Erdem Ayyildiz, a sports student from Turkey, was participating in a short EVS (European Voluntary Service) in Romania. He is sharing his impressions with us.
First, I was participating in a project with handicapped children in Turkey. In Erzurum, my Turkish city, me and some friends from my faculty (sports faculty) did some so-called „empathy activities“, like playing basketball with the youngsters. Afterwards, in July 2013, I went to Romania/Bucarest to do similar activities.
On our first day in Romania, I met the workers of the association „Sakura“. I have some European friends who are in that organization and whom I met already before going there. Afterwards, we spoke about the project we planned.
Then we met the Romanian children, most of them were parentless or at least they were living on their own. We mainly played traditional childrens‘ games, Turkish ones as well as Romanian ones. It was fun! We also had the chance to walk around the capital Bucarest.
The other part of my activities in Bucarest was including a visit of a rehabilitation center for handicapped people. There, I had the possibility to observe the daily life of the workers and their clients during some days which was an enriching experience.
Unfortunately my EVS was really short (we only stayed 4 weeks there)! I actually had very few time which I spent in Romania and with my project colleagues and the children there. Nevertheless, everything went on really well and I had very great experiences there.
On the first photo, you can see us with the Turkish children in wheelchairs during the „empathy activities“ in Erzurum on the basketball field. This activity was organized by my university – Atatürk üniversitesi Erzurum, spor fakültesi (sports faculty).
The second one shows me with my Portugese friends at the Turkish cultural night.
And last, but not least, the third photo was also taken during the Turkish cultural night, but during a presentation about my country. While we were in Romania, there was the month of Ramadan during which Muslims are not eating and drinking anything from very early in the morning until the evening (sunset). It’s a religious celebration for us. That’s why we organized a Turkish night with my Turkish friends also in Bucarest and told the others about Ramadan, Turkish traditions, Turkish specialities like Turkish delights and our university in Erzurum, in the North-East of Turkey.
… Und dann fragten wir Erdem noch, was es für ihn bedeute, ein Freiwilliger zu sein. Seine Antwort im türkischen Original: „Benim için gönüllülük önce kendim için önemli çünkü insanlara yardım etmek onlarda yardımseverliğin karsılıgında tesekkür edilmesi beni mutlu ediyor. Sonra sosyal bilinci uyandırmak ve insanlara yardım etmek her insanın insanlık vazifesidir diye düşünüyorum.“
Und hier in einer (freien) deutschen Übersetzung: „Für mich ist eine Tätigkeit als Volontär zunächst einmal auf einer ganz persönlichen Ebene wichtig, weil mich der Dank des Gegenübers, dem ich mit meinem Engagement helfe, glücklich macht. Außerdem denke ich, dass durch einen Einsatz als Freiwillige/r Bewusstsein für soziale Themen geweckt werden kann. Es ist meiner Meinung nach die menschliche Pflicht eines/einer jeden Einzelnen, anderen Menschen zu helfen.“
EFD = Europäischer Freiwilligendienst, bedeutet, 3-12 Monate in einem anderen europäischen Land (es gibt auch – wenige – Plätze im außereuropäischen Raum) zu leben, und dort in einem ökologischen, kulturellen oder sozialen Projekt mitzuarbeiten. An- und Rückreise, Versicherung, Miete, Essensgeld, Taschengeld, Transportkosten zum Arbeitsplatz werden vom Programm ERASMUS+ (früher: JUGEND IN AKTION (Youth in Action)) übernommen, dafür arbeitet man ehrenamtlich 20-30 Stunden pro Woche.
TIPP: Rechtzeitig mit der Organisation beginnen (etwa 8-10 Monate vor geplantem Projektbeginn)!
Ein kurzer Aufenthalt als EVS-Freiwillige/r (wie in Erdems Bericht) wird als short-term EVS, ein längerer (ab 3 Monaten) als long-term EVS bezeichnet.