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••• Ongoing Activities


Activities at Kerkenes during the summer months bring together teams of academics and students from all over the world. Educational activities in 2005 permitted a group of architecture students from the METU to work with a group of children from the village to produce 'papercrete' from recycled paper and other alternative building materials. In September the Classe de Première from the Lycée Charles de Gaulle in Ankara, spent a few days in the Kerkenes Eco-Center to conduct a survey in the village. It is hoped that more such programs and courses will be developed and that the improved facilities at the Kerkenes Eco-Center will benefit both the Sahmuratli villagers and others within the region. The promotion of renewable energy and the initiation of other approaches for a sustainable future continue to provide a good forum in which educational activities can evolve.

One other activity was the production of stabilized mud bricks with the Parry Brick Press. This press was also used to compress waste paper into briquettes to be burnt as fuel in the traditional stove during winter months. A tractor load of paper to recycle was provided by the Municipality of Sorgun. If workshops for recycling could be established locally this would eliminate the undesirable long distances covered by lorries delivering their loads to distant recycling plants.

Particular mention should be made of the meetings organized for young girls to make bead necklaces and bracelets during the 2005 summer months. They were extremely pleased when visitors expressed their interest and acquired several of the items. Using donations from the appreciative visitors, the young group bought some more material for further production.

Finally, garden activities in the Kerkenes Eco-Center continued to yield vegetables that, cooked in a special Kerkenes fashion, are much appreciated by the team and visitors.

In November 2005 a project development grant obtained awarded by the UNDP-GEF Small Grant Program permitted trips and meetings between stakeholders so as to formulate a proposal for 2006. Emphasis centers on the promotion of renewable energy in an attempt to deal with climate change and its disastrous global consequences. Meetings with housewives in the village helped to understand their needs and aspirations. The suggestion of using solar energy for cooking and domestic water heaters was well received. Ways of taking advantage of this renewable source of energy for income generating activities were also discussed.

As the introduction of a village wind pump was evaluated, it became clear that limited water resources initially required a comprehensive hydrology study to assess the potential for satisfying an increased demand. It is also evident that the introduction of a water management scheme such as drip irrigation and the use of energy efficient greenhouses are essential for an income generating permaculture and organic farming program to be successful.