Faces are smiling in the Feast of the Sacrifice in Somalia
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Faces are smiling in the Feast of the Sacrifice in Somalia

Umuda Koşanlar Association met with Somali refugees during the holiday. Our team went from Turkey to Somalia and put a smile on the faces of those in need in the region.

Umuda Koşanlar Association organized sacrifices in Somalia and Tanzania in the holiday this year. The association team gathered donations from Turkey for the holiday and visited the Baidoa Refugee Camps in Baidoa, Somalia. 

Famous actress Gamze Özçelik, the president of the association, spent her Feast of Sacrifice in Somalia with her teammates Ahmet Ekşi and Mehmet Dinçerler. The Umuda Koşanlar Association team distributed the sacrifices in orphanages and various regions, as well as in refugee camps in two separate regions of Somalia fighting against poverty and terrorism.

Talking to the IHA, Gamze Özçelik said, "We are in Somalia for the 2018 organization of sacrifice as Umuda Koşanlar Association. It is a very special experience to personally be in this part of Africa. It is a very droughty, very needy, a very lacking territory. We are very happy to be here. Thankfully, we finished our sacrifices on the 4th day of the holiday. After that, we did zakat distribution, charity distributions, toys, clothes, whatever we could do, we tried to do whatever we could, I hope we did everything in our power deservedly.

Stating that she has organizing trips to Africa and different countries for several years, Özçelik said, "We had the blessing to be present in the Syrian border refugee camps, Arakan refugee camps, in Palestine, and then we became an association about a year ago. We have established  Umuda Koşanlar Association together and we have been devoted to this path. If you ask me where this came from, I suppose I would say with the will to see the truth".

Stating that she has been carrying out works as a corporate association for a year, Özçelik added, "From that point on, whatever we are doing, we are doing them, trying to do them as Umuda Koşanlar. We have our benefactors, employees, our board of directors, our team, our friends, we are trying to do it all together. We have been in various parts of Africa, in Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Ghana, but other than that, the refugee camps on the border of Syria, Arakan refugee camps, and many other regions in the country, we are very active, especially in Turkey. We trying to do the best we can, reach out as far as we can. In addition to those, hopefully we will go to new doors that open, new countries, regions, hopefully we'll go there too".

Stating that as a one-year institution at the moment the association can only reach so far, Özçelik pointed out that the team aims to reach many more regions as it keeps growing. Stating that her activist identity is more active now, Özçelik said, "Because I don't do anything regarding acting, regarding art anymore, other than playing in a few episodes last year. In fact, I devoted a large part of my life to this path, I hope I will do it justice". Famous actress replied the question, 'what is your greatest motivation in this matter' with "My faith is alhamdulillah".

Saying that they are currently executing a project in Sudan, Özçelik stated, "We have an orphanage in Sudan we are about to start and other than that, we want to make water projects, village development, agricultural projects, permanent projects, sustainable projects to create a well-working order, that can carry these people farther". Özçelik followed, "Sometimes I wish that I had a camera in my eyes in the regions I've been in so I would take photos. But I think sometimes even cameras cannot tell the full picture, especially some regions we have been in. Hopefully we will shoot various projects, various short films, videos under the identity of Umuda Koşanlar. Other than that, there are offers to write a book, maybe in a few years, it might just happen if it is the will of Allah, we will see".

Famous actress Özçelik continued her speech with the following statements:

"We see in many geographies that being Turkish is really important, the oppressed really trust in Turkey. They trust in the Turkish people very much, they trust our state very much, we are very important and we think that we are very aware of it. Hopefully such organizations, such sharings will increase and we will be more in the field together."

Source: IHA