Venue: Güre (Edremit), Balıkesir, Turkey
Dates: 18—26 June 2023
Hosting organisation: Esenler Youth and Sport Club Association
Report from project:
As the name of the project states, the main topic of our stay in Turkey was immigration and integration of people affected by it. It took place in a small town named Güre right by the sea, which was definitely an added value to the project, since we got the opportunity to spend our free time swimming in the beautiful sea! The accommodation was also an experience on its own, because we were actually camping in tents. I learned that for a lot of participants, this was their first time camping ever. The venue was perfect, because we could do a lot of sessions outside with a stunning view of the surrounding mountains and sea at the same time!
Along with participants from Turkey, Italy, Greece, Romania and Macedonia, we spent the whole week learning about migration, the humanitarian crisis caused by it, and deeply explored the difference between integration and assimilation. We began every session with an energizer, after which followed the session itself. Every national team had to prepare one presentation and one workshop connected to the project’s topic – our presentation was about migration in the Czech Republic, which was quite different from others, since the Czech Republic doesn’t have such an issue with migration from Arab countries as other countries present on the project, so we focused on Ukrainian refugees. We briefly introduced Ukrainian refugees in numbers, played a game and then asked other participants to brainstorm on how to integrate refugees into our society. Our workshop on the topic of Green Deal consisted of an interactive computer game about sustainability and introduction of the Green Deal itself. In addition, other presentations and workshops dealt with migration from all points of view imaginable, communication, integration, possible solutions for problems connected to these topics, or cultural differences. A huge plus was that one of the facilitators actually works in an immigrant’s centre, so his remarks or sessions led by him were full of real stories and practical information on “how it’s done” in real life.
We can not forget about cultural nights! On this project they were in the rhythm of national dances, which was – even for people who can’t dance at all like me – a huge fun. I also learned about places I definitely need to visit when I come to countries that participated in this project.
Overall, I definitely need to come back to Turkey, not only to drink their delicious tea, but because it is a very diverse country, with amazing people, which has a lot to offer. On this project I learned a very big amount of information about the refugee crisis I had no idea before and it definitely helped me with having a more complex view on the problatics, as well as it helped me with building more tolerance and respect for migrants.
So even if migration isn’t exactly in your field of interest, I strongly recommend participating in a project focused on it, because after the project, it definitely will be!