Turkish teacher receives women’s leadership award from European Parliament

A Turkish classroom teacher was presented with an international women's leadership award by the European Parliament (EP) on Thursday.

Dilek Livaneli teaches at Kumköy Primary School in Çarşamba district of Samsun province in Turkey's Black Sea region. Speaking at the award ceremony, she said that in her 16 years of teaching, she has realized that every student has great potential.

"All I had to do was to discover them, to find out how they could express themselves in a self-confident manner," she said.

Livaneli has been working to improve the conditions of village schools and offer the best possible education to children, regardless of their backgrounds. She worked voluntarily for years and continues to work in projects in and outside Turkey.

Livaneli noted that during her years in the village, she has not only given lessons to children but also cared for the other women in the village.

"I taught some women how to read and write. We went to movies, theaters and operas together. We invited state opera artists to the village, and they gave a concert for women," Livaneli said.

Livaneli said that, along with communication skills, all one has to do is give energy, vision, courage and inspiration to others as she did for the students and women in her village.

"If you can achieve this, one day people will believe in you, love you and follow you," she said.

Livaneli was among the top 50 teachers chosen by the Global Teacher Award Committee, organized by The Varkey Foundation, which was established for the purpose of developing projects in the education field.

Another Turkish scholar, Mine Yıldız, who is completing her postdoctoral studies at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), was also among the eight women awarded by the EP.

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