Summer is coming!!! In fact in Turkey is already here :)
Living in Aegean Region of the country is an asset for people that love see and sun (between others me too:)
Seems that “Turkishness” is infecting me slowly from some points of view:
- Time is very relative and having plans made too much time before and event (for example at least one week before) is a big joke!!!
- Relax! Relax! Relax! Don’t take it so hard or so personal....this is Turkey just enjoy it !!! (yeah to bad i came to work not to have fun:)
- I adapted and re-adapted my project activities (I am the queen of flexibility)
- Turkish Volunteers will came as many times you want to a beer, walk, club or other type of fun but not more than one time in a week (or 2 weeks) to a meeting!
More observation in “work” field:
- I get to know more and more the TOG system and structure and I realise day by day that is a place where is difficult for a foreigner to come with input and take a leadership role because volunteers are advised self organizing themselves (same goes for me) with no specific support from the coordination field (because is the will and the decision of volunteers to choose what they want to do and for how long – there is no regulated system and also they is no monitoring or evaluation of the volunteers and their work in the organization; How this is translated for me: I have to motivate by myself the volunteers to get involved in a new type of project (that use new methods that their organization didn’t use before) and act as multipliers and active citizens (in a different definition from the one they use)..... ME ( a young foreign girl that doesn’t speak their language)...i think this is for sure a challenge (for ME :).....the name of the project it was really a good inspiration
- I think the political background and history is making young people in Turkey reluctant to make a chance in the way some things are going in social level!
- Many topics are taboos in what matters tackling them in active citizenship projects: discrimination of Kurdish minority, homosexuals, women; freedom of speech; education system; role of citizens in community development etc .... (is really interesting to analize all these and understand better how in fact this country works
- I participate with some street animation workshops in GAP GENC Festival in Mardin (East Part of Turkey – a festival that was done for first time in the East Turkey and gather youth and youth workers for all Turkey in order to stimulate youth participation in that region of the country – witch is quite disadvantaged and underdeveloped – where the majority of Kurdish People are living.) – it was a really interesting and enjoyable experience.
- I took part in a ATAK project (of TOG) of 3 days about Youth Participation (but being the only foreigner over there and with no organized translation was difficult to integrate in all the activities)
- I continue to deliver workshops on social theatre in Izmir reagion; (everytime new people)
- I delivered some workshop on street animation techniques for the volunteers and members of Pink House (A TOG youth centre from Istanbul)
- I was part in a national campaign of TOG (reading day) where together with other volunteers we sit in the middle of the street and read for 4 hours, meanwhile other volunteer offering flyers to passer bys to stimulate them to read more!
- I helped some EVS volunteers from Turkey to get ready for a project in Romania.
Summer is coming...seems that is dead season for TOG and its volunteers – everybody is disappearing ...but maybe not!!! :)
“Challenge YOU and YOUR community” represent an EVS project (European Voluntary Service) implemented by A.R.T. Fusion(Romania) and TOG (Community Volunteers, Turkey) financed by trough Youth in Action Programme by Romanian National Agency.
The opinions expressed in this article belong 100% to its author!