• By: OLM Staff

Ottawa fundraiser celebrates Türkiye’s national Children’s Day!

What: The Canadian and Turkish Women’s Association of Ottawa
When: Sunday, April 23, 2023
Where: Ottawa City Hall
Admission: Free

April 23rd is a special day on Turkey’s national calendar. Known as Children’s Day, the holiday was proclaimed in 1929 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, to emphasize the importance of children in society and to recognize them as future leaders of the nation.

Several nations have since adopted Türkiye’s National Children’s Day holiday as an occasion to celebrate society’s youth, and in 1979 UNICEF declared April 23 International Children’s Day.

Ottawa is marking April 23, 2023, as Turkish Heritage and Children’s Day to mark the significant cultural, economic, and civic contributions of Ottawa’s Turkish population.

Tragically many children in Türkiye have few reasons to celebrate after a devastating earthquake destroyed much of the country’s southern region earlier this year. Over 57,000 people died, and countless more were left homeless in the most devastating natural disaster in Turkiye’s history.

Children and their families who lived stable lives found themselves displaced and without essential supplies. The United Nations estimates that over 850,000 children are without a home in Türkiye and neighbouring Syria. Over 1.9 million people are in temporary accommodation, and 2.5 million children require urgent assistance.

Before the February 2023 earthquake struck, the southern border regions of Türkiye were experiencing humanitarian pressure due to the conflict in Syria. The affected southern provinces have taken in over 1.7 million displaced Syrians who have had their lives uprooted by war. The Turkish people have gone from being a leading humanitarian power in the world to needing support from the rest of the world.

The Canadian and Turkish Women’s Association of Ottawa is holding a fundraiser at Ottawa City Hall on Sunday, April 23, to help raise funds for children in Türkiye. The association works to build cultural bridges between Turkish and Canadian people and appreciation of their respective cultures. The group has already hosted one successful fundraiser for adults earlier this year on March 3rd.

The upcoming event is not your typical fundraiser; it will focus on the participation of children for fellow kids in Türkiye. The Give a Little Help a Lot event will include a bake sale, face painting, a silent auction, arts and crafts, fortune telling, and a professional photoshoot.

Give a Little Help a Lot runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ottawa City Hall. Kids can play, and everyone can enjoy Turkish culture with the funds raised supporting Türkiye’s current humanitarian needs. 

On Sunday, April 23, celebrate children, Turkish heritage and support the recovery efforts for Turkiye so that next year the children impacted by the quake will have a Children’s Day they will never forget — for the right reason!