What are the first associations when you hear something about Turkey? Only honest :)! Yeah, 99% of the first things you thought about are the hot sun and beautiful beaches. Perhaps the remaining percentage will think about Istanbul, Bosporus, Blue Mosque and other historical raisins. But like any other country, Turkey is different. I was fortunate to see a cardinal other side of the medal. Not tourist and much more mysterious.
Turkey is the country of my EVS volunteering. It started on September 15th and will end on July 31, 2018. Location is the town of Muş, in the east of the country. The key direction of my host organizations is work with people who have cancer and youth work. There is one volunteer from Morocco with me on the project.
About my duties – I am a teacher at course of Russian twice a week. Unfortunately, Ukrainian does not actual to them. The other two days are English-speaking clubs. Teaching has become an interesting personal challenge for me. We work three or four times a week in the office about 5-6 hours. Also, once a week, we visit different schools in the city or villages in the region. If it is a secondary or higher school, we present the Erasmus + program, volunteers, talk about opportunities, personal and social responsibility, the importance of education, English; tell them more about our countries, culture and customs. Many of them see foreigners for the first time in their lives. Stories about Ukrainian culture and traditions are always very emotional and have a small cultural shock. Sometimes we visit families with cancer patients, talk with them and play with their children.
As for my host organization, generally I can recommend it. If in the future someone wants to work in this way. The head of our organization in the past has cancer. This experience has been the motivation for working with people living with this problem. We also have a lot of local volunteers who are not full-time employees but they are also part of the organization's life. Basically, these are teachers who want personal development. I like that whenever there are any issues, we always have a dialogue and we are trying to come up constructively.
Another aspect of my Turkish life is language. Twice a week I have a Turkish course. It is difficult for me, but I understand the general context of what people are said. The language environment works for this.
During the two months that I had on the project, in addition to the work, there were also many travels in the region. I was fortunate enough to be a guest on the great celebration of the birthday of the Erasmus program + which is - 30 years old. Everything was like an exemplary holiday - festive speeches, cake and dances. After that the next item was Izmir, where there was an on-arrival training.
My host organization sometimes organizes a kind of "weekend tour" in the mountains or other historic places, for which thanks to them a lot!
If Turkey is interesting for you for some reason - I recommend this country. Everyone will find something for themselves. In the context of the EVS too. So good luck.
Oksana Vykhivska, 24 years old, Khmelnutsky region