By Tezcan Ekizler
ANKARA (AA) – Known for his charity concerts, celebrated Turkish rock music singer Haluk Levent has devised a unique way to help people in need.
With 200 philanthropists and 30,000 volunteers on board, the music star’s voluntary group Ahbap (Dude) has established its network in 70 provinces of Turkey.
The singer says, his organization does not work like conventional charity groups.
“We do not give money to anyone. We encourage philanthropists to help, by giving them some rewards,” Levent told Anadolu Agency.
“For instance, if a family needs money to pay its rent, I will offer to prepare dinner for the one, who helps the family,” said the singer, while explaining his unique way to help the needy.
Three years ago, Levent started Ahbap as a small platform. It soon gained momentum and attracted people, who turned it into an association.
The association has so far provided scholarships to 245 students, delivered 136 medical devices, medicines and other aid materials to 4,216 families. It has also launched 331 blood and stem cell campaigns.
He said the persons, who seek medical are probed to establish genuineness.
“We work closely with local governorates. Families who apply are investigated. We first direct them to state hospitals. If the treatment is not possible there, then we seek permission from the governorate,” he said.
Famous singer is also seen visiting patients in hospitals.
“I see all patients as my relatives. I visit children admitted in hospitals. I sing for them. They hug me, “he said.
Explaining the criteria for becoming a volunteer for the Ahbap Association, he said the interested person needs to sign an agreement available on the website and then seek references, from an existing volunteer in the city.
*Writing by Rabia Iclal Turan