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Building bridges


The Dehirmentepe village is situated 30km Southwest of Duzce. It was one of the first villages to receive help from the Turkish Protestant Churches in Ankara and a good relationship was established with the authorities in this area.


Hazelnut farming provides the sole source of income for the families in the village. The village is situated in a narrow valley with high slopes covered with hazelnut trees on both sides. The village was politically divided and we were looking for a project that could unify the village getting everyone to work together on a common goal.


After long deliberations with all the role players we decided to put side rails to one of the bridges turning it into a pedestrian bridge enabling women and children and animals to cross the creek safely.


We found a place where the tractors and other vehicles were passing through the creek. This was possible when the water level was low but in the rainy season this would not be safe. There was an entrance to the main road and an exit to the other side at this place. We decided to repair and clear the access roads and to build a concrete low water structure over the creek to provide a solid foundation on which vehicles can cross the creek. It took a long time to explain this concept as low water structures were a foreign concept to the villagers, but in the end they agreed.

As the Duzce Social Center was now in the hands of the local community this project provided another opportunity to serve the people of Duzce. It was with great joy that we watched the first vehicle crossing the low water bridge over the creek outside Dehirmentepe at the end of November 2000!

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