The new Chair of Fethiye International Group, Terry Harrop, talks with Fethiye Times about some exciting new projects for Expats and Children alike.

We tend to take FIG a bit for granted. We go to the shop quite regularly to donate and acquire books, and very occasionally may pop in to the Wednesday coffee morning.

However, we recently went to the coffee morning for the specific purpose of meeting the new Chair of FIG, Terry Harrop, and we were amazed by the numbers present in the Yeni Dunya restaurant – where the coffee mornings are now held.

Our photo shows those inside listening to a talk on the Universal Healthcare proposals – there was an equivalent number outside the main room tucking into hot drinks and home-made cakes.

This is the second ‘talk’ Terry has organised to be delivered during the Wednesday coffee morning.

And he has others planned for March 7th, when the headteacher and English teacher from one of the isolated village schools supported by FIG, will be present to accept gifts of equipment for the school and talk about their lives as educators in an isolated mountain village.

On March 14th a local English-speaking solicitor will be present to talk about his proposed ‘legal insurance’ scheme, whereby you can pay a small premium and be insured against legal costs for simple matters.

Terry is keen to expand the membership of FIG, keeping its main aim as that of helping children and young people.

However, he doesn’t see that help as being solely material in terms of equipment and bursaries to cover university tuition costs or health care.

He is currently negotiating with the Esnaf Hospital to set up a trust jointly with FIG, which would provide pro bono medical care for children in the mountains, who may have conditions that can be treated comparatively simply.

In this context FIG has already identified a young girl with a ‘cast’ in one eye that has now been treated, and a young deaf boy who, thanks to surgery and hearing aids, can now hear.

As Terry says, he doubts the uneducated parents of such children are aware that their child’s condition can be treated.

But when FIG visits village schools they can pick up on such issues, and try to do something about them.

As well as FIG representatives going out to the villages to visit schools, he wants to organise trips into Fethiye for the children of those schools, who are highly unlikely to have ever visited Fethiye before.

Terry also hopes to set up a monthly free legal surgery, where foreign residents can get free legal advice for small problems.

Clearly he has lots of ideas and is prepared to put in the work to ensure at least some of them come to fruition.

If you’d like to become involved with FIG you can volunteer to help out in the shop which is now open five days per week, or help out with Coffee Mornings held each Wednesday, 11 – 1pm at Yeni Dunya restaurant on the Kordon.

In fact the Coffee Morning is a good place to start as you can meet the other FIG organisers as well as Terry and get a feel for the organisation before making a commitment.