Being a Refugee Is Not My Decision — Turkey


Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange

Venue: Eskişehir, Turkey

Dates: 8-14 March

Participants: Anastasiia Bondar, Tereza Dvořáková, Anežka Krejcarová, Mariana Kroupová

Group leader: Kristýna Liptáková

Participating countries: Czech Republic, Turkey, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Greece, Portugal

Please read the info-pack

Hosting organisationTepebasi Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation

Project report: 

This wonderful project gathered over 40 people from Czech Republic, Turkey, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Greece and Portugal in sunny town of Eskisehir, Turkey. Everyone had a story to tell and expectations to fulfill.

The program was well organized and diverse. Each participant had a chance to show themselves in various activities such as photography, debates and many others. Teams presented their country’s stance on refugee crisis with interviews participants took with their friends and people on the streets. At the end of the day we enjoyed the intercultural nights, that consisted of games, dances, singing and food tasting. As the main outcome of the project, each team prepared a campaign aimed at improving the public opinion on refugees, which participants will implement after they return home.

Agenda was not without surprises from facilitators We visited local organization that helps refugees. There we were informed about refugee situation in Turkey and how NGO’s help those in need. Next, we have been to the Eskisehir town park, which is known for their Disney-like castle. We travelled to Yazilikaya village famous for its breathtaking nature and ancient monuments. After that, we went to the Muslim education center, where we got an insight into history and traditions of the region. Another surprise was waiting for us in the evening – organizers took the participants to a traditional Turkish restaurant, so we could try authentic Turkish cuisine.

However, the most astounding event was visit from refugees. Everyone was nervous about it, but in the end we learned that they are just the same people like us, with same dreams, thoughts and emotions. They were really happy to meet us and talk with us, even though language barrier was a bit of a problem. Looking at their smiles, we could see how peaceful they were with their new life, after overcoming immense struggles and loss.

Thanks to everyone’s hard work we were a bit tired, but never bored. On this project people from all over Europe made new friends and acquired new knowledge about refugee crisis. Without doubt, this experience will be used to make a world a better place, if only a little bit.

I am sure everyone brought home warm memories and will look back on the time spent there with love and fondness.

Sincerest thanks to everyone who let this kind of projects happen, notably EYCB for their excellent implementation and preparation.

Anastasiia Bondar

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