Saturday, 25 July 2009

Summer in Turkey and Africa

Almost 6 months passed from my EVS project .... Hm!!! Not exactly the time to make a evaluation because my hosting organization has different NGO life in summer then in the rest of the year because as you remember they work with students and students have holidays in the summer no? In the summer no local projects are happening in TOG but some national projects are happening : lets call them kind of camps.

In this camps volunteers are gathering from all the country and they can vary from training or seminar kind of camp to more physical work (for some orphanages or poor areas). Is a good area to make workshops on various topics (including for me) but as saw from my last months experience not a good place for having a more longer impact , for starting a idea that the volunteer to actually put in practice in their communities. I am working a lot that’s for sure but i had to reduce the amplitude of my expectations: this volunteers don’t want to be multipliers in any methods, don’t want to have the responsibility in bring strong topics to the community but seems that for sure they will like to be a trainer with certificate after some hours of workshops and without using ever social theatre or street animation!!!

Yes, people are telling me that Turkish young people don’t have the patience to be involved in a longer training program, they want to see some results immediately....i will answer back to this people that Turkish young people have to mature a bit more and be more open to what is new or coming from out side of their group/organization/country.

Hmm....i still have to asses my cultural shock effect on me!!!

Lets tell some more positive aspects as well.

Something unexpected happened this month in a area where I was thinking that I will not manage to do something valuable in Turkey :Global Education – this is another long story about TOG attitude to global topics, awareness an education.

Me and the Izmir regional coordinator are going to be part of a program for trainers in Europe-Africa Cooperation. We took part in a training in Ivory Coast and now (because she has the motivation after involving in this project) we are going to develop some initiatives on this area for Turkish volunteers. Slowly slowly people are gathering to my core group :)

(for this training I used all my free days from the EVS project because this is an event financed by North-South Centre and to participate in it I needed to arrange my work time accordingly so I can use only my free time for it)

The training was a good networking event and good motivational push up for working in this area (global education, with African Diaspora in Europe, to bring up these topics to general public, etc)

Seems that for Turkish young volunteers we can approach them with environment protection (for which seems that they are really resonating) and the idea is to organize a camp (like described before) about sustainable development, renewable energy, recycling, etc) for volunteers all of the country in a eco-farm near Izmir. Good start, it will be the first camp on such topics and if we are lucky it can generate local projects lead by the volunteers.

PS- Africa was a wow!!! After South-Asia reaching another continent is fore sure impressing and affecting my system of perceiving the world ; Ivory Coast was as well affected by civil war and it really put a mark on them (because it was recently happening) ...I will come back in later posts with details about my impressions in and about Africa.

“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.

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