ECR – European Cooperation for Refugees

Merhaba, 

The truth will always be the truth, 

even if no one believes it…

 

So May 4th we started my last project in Turkey with Pi as EVS volunteer. Project included  Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey. Project was based on youth and migration. More formal info about project can be found http://www.pigenclikdernegi.org/en/on-going-projects/european-cooperation-for-refugees-ecr/ .

Just before starting project we realized that we are missing İtalian participants, so I texted some people from previous projects. And Bobo replied – yes. Happy to see You here 🙂

First day – or to be more correct – first evening we started by introducing people with Turkish and French team they gonna be working with. Secret friend and some meeting games were enough cause everyone travelled to İzmir such a long way and were tired.

Second day – we worked about some basic info – woke up/energizer teams, rules and project info, had some amazing drama activity with Egecan. And in the evening I was lucky to have time to say hi to my old friend from Erasmus in Kaunas – Ayşecan – hope we gonna meet again.

Third day – after all serious and artistic activities we started our cultural nights. First ones were Turkey, Macedonia and Bulgaria. Thank You, Kiko, for horse meat sausages You brought… And happy St. George day all Bulgarians…

Fourth day – we got in teams to create some output of the project. Debate, photo, dance, music, bracelet teams were working about their own topics. My group (probably already obvious) was creating friendship bracelets and life performance. Each string has a meaning of our life and each knot means each other’s impacts. We made friendship between our international group and Syrian group. It was a big pleasure to work with my Lithuanian sisters, Turkish and Italian cousıns also 😉 and to say the truth – at first I had questions how to teach Igor without English. But he proved that You don’t need to know same language to be friends.

Fifth day – people went to explore İzmir, Ephesus and Çeşme. By accident I became part of one group exploring city of İzmir. And I am very happy to spend day with these amazing people. Bobo took us up to the Kadifekale. Neighborhood strongly influenced by Syrian people living here. But fortress – or what’s left of it – symbolize history. We went to Konak – clock tower – asansör… and then I let people to enjoy bazar… cause I had my ECC with beginners…

Sixth day – after daily activities we had cultural nights again. Lithuanian sisters presented our country in sarcastic but real way. P.s. almost forget – previous evenings we also enjoyed watching movies about migrations and refugees.

Seventh day – we had possibility to meet youth from Syria. Spent all day together, gave them friendship bracelets, talked about their and our lives. I already knew few people from center  – me and Aras met in project in Karşıyaka, me and Hasan met in ECC. Day was emotional and I was happy that my little Turkish is enough to create new connections. After day with Syrians, me and one Syrian friend went to ECC to practice our English. It felt nice when Syrian friend and my Turkish students went for a coffee after class. Happy to be part of integration.

Eight day – after all day of activities we have cultural night. This time with Syrian guests. Bad weather influenced that we started evening in the dark, with few candles and phone lights. But this problem not stopped Slovakians, Polish and Hungarians from showing their cultures and dances. After electricity was restored we continue our evening in regular way.

Ninth day – we performanced our outputs. Everyone got their friendship bracelets, everyone could participate in debates with Mauro… We saw amazing dances and sound performance…

Tenth day – all of us needed to leave. Ones left at night, others in the early morning, thirds – later that day…

After people left and I went home – I was feeling weird… We all spend more than week, but it felt more… and even the fights and conflicts didn’t change the feeling that this people are so amazing and hard to let go…

My roommates – Shari, Lenka, Asibe and Manuela – thank You for understanding each other, patience with the most stupid doors in all hotel and being my family in one – not so small – but limited area…

My secret friend Matuş – I hope that You enjoying receiving small notes from me… and I hope to see You in other projects…

My bracelet team – Ieva, Ligita and Karolina see You back in Lithuania, Igor  – I hope that Your weddings gonna be magical, Gabriella –  thank You for Your Italian vibe in our group, Tomaş – it will never gonna too much of You for our group and Merve – our Turkish sister – thak You for all the help…

And all others who know that we made beautiful connections – You all welcome to Lithuania… or we gonna meet somewhere else in the world…

See you later 🙂

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