MAP OF NEEDS
Needs goto those who need them via “map”. İhtiyaç Haritası' (Map of Needs), who is founded by Actor Mert Fırat, is a web platform (www.ihtiyacharitası.org) to connect those in need of something with others who can help. The site, whichreached to almost 10 thousand volunteers in one month, posted needs for 3 thousand 500 people, and almost 2 thousand 500 of the need requests were fulfilled. Various needs including coats, shoes, purses, bags, even carpets for mosques are supplied for those who need them thanks to the benefactors. Calls to requests are increasing each passing day.
Fırat and other co-founders of the platform Elif Kalan, Hazal Dut, Güler Altınsoy, and Ali Ercan Özgür met with students at Izmir University of Economics and told them about the working principles of ihtiyacharitasi.org. Fırat said that they started the project one and a half year ago and launched the website in October. “The Map of Needs is a meeting point where users create their own account, send a need or campaign request and find a source.Supporters also enter what they can provide. We are also training people on how to do this. It is more than fulfilling a need immediately;we aim to continue this in the best way possible.”
‘A Way of Life’
What makes the platform distinct from other social responsibility projects is that all requests are collected and centralized in one location, allowing users to quickly find and meet their needs, said Fırat. He said that the platform collaborated with NGOs, district and provincial governorships as well as village heads. Ads are reviewed and checked by the web editors before being posted. Fırat said, “We will continue to fulfill needs of Turkey as long as we have supporters and volunteers. We don’t have financial back up. We also use our experiences in films in the map of needs. I’ve participated in 25 NGO up until now. I have been involved with community centers since I was 13 – 14.I am familiar with the needs of neighborhoods. My team also experiences this first hand. This is a way of life, not madness. We know exactly who needs what throughout Turkey.”
‘Tell Us and We’ll Solve It’
Fırat stated that anyone who was interested could contact them at www.ihtiyacharitasi.org and they would make sure to fulfill the needs. Fırat said, “Users need to specify what they need or what they can donate. We provide everything they need.”
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