From 23rd of January until 23rd of March I attended my short term EVS in Ankara, Turkey. Five volunteers, from Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and me as a participant from Macedonia, for two months have worked together on the project “Volunteering for Generation Nesilfest-2015’ organized by the hosting NGO System and Generation from Ankara.
Ankara, our two months’ home, huge city with a population twice bigger than Macedonia is so lively, crowded and modern city, a place where you can surprisingly find and see almost everything. This was a completely different city than any other capital I’ve ever seen before. Kizilay, the city center, an area characteristic with its narrow pavemented streets, full of restaurants, bars and shops, was the place where we used to live and the place where we normally spending our weekends, smoking nargile, drinking Turkish coffee or tea and eating our favorite tavukdoner.
The aim of this project was integration of the elder and young people in the society, mainly in the municipality of Kecioren, and we were the second group that was working on the same project. The elderly house, Baskent Ornekkoleji, the cultural center Yunus Emre, and the clock tower of Kecioren were our main working places where we spent most of our time. Our main duties here were spending time and socializing with the elder people, giving English classes, organizing events for both elderly and young people etc. Despite the fact of the language difference, which was the biggest barrier in our project, we made a difference, we succeeded to put a lot of smiles to both elder’s and the youngsters faces that we worked with.
Moreover, we got the chance to work with the refugees situated in Kecioren as well, which I consider it as a great experience especially in a time of political crises and struggle that were some of the countries facing. I must mention that this was a very difficult time for Turkey and its nation who was exposed on a big danger and life threat. Unfortunately, we got to be testimonies of two bomb attacks which happened exactly in our neighborhood during our stay in Ankara. We had the chance to feel this chaos and terror that was shaking the country, and believe me it is something no one would ever like to feel and witness. However, this made us stronger and more aware of the purpose of our lives and the world we live in.
This EVS was just another amazing experience in my life that proved me how much I love Turkey and its lovely nation. This experience made me realize how much we should appreciate our peace and freedom. We are the future of this world, we are the change that we want to be seen, so let’s spread love instead of war.