Programme: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: youth exchange
Venue: Kırıkkale, Turkey
Dates: 21—28 August 2022.
National team size: 6 participants + 1 group leader
Please read the info-pack.
Hosting organisation: Kirikkale Gençlik Grubu
Czech team: Taher Kebab (GL), Lucie Indrová, David Zajaroš, Jindřich Hemelík, Natálie Hončíková, Jakub Priputen, Mona Kebabová
From the 21st to 28th of August, me and 6 other Czechs participated in a youth exchange called „Don´t waste! Recycle and save Earth!“ that took place in Kirikkale, Turkey. There were 5 participant countries – Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Czech Republic and Turkey – each with 7 participants.
As the name suggests, in this project we dealt with the topics of pollution, wasting and recycling. And the schedule was packed from start to finish. On the very first evening, after we arrived to Kirikkale, the organizers took us to the town for dinner and it sort of became a tradition – for every dinner and sometimes even lunch we went to some restaurant in the town. That allowed us to try many different traditional turkish meals and to experience authentic turkish atmosphere and culture.
The official first day was dedicated to getting to know each other, learning our names and ice-breaking games. We´ve created a strong group where everyone was friends with everyone and the atmosphere of the project was really warm and friendly; there was never any problem.
During the project we did a lot of group activities that taught us about cooperation and team work. We worked either in international teams or sometimes in our national teams. Some of the activities we did include making the project poster, making mind maps of what does wasting and recycling mean for us and presenting to the other participants what our country does for environmental protection so that we could take inspiration from each other.
One thing I have to highlight is that we didn´t only sit in the hotel and talk about things but we also got to experience them first hand. We went to see not one, but two recycling factories – one for plastic, where furniture was made from recycled plastic, and the other for paper. This was really interesting because we could see the process of recycling with our own eyes and thus understand it better. We also visited the mayor who told us what he is working on and how he is trying to improve the situation regarding waste in the city and what are his plans and wishes for the future. And we visited the local youth centre where we had the opportunity to attend a workshop on how ebru art (traditional turkish water painting) is made.
There were so many other amazing things we experienced but if I had to name them all, this report would be five pages long so I´m just going to mention a few: a trip to Cappadocia, attending traditional turkish wedding, visiting a mosque and a traditional turkish bath – hammam.
To sum it up, this project was one in a lifetime experience. We learned a lot of things, made friends from other countries, acquired new knowledge and skills, got to know Turkey and its culture and most importantly – made hundreds of unforgettable memories.
I would like to end this report with huge thanks to EYBC because without them we would never be able to get this experience, the whole czech team and all the other participants because at the end of the day it is the people who make the project either the best or the worst and this was definitely one of the best projects with the best people. I would also like to thank the turkish organizers and the whole turkish team because they were all really welcoming and friendly and they were a big part of what made the project so amazing.