Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
Venue: Kastamonu, Turkey
Dates: 15 – 21 May 2016
Participants: Anežka Kvasničková, Alžběta Kvasničková, Kateřina Kalábová, Lucie Kimlová, Dominik Koršala
Group leader: Jakub Loun
Participating countries: Turkey, Czech Republic, Romania, Macedonia
Hosting organisation: Young Voices of Kastamonu
Project Let´s Act Against Violence started by arrival to Kastamonu on Sunday 15. 5. and ended up on Saturday 21. 5. 2016. That shortened week was full of experience, meeting new people and different cultures. Organizers and kind staff were always helpful and trying to bring about friendly ambience. What’s more, the participants were the only visitors at the hotel, which was unquestioned advantage.
The organizers picked us and Romanians up right at the airport. We have been already said that Macedonians will come separately. Anyway, they let us to take a seat in a minibus and then everyone received a little snack, which was surprising and very nice. The first stop took place in Kastamonu shop centre. Our leader Kerem provided us the last opportunity to exchange money, because – according his words – there would be no chance to do it at the hotel. Therefore all of us were slightly surprised, when the hotel turned out to be a horse farm located in the lovely countryside at the end of the world. After the first shock, we had to collectively admit, that we couldn´t wish more peaceful and calm place, which was in addition available just for our group. Nobody did mind after all, although we were surrounded by hills which could be considered Šumava (Czech mountains).
The first day was about getting know each other. Actually we were not intended to achieve any royal aims as the global solution how to prevent violence, but how to correctly recognize a name of Macedonian participant on your left side. Also everybody received little sponsor gift from promoters – the bag with logo Erasmus plus on it, file, diary and the highpoint in the form of featured T-shirt, which was useful to wear while shooting the project photos.
The next day we came to the point more closely, we were generally talking about types of violence, the reasons and prevention from it and then about the particular problems in our countries. An expert from Provincial Directorate of Family and Social Policies came in the afternoon to tell us in detail the system used in Turkey in case of violent feats against women especially. She showed us a long-time presentation with high amount of some statistics unfortunately in Turkish. Although she was followed by English translators some of us were from time to time gaping on the screen suffering from third-rate.
Despite other workshops we spent Wednesday in adjacent town Daday on the one-hour meeting with The Major. For us, it was very interesting, beneficial trying to debate – and vice versa, I hope. The major was trying to give us some information about their political situation in Daday and Kastamonu at least in a nutshell. After that we were continuing in this discussion at the hotel, talking about any expressions of violence in our native country and also debating about dependence between violence and economic situation, education and also the punishments. There´s a question whether the strongest punishments are the most effective way as we would expect.
The rest of afternoon we spend in Kastamonu to look over and prepare for the “culture night”. In order to enjoy the international evening, the culture night has done the trick.
It was in plan to go to seaside on Thursday, so we boarded into the minibus to explore the town Inebolu on the coast of the Black sea. Organizers supplied us as usual with plenty of food to not get hungry – what disaster would it be. On Friday we got through with our scheme and concluded. Everyone can see it in our fine brochures made by nationally mixed groups.
The last morning we had to wake up early which was after the whole relaxing week very VIOLENT and then we were asked to say goodbye. It was hard to part with the participants and the foreign interesting country as well. And to do some sightseeing in Istanbul on the way back was the icing on the cake before going to Prague.