Think It, Change It – Turkey


Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Training Course

Venue: Istanbul, Turkey

Dates:  6-14 August 2016

Participants: Gabriela Štěpková, Sarah Asfour, Lucie Obrtelová, Sabina Maňková

Group Leader: Vít Votroubek

Please read the info-pack.

Participating countries: Turkey, Czech Republic, Greece

Hosting organisation: Yücel Cultural Foundation (YKV)

Project report:

Youth Exchange “Think It, Change It” in the dates between 6th to 14th August 2016 took place in Istanbul, Turkey, in the historical city of two continents, in the great and beautiful city that is the world’s fifth most popular tourist destination, in the city, full of cherish and friendly people and market sellers who speak with their customers almost in every common language (including Czech’s “Dobrý den”!) and funny ice creams vendors, who do incredible things until you catch your cone! 

The main aim of this Youth Exchange was creating awareness among young people about all types of discrimination such as gender discrimination, intolerance because of somebody’s religion, inequality in the case of race or prejudices of sexual orientation. In this exchange participated only 3 countries: Czech Republic, Greece and Turkey. The participants were aged between 18-25 years. 

Because of the fact that our group was very small – it contained 22 participants – we could easily built a strong youth group full of honest and friendly people, who were interested in the same topics, so I can undoubtedly say, that nobody of us felt hesitated to share his/her ideas or previous experience with other members. Participants were very motivated to all anti-discrimination activities that were prepared by organizers.

 The course objectives were:

  • to increase the knowledge of the youngsters in the field of gender, religion, race, sexual orientation
  • to explore to be a part of the society within all diversities
  • to have a knowledge about “No Hate Speech Movement” and “All Different, All Equal” projects and having tools to create campaign through these projects
  • to develop common universal values and practices among youngsters 

During 9 days of this project our daily routine used to start at 8:30 with breakfast and informal activities used to start by 9:30 in the center of Yucel Cultural Foundation. The way from our hostel to the main building of organization took about 7 minutes by walking though the most famous touristic and historical place – the Square between Sultanahmet Mosque and Hagia Sofia. All along the day our sessions consist of activities regarding awareness among discrimination, educational games as well as presentation of examples of some types of stereotypes and prejudices. 

One of the most interesting things during prepared activities was Flash mob. Participants of project were practicing almost every day the steps and movements to the song Life is Life, that expressed the life in oppression and the life of freedom. Later on, we spend a day off in Asian side of Istanbul, where the dance was performed in the small square.

During these activities we inspired each others, motivated ourselves and created new friendships within the group. Some kinds of activities made us to get closer to our partners that opened ways to partnership and cooperation. The organizers Pinar, Tolga and Burakhan, together with facilitator Hatice made a wonderful atmosphere during this project! They were more than organizers of this project, because they have become our friends, who took us to some interesting places in Istanbul as well.

Thanks to this project, we learned types of discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices as well as learned about methods of education, moreover a wonderful cooperation and friendships among nations were created!

Sarah Asfour

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