Superimposing eco-village principles on children’s villages for a healthier environment

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2016
Turhan, Fulya
In this study, the applicability of the principles of existing eco-villages to children's villages that shelter homeless children has been investigated. The main goal is to present an environment to children where they can grow up with an awareness of their rights and duties as responsible individuals who can take their future in their own hands. To have a sustainable future they need to become conscious of the ingredients of sustainability and try to incorporate them into their own lifestyle. The premise of this study was that, the principles of eco-villages, whose main vision is to create sustainable and self sufficient communities can be adapted for implementation into children’s villages. These principles were first determined by a literature review. and then an in-depth evaluation based on these principles was conducted for five case studies selected from well-known applications of eco-villages in Europe. The selected case studies are Findhorn, Tamera, Sieben Linden, Dyssekilde and Damanhur Eco-Villages; The one in Damanhur in Italy was also visited to gather first hand information on the eco-village. Further, in order to understand the structure of children's villages and the steps to be taken to ensure sustainable living for children, a thorough literature review was conducted and three case studies from children's villages, i.e. SOS Children's Village Imst/Tyrol, SOS Children's Village KKTC and Bolluca Children's Village were investigated; while a site visit was also conducted to Bolluca in Istanbul, since it is one of its kind in Turkey. Furthermore, three case studies on “sustainable living for children”, i.e. Hazlewood Eco Center, Sustainable Schools Project and Eco-Healthy Child Care Program® were investigated. According to the information gathered from the aforementioned studies, a model was formulated as a guideline for the integration of sustainability features into children's villages, and a checklist compiled to achieve this aim. Finally, based on the guidelines and checklist a proposal for the application of sustainability features in Bolluca Children's Village in order to transform it into an ecological children's village has been presented. This study suggests that providing homeless and orphan children a self sufficient and sustainable environment could help them gain the skills to be self sufficient themselves, and in turn become responsible individuals who are sensitive to the sustainability of their natural environment, as well as to their own future.
Citation Formats
F. Turhan, “Superimposing eco-village principles on children’s villages for a healthier environment,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2016.