Helena Wood Art and Farrar & Tanner Fundraiser for Turkey Earthquake

Helena Wood Art and Farrar & Tanner Turkey Earthquake Fundraiser

Helena Wood Art

Helena Wood Art is a family-owned Turkish company that designs and manufactures a range of beautiful wooden chess and backgammon sets from their factory in Antakya, the capital of the Hatay Province.

Helena specialises in the skilled art of marquetry using mother-of-pearl inlays and exquisite real woods. Founded by Davut Kazar in 1993, Helena is one of our best-selling brands and we enjoy an excellent working relationship with the business via their Sales Director Fekri Alsharif.  

The Helena Factory & Showroom before the Earthquake
 Photograph Credit: Helena Wood Art

The Turkey Earthquake

On the 6th of February 2023, the unthinkable happened. The Helena factory in the heart of ancient Antakya and along with much of Hatay, was destroyed by 2 catastrophic earthquakes, the first measuring a magnitude of 7.8. Followed by another 2 devastating earthquakes only a week later. The impact was felt across large parts of Turkey & Syria with many communities severely affected.

As soon as we heard the news, we reached out to Fekri at Helena to see what we could do to help. With our own Corporate Sales Manager at Farrar & Tanner also being Turkish, the shock and deep sadness in our office was palpable.  


The Helena factory had suffered devastating damage and ceased production on the 6th. Sadly, a number of workers tragically died in the earthquake and of those who had survived, many were displaced and had to relocate as they lost their homes. Fekri optimistically told us he hoped they could get the factory rebuilt and up and running within a year. In the meantime, we asked how best we could help. He recommended donating to a Turkish Non-Governmental Organisation called Ahbap.  

Who are Ahbap?

Ahbap is a highly regarded and trusted organisation with a single mission, to provide much-needed aid and disaster relief. From expert search and rescue teams, working night and day in the initial aftermath, to ensuring dedicated support infrastructure has been set up in areas of need. Working tirelessly to ensure essential supplies to earthquake victims in the form of food, shelter, water, warm blankets, medical aid, sanitary products, and toiletries. Demand is hugely outstripping supply and they need our continued support to help them provide the humanitarian aid where it is needed.

Photograph Credit: @ahbap


In the few short weeks following the earthquake, Ahbap built and opened a preparatory (primary age) school with 300 children and counting registered so far to return to the classroom. 26 teachers have been recruited and every local area affected is due to have a school within the coming days and weeks, as Ahbap volunteers continue with their incredible work on the ground.  

Photograph Credit: @ahbap
Photograph Credit: @ahbap

Essential Support

Not only do Ahbap provide practical supplies to help support local communities, but they also have an extraordinary psychosocial support intervention team, made up of volunteer psychiatrists, psychologists, teachers, and university students who offer psychological support to help those dealing with fear, anxiety and effects of the trauma experienced during and after the earthquake.  

Photograph Credit: @ahbap
Photograph Credit: @ahbap

What You Can Do To Help

Their continued support and presence are invaluable to the people affected in Antakya and beyond, and the money raised through your kindness and generosity goes directly to the charity which in turn immediately benefits those who need it most.

At Farrar & Tanner, we pledge 10% of all sales of our Helena Chess, Backgammon & family games will go directly to Ahbap.  You can shop our Helena Collection here.

If you wish to contribute to the cause directly, donations can be made via their official website Ahbap Platform 

For more information on Ahbap and the vital work they do, visit  https://ahbap.org/