.
I was impressed with how rapidly and eagerly ATMoB members pitched in to help Mansur and the students at the Karaoglanoglu Secondary School. I’m proud to represent such a fine organization!
Glenn Chaple, President