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Turkish Video Celebrates Nurses & Midwives!

The new creation of this Turkish version of the WHO/NIGH video — 'Nurses & Midwives: Now More Than Ever for a Healthy World’ — is an excellent example of how NIGH is building a grassroots-to-global network — by friends connecting with friends and colleagues and then building the next steps together — since its founding in 2004.

Elif Bilgic (left) — co-translator of this video — with her sister K. Merve Bilgic, in front of the ‘Kiz Kulesi’ in Istanbul. Photo from the Bilgic family, used with permission.

This example features our friendship with Elif Bilgic — starting when she was a high school student at Elmwood School in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Elif contacted us, having heard about NIGH through one of our keynote presentations there. She wanted to discuss how she might serve NIGH through her Leadership class project at school.

As we discussed her options for such volunteer work, we shared how we had achieved seven-language versions of the video ‘Nurses & Midwives: Now More Than Ever for A Healthy World’ which NIGH co-produced with WHO's then Chief Nursing Scientist, Dr. Jean Yan — and in collaboration with WHO's Archivist, Marie Villemin — for the 60th Anniversary of WHO and the 30th Anniversary of the Alma Ata Declaration. Elif reviewed, with us, how this video features WHO photographs from across these years — of nurses and midwives from 56 nations — including Turkey — in a variety of their contributions to the health of their peoples.*

After Elif watched the video, she asked right away if she could translate its text into Turkish to achieve her internship and we agreed. When she accomplished the first translation draft, we then invited NIGH’s bi-lingual colleague — Dr. Zeliha Tufek — a Professor at the Florence Nightingale College of Nursing at Istanbul University to collaborate with Elif for completing the final text version.

 We had first met Zeliha [at the far left in picture below] when three of NIGH's founders were featured keynote speakers at national Turkish Student Nursing Conference convened at the University of Istanbul in 2007. This opportunity had also been built from our friendship with Turkish Canadians Fusun and Tuncer Oren— of the Canadian & Turkish Women's Association of Ottawa [CATWAO] — whom we met, through the Turkish Ambassador to Canada, in 2006.

To complete this project, Elif also assisted us by identifying an anonymous donor to contribute to the final version with video editor, Andrew Kines. Meanwhile, Elif stays in touch and is now a student at McGill University in Montreal, studying Anatomy and Cell Biology.

THANKS again to Elif, Zeliah, Andrew and our generous anonymous donor for this excellent video!. We are now prepared to work with anyone who would like to contribute new language versions and help us to identify donors to assist with new video editing. We welcome your suggestions.

teamMembers of NIGH’s team meeting with the Faculty of the Florence Nightingale College of Nursing at Istanbul University. From LOWER LEFT: Asst. Prof. Zeliha Tulek—co-translator of this Turkish video; Prof. Dr. Guler Aksoy, former Dean; NIGH friends, Dr. Dundar Kalyoncuoglu & Fusun Oren, then President, Candian & Turkish Womens’ Organization of Ottawa; NIGH’s Drs. Deva-Marie Beck & Barbara Dossey, Prof. Dr. Gulsun Tasocak; Prof. Dr. Neriman Akyolcu; Prof. Dr. Nevin Kanan; Assoc. Prof. Rengin Acaroglu; UPPER ROW, FROM LEFT: Prof. Dr. Nursen Nahcivan; Prof. Dr. Semra Erdogan & Prof. Dr. Nezihe Beji, current Dean. Photo by Wayne Kines, in NIGH’s Archives.

* Remembering How This Video Was First Created

The original video was created in collaboration with nursing leaders from across the world during global nursing meetings convened in Geneva in 2008, premiered at a WHO meeting in China and later showcased at a series of WHO regional meetings in Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Italy, Kenya, Myanmar, the Philippines, Switzerland and the United States. During these collaborations, six earlier translations were achieved, including the Spanish version with Dr. Silvina Malvarez, Regional Nursing Officer based at PAHO in Washington, D.C.; the version in Portuguese with Dr. Isabel Costa Mendes, the Secretary General of the WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing & Midwifery, based in Sao Paulo; the French version with WHO Archivist Marie Villemin; the Arabic version with Dr. Da'ad Shokeh, President of the Jordanian Nursing Council in Amman; the Russian version with Dr. Elena Frolova, a nursing educator in St. Petersburg; and the Mandarin version with Dr. Amy Zhang, Professor of Nursing at the Shandong University in Jinan, China. The music — ‘Julia’s Waltz’ — was generously donated by Canadian Celtic Fiddler Natalie McMaster from her album, ‘Yours Truly.’


Visitors at the Mapparium in the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, Massachusetts. This was the site to launch Dr. Jean Watson's Million Nurse Project—during the 2010 International Year of the Nurse—to radiate heart-centered Love, Caring and Compassion through individual and collective global meditations. Photo Courtesy of the Mary Baker Eddy Library.