Humanitarian Fundraiser

By Ballyclare High School on 2 March, 2023



Such devastation has hit Turkey and Syria through a series of earthquakes. Thousands of children, women and men have died or been injured. Millions of people are in need and the infrastructure in these countries that could help them lies in tatters, with the extreme weather adding to the huge difficulties faced.

Today our community has come together to show support for this humanitarian disaster. We will all be wearing different coloured hoodies, mainly red, as red balloons in Turkey-Syria have become associated with victims so red can be used to pay respects to those who were lost in the earthquake. All proceeds from our ‘Hoodie Day’ will be donated directly to the Red Cross.



A search and rescue team from Northern Ireland has been instrumental in the rescue of a woman in Turkey’s earthquake disaster.

Melike Imamoglu, 42, was pulled from the rubble by rescuers in the town of Kahramanmaras on Wednesday.

Kyle Murray from K9 Search & Rescue NI said search dog Delta had indicated at the site she was found alive.


An indication is when a search dog signals that they have detected a specific scent.

The team of Mr Murray and Ryan Gray alongside search dogs Max and Delta flew to Turkey on Friday and are working with Evolsar, the European Association of Civil Protection Volunteer Teams.

Mr Murray said the fact that he and Delta had been instrumental in finding someone alive “really only hit me when Ryan phoned me this morning”.

“It’s overwhelming that after all that hard work to hear that the person has survived is great to hear and overwhelming,” he told BBC News NI.


They have been working “constantly” and conditions were worse than they had anticipated, he said.

“Initially seeing the absolute devastation out there was mind blowing.

“Looking at photos and news reports didn’t really set me up for the extent of the damage that is here.

“It is rubble piles – these were seven story buildings that were pancaked on top of each other.”

‘Confidence and hope’

Despite the scenes being “numbing” at the start Mr Murray said emotions were put to the side.

“We go to work mode – we were there to do a job,” he said


“When they hear a dog bark it gives them confidence and hope.”

They arrived to a quiet atmosphere and were told that it was believed some people could be alive.

Mr Murray said it was “fantastic” that someone was there recording the moment Delta indicated at the site.

He was asked to take Delta to two holes that had been dug out.

“I put her on to the first hole – she sniffed around the hole,” he said.

She climbed up onto a shelf and I could tell she was interested in that area.

“When she got back down out of it she indicated to me that there were people in that area.”

Due to the way in which scent travels it takes time pinpoint the exact area where the people are.



Now safely back in Northern Ireland the team is recuperating and Delta and Max will get a vet check.