This profile was prepared when Nasuh Mahruki was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Nasuh builds a network of locally-based volunteer search and rescue teams to enable effective responses to natural disasters and other life-threatening emergencies while promoting volunteerism, leadership, and civic initiative. Nasuh’s network trains citizens throughout the country in skills such as first-aid and trauma care, and helps volunteers organize into disciplined teams with clearly defined roles for each participant, and prepares team members for the ethical dimensions of crisis management. He pushes his volunteers toward the deep realization that ordinary people can and must take ownership of their safety in crisis situations. He leverages his teams through outreach to schools, workplaces, and community centers to encourage citizens to volunteer in needy neighborhoods throughout Turkey. By focusing on safety, an issue that is critical to men and women of all backgrounds, Nasuh positions himself to make a broad change in public conceptions about the roles and responsibilities of citizenship.