Memories of the past, a vision for the future
It has been three years since I wrote that post up there introducing myself to everybody.
I remember that day like if it was today, I was siting in front of my computer, with Fulya across the table and I kept on asking, isn’t this too personal?
Why would anyone care about who I am or what I do in my spare time?
- It’s important, Ivan, she answered. You cannot be just a Facebook Page, people need to understand the man behind the voice to connect. You must be a real presence, not just a virtual one.
And so I wrote a introduction post in which I addressed some very personal questions people used to ask me.
The first thing I did was to tell everyone my real name is not Viktor Larkhill, it’s Ivan Jimenez. Viktor is a pseudonym necessary when you work in a environment where you are trying to make change by disrupting the system. I needed to give my loved ones a level of protection against the attacks of the nasty and villainous people our work as an organisation would expose. It was, and it remains, necessary. Even today, my real name is not widely known, and I’m convinced this has shielded my family against those that would wish to silence me.
Viktor Larkhill is also a brand, a brand that I fully intend to pass on to someone one day. The brand was built on the basics that everyone is essential to the group, that this is not a one man show and after I’ve gone into retirement (that day will come), there will always be another Viktor taking over where I left it.
As for the rest, in essence much remain the same.
But Let’s Adopt! changed, evolved and grew into something bigger than I ever thought it would be, and this is just the beginning. From a seed of two people, Fulya and myself, Let’s Adopt! has grown into a sizeable network growing at a consistent rate. Our work has not stopped a single day since that 8 of January 2008 when in a cold and rainy Istanbul morning we gave ourselves a name.
And what a name!… from the beginning it became clear we were going to build something different, it was either that, or nothing, and we started with the name. Here is a list of some of the many Turkish animal organisations:
You get the idea… it was very obvious, from the beginning that we were going to be different.
We started operating in Istanbul, and shortly afterwards, at a time when it was basically Fulya and myself, and just a few people that were beginning to get to know us, we had our first big case, the killing of Ebru, the dog of the Marmara Hotel.
What ensued was probably the most publicised case of animal abuse in Turkey, and it did so, because I had the idea of offering a Reward to find the killer, something that had never been done in Istanbul. Very few people know about this, but the killer was found a few months later. It was a kid, one of the thousands of kids living on Istanbul streets. He was barely 15, and addicted to sniffing glue. I was devastated, I decided never to tell anyone…
The group continued growing, and in those days we took the decision to focus on the most difficult cases. On blind, handicapped and severely ill animals that truly had no chance, whose treatment was out of the reach of an ordinary person. The kind of dog or cat that would never get adopted, just because of the effort it would entail to get him back to health. From our hands and homes have passed thousands of animals, the majority of them broken or handicapped in some way or another. At this point I could make a list of names, and upload pictures and videos, but instead I will show you ONE video, one that represents everything this group stands for, our essence. The rescue of Gulumser…
Where are we going from here? I would be a fool to tell you I know, I don’t. But what I can assure you is that we are not going to shy away from challenges. At the moment we are focused on solving some issues we have in Canada and the USA, something we should have dealt with long time ago, but we didn’t, instead we decided to ignore until it reached the point where it couldn’t be ignored any longer.
I am aware some of you may not like me, and that this personal dislike is extended by default to the organisation composed by many wonderful people. To those of you that feel that way I want to apologise. I can assure you nothing I have ever done or said, had the intention of hurting anyone, on the contrary, all our efforts have always been to minimise conflict, give people a chance to correct their actions and put a stop to whatever act of cruelty or corruption they may been involved with. From the Mayor of Istanbul that for years has authorised the covert mass killing of tens of thousands of animals abandoned in the forest, to Tanya Fusco, the now discredited individual that for over a year has been waging a slandering campaign against our organisation and that using dirty tricks as low as using her teenage daughter as a human shield has attracted some of the darkest and more despicable assembly of characters in a demonic conspiracy to damage the group.
Not everyone understood our goodwill. Some people just want to watch the world burn…
We are approaching our Fourth Anniversary, and it is very likely that I will forget to mark the date on the day, but if you read this now, know that our team and myself remain more determined that ever to make Let’s Adopt!, the best animal rescue in the world. Something that many believe we already are.
It’s impossible to do something like this alone, but every journey starts with a single step, and that step is always a lonely one. In my case I had Fulya in whose support I have always been able to count, and that remains until today. As you take the journey some people will join you, some will accompany you a stretch of the way, others will remain with you until the end destination. We are all an essential part of this story. Let’s Adopt! is their journey as much as it is mine.
And that is life.
With much love, and grateful to have you with us, day after day, in Let’s Adopt! Global. Nothing could have happened without you.
Viktor Larkhill (Ivan Jimenez)