Mother, son fix toys for kids with bro­ken child­hoods in north­west Bursa

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - National -

AF­TER he found a bro­ken toy ca­su­ally thrown in front of a garbage bin three years ago, Muam­mer Kava­zoğlu’s life took a new turn. Al­ways keen on so­cial projects, the real es­tate agent de­cided to fix it to give it away to a child in need. His mo­men­tous idea turned into a so­cial me­dia scheme where peo­ple would send him old, bro­ken toys for fix­ing and do­nat­ing to or­phaned chil­dren or chil­dren from poor fam­i­lies.

In three years, Kava­zoğlu has reached more than 11,000 chil­dren with “ATMA” (“Don’t throw away”). It wouldn’t be pos­si­ble, though, with­out the as­sis­tance of his mother. While he works on fix­ing elec­tronic, plas­tic toys in one cor­ner of the ware­house he rented, his 75-year-old mother Şükriye Kava­zoğlu re­pairs stuffed toys and dolls in an­other cor­ner.

Their cam­paign drew hun­dreds of clicks on so­cial me­dia, and peo­ple from all across the coun­try as well as other coun­tries started ship­ping old toys to the ware­house in Orhangazi, the fam­ily’s home­town in the north­west­ern prov­ince of Bursa.

“Now we are work­ing for two char­i­ties that will de­liver 600 toys we will fix to chil­dren in need. We want to reach out to as many as 1 mil­lion chil­dren,” Kava­zoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Fri­day. The fam­ily is happy to be help­ful to chil­dren but says they now need spon­sors to cover their ex­penses. “Two com­pa­nies paid the rent and the in­ter­net con­nec­tion for one year but our con­tract ended. We now need a spon­sor,” he said.

Still, Kava­zoğlu is de­ter­mined to con­tinue fix­ing toys as long as he can, ex­cept for toy guns. “I don’t want chil­dren to play with these. If peo­ple send me toy guns, I use them as spare parts for fix­ing other toys,” he said.

Şükriye Kava­zoğlu said their work is ap­pre­ci­ated and many peo­ple call to thank them. “I can fix as many as six toys a day. I work very hard be­cause mak­ing chil­dren happy keeps me happy as well,” she said.

Muam­mer Kava­zoğlu (L) and his mother Şükriye Kava­zoğlu pose with toys they are fix­ing, in Bursa, north­west­ern Turkey, Oct. 2, 2020.

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