Volunteers Own Volition for a Wonderful World — Turkey


Dates: 1. 7. – 31. 8. 2018

Venue: Gaziantep, Turkey

Programme and action: Erasmus+, KA1, European Voluntary Service – short-term

Please read the EVS infopack.

Volunteers: Jana Lejskeová and Filip Líška

Hosting organization:  Gaziantep Training and Youth Association

Dissemination of project’s results: In November 2018 we organised a presentation with volunteer Jana Lejskeová for senior students of Business school Břeclav.

EVS report:


I am Filip and I spent my last two months in Turkey, couple miles away from the Syrian border. As a volunteering teacher of English, I had chance experience so many things for the first time but let’s start at the beginning.

Mid-February, I am again anxious about my daily routine: School, work, projects day after day. I feel like I need to break the never-ending chain. It’s the right time to “experience life”. With all the luck I saw a post in FB group, perfectly fitting my situation: 2 months summer volunteering work in Gaziantep, Turkey. I signed up and I was chosen. Alright, but what did I sign up for?

Since the second week of summer I picked activities most close to my skills which meant: Lead 4 conversation classes for beginners (each 2 hour a week), help my Polish friend once a week with non-formal education for Afghan teens, read 4 pages of The Little Prince with Syrian boys per week, improve grammar of 5 boys from Syria and Iraqi.

That might be all from the official part. What about something I started: I tried to teach English as many people as I was asked. So? So, besides the classes I already told you I had a chance to help up to 3 more other local friends at the time with grammar, reading, listening… daily or weekly.

So far, so good? Let’s flip the coin:

  • flight to Europe cancelled- I arrived home one day later
  • Diarrhea every 2 weeks- once you get used to it it’s not a problem
  • extremely high phone tariff- bought Turkish sim card
  • ended up in a hospital with sickness- private hospital, the doctor had 3 titles, I was alright within 3 days
  • 2 euros for food per day- you can actually save money, food is so cheap there
  • almost no one speaking English- everyone is so kind that it doesn’t matter

And so, on and so on. During 2 months period you might end up in plenty of bad situations but it’s up to you how to get out of them. There is nothing to worry.

Would I go again? Most probably yes, but somewhere else to do something new. Was it worth it? If you don’t have a long-term plan in your life it is. Everything is totally up to you. Do you want to help others, study languages, focus on yourself… Go on EVS, perfect opportunity to do it.

Filip Líška

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