Between August 16th-31st 2021, we participated as partners in the projects "Youth’s Perspective on Employment" and "On the way to school” projects funded by the Erasmus + program.
Key Action: Mobility projects for young people, the theme being employability among young people, respectively education
Thanks to the organization „Ankara Eğitim Gönüllüleri Derneği - Education Volunteers of Ankara” which facilitated these partnerships.
The young people selected as participants in these projects were the volunteers most involved in the actions of elaboration of the questionnaires, their application and interpretation within the Advocacy Activity for the vulnerable groups of young people and women of the project. „From Pupil to Employee: Advocacy and Training for Youth and Women at Risk in the County of Dolj” implemented by Adina Stiftelsen Foundation with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014-2021.
Minodora, Georgiana, Mihaela, Adriana, Marian and Adrian were eager for new experiences, despite the restrictions and health insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and during the preparatory sessions they expressed their expectations and fears they felt, and prepared the information they wanted to share with the other participants from Turkey, Lithuania, Latvia, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Greece and Bulgaria.
On August 15th, our brave young people embarked on the summer adventure. The road to Çankırı, the city where the first project took place, was long and tiring, but the energy and enthusiasm to meet new people and experience a different culture helped them get through the many hours spent on the bus more easily.
The culture shock was quite high, but our young people managed to adapt quickly, being helped and guided by the project coordinators.
The non-formal activities carried out every day, had as main purpose the communication and the active participation thus creating the perfect framework for intercultural learning experiences and personal development.
The role-playing games that had as subject the employability among the young people, brought to the fore the problems that young people face when they want to get a job.
Common problems identified: lack of internships, low number of jobs, inconsistency of subjects learned during the years of study with real needs in the field of work.
The Romanian participants being directly involved in mapping and conducting research on the issue of social exclusion and unemployment among vulnerable groups of young people and women in the communities where the foundation operates, made a detailed presentation that was held in front of all participants.
The second project, carried out between August 23-30, had as is main theme education, the focus being on early school leaving and the freedom to study, both in the country and internationally.
Our team presented the projects carried out by the foundation emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach and integrated educational support in order to support children and young people throughout their education from preschool to graduation and integration into the labor market.
At the end of the workshops, the participants concluded, the main methods to prevent early school leaving are: promoting the benefits of education / why it is important to be educated, supporting young people through teachers and volunteers, state involvement through various programs / workshops / youth centers, through which young people should be motivated to continue their studies. We were pleasantly surprised to see that our foundation has already identified all of these issues and is working on them.
The intercultural evening was another opportunity to show to the participants and coordinators the wonderful Romanian culture.
Another important component of the two projects was the visit of as many special locations nearby, and fortunately, on the list of these locations, was Cappadocia, a region that can be likened to an open-air museum, where you learn about history, religion, spectacular rocks, volcanoes, caves, and about underground cities.
How do our participants describe this experience?
Mihaela: My experience in Turkey was unique. It was the first time for me when I left the country, and also the first time I participated in an Erasmus + project. I am very happy that I managed to meet so many new and interesting people and find out more about their cultures. I am very grateful to the Adina Stiftelsen Foundation, and to the coordinators of the Erasmus projects in Çankırı, respectively Kahramanmaraș: Yasir, Enes, Furkan, Ali and Yalcin.
Georgiana: My experience in Turkey in a few words ... Hmm, it's hard to put into "a few words" two weeks that passed extremely quickly, but that made you feel like a real local who haggles over plates and magnets the refrigerator.
I was lucky enough to participate in two special Erasmus + projects that gave me the opportunity to meet new and beautiful people from seven other countries (Turkey, Lithuania, Latvia, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Greece and Bulgaria), who in turn have come equipped and ready to color the projects in their own cultures, so I can say that I came back with a diverse colorful experience and many beautiful memories, including wonderful cultural evenings with dances and good food, multinational expressions, discussions about the beautiful parts and the least beautiful of our countries. Overall, it was a period that is not easily forgotten and that I would always like to repeat.
Minodora: How were the 2 weeks in Turkey with Erasmus + projects? WONDERFUL!
I met many special participants from 7 completely different countries with whom I had a lot to discuss.
I am very glad to see the Turkish friends I missed a lot and I hope to see you again soon.
Participating in Erasmus + projects I had the opportunity to discover other cultures, to visit various wonderful places in Turkey that host people full of warmth and love.
It was an unforgettable experience, which I would repeat anytime.
Adriana: Turkey is a unique experience because you get to communicate with different people, each using their own language and yet somehow managing to understand each other in one way or another. It is a culture full of hospitality, where wherever you go you may receive a cup of hot tea or sweets, all accompanied by many smiles.
The opportunity to participate in two Erasmus + projects in Turkey was a real joy. In these projects, we had the chance to meet different people from several countries - Northern Macedonia, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Bulgaria and Turkey - and to make a lot of new friends.
Through each activity carried out within the project we were able to get to know the other participants better or even discover new things about ourselves.
In the end, it was an unforgettable experience, with a lot of adventure, fun and new experiences.
Marian: For me, the two Erasmus + projects were an unforgettable experience. Interacting with other participants from other countries has opened my eyes to the different cultures around us and I hope to be able to be part of such projects again in the future.
Adrian: For me, the Erasmus + experience meant getting out of the ordinary. During these two weeks I was put in totally new situations that I had to learn how to manage "on the go". Just as I described to Yasir, one of the facilitators of the two projects, this experience opened my eyes, and showed me how different, but at the same time, how similar we are, regardless of our roots. This is just the beginning for me when it comes to Erasmus + projects. I can't wait to experience the next one.