The Çalış Children’s Charity based in the beach resort of Çalış, Fethiye, raises money through charitable “fun-raising” to help the young people in the local area, by providing much needed equipment for groups and individuals and by providing services that contribute to the health, education and vitality of the community.
In March 2007 the founder members of the Carnival Committee met with the Mayor of Fethiye to ask his permission to organise a Carnival Day in Çaliş. This was to consist of a fancy dress procession, an exhibition area and a free evening concert. Following submission of a business plan, approval was granted and the date of the first ever Çaliş Carnival was set as Saturday 7 June 2008.
As the Carnival Committee was not a registered association and it was a condition of approval that, in order to achieve legal status, the committee worked under the umbrella of a recognised body and in the first instance the committee acted under the banner of Çaliş Turizm ve Tanitma Derneği and then, in later months, under the banner of FETAV.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
Although planned primarily as a one day family fun day, the Carnival Committee hoped to achieve a number of aims and objectives. These were to:
• Develop and instill a sense of belonging and local pride in Çaliş with everyone working together “hand in hand” for the good of the town;
• Encourage and develop positive relations and harmony between the Turkish community and foreign citizens who have either bought property or are residing, working or holidaying in the Çaliş area;
• Enhance the economic development of Çaliş and promote a positive image of the town locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, therefore encouraging increased tourism in Çaliş;
• Involve local schools, businesses, organisations and institutions in promoting both Çaliş and their own activities;
• Showcase Turkish customs and culture;
• Raise funds for under privileged sections of the local community, these sectors to be chosen using advice and direction from Fethiye Belediye;
• Create an enjoyable day and very safe atmosphere for all participants and visitors to the Carnival.
Although fund raising was one of the objectives, it was not the prime objective. However, as the carnival has progressed it has become increasingly important to help local disadvantaged children.
In it’s first 4 years the carnival continued to grow, attracting thousands of visitors from across the region as well as many tourists from abroad who were booking their holidays to coincide with the event.
THE WAY FORWARD………
In September 2010 the Carnival committee decided that in order for the Carnival to improve and to continue to grow there had to be a change in the structuring of the organisation. The Carnival had become much bigger and more complex than was ever thought possible and the workload of organising the carnival event as well as a year-long calendar of fundraising events had become increasingly difficult for the committee with the limited resources available. At that time the existing Carnival committee was made up of a small group of hardworking volunteers who received no external funding to put on the carnival event and all costs had to be raised from either seeking sponsorship or sheer hard work. After 3 years they felt that they had achieved the best result that they could given these limitations and if the event was to continue to improve and grow and benefit Çalış and the surrounding area, it was time to seek outside help and for the Turkish business community and local authority to take a bigger part in the organisation and ownership of the main event.
At their September AGM, a decision was taken to form two new independent committees. The first new committee was to be responsible for the organisation of the Carnival Day/ Weekend event and all of the publicity/sponsorship associated with this event. The second new committee, under the new name of the Çalış Children’s Charity, was to deal solely with fundraising and will be responsible for organising a year round calendar of events including the annual charity Promises Auction and Christmas Fair, monthly car boot sales, craft fairs and other events. This charity committee will continue to work legally under the umbrella of FETAV Foundation and its main aim will be to raise money to help the children in the local area. The associated charities of Embrace and Animal Aid will continue to be legal, working under the umbrella of this new 3C’s committee.
Peter Clark, retiring chairman and founder of the Çalış Carnival was elected Chairman of the new 3C’s Committee. The Chairman of the new 2011 Çalış Carnival Committee is Mete Ay, who is Chairman of the Çalış Association for Publicity and Tourism. His Association will be organising the carnival with support from Fethiye Belediye and with help from the newly formed carnival committee which includes many of the 2010 committee ex-pat members, some of whom will be serving on both new committees.
Both new committees, although independent of each other, will support each other in their aims and objectives in what ever ways they can and the 3C’s will continue to organise fundraising events in and around Carnival week in order to compliment the main carnival event itself