Come For Different Cultures In Svitac (Firefly Bosnia)
Hello! We are volunteers from Şanlıurfa, in Turkey; my name is Fethiye Gülsüm Yorgancı and my friend’s name is İlknur Şimşek. I study at Sakarya University Faculty of Law and my friend studies at Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Social Services. We participated in this project with a recommendation from our volunteers’ director. He said, “There is a project where you can volunteer abroad, help other people and improve your own skills.” And we were very excited when GAP Youth Association accepted us to participate in their project, “Volunteerıing For Hope”, in cooperation with Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) who supports children and youth in Brcko. This is how our story has begun.
At first, I was a little bit scared because the communication language is English — I know English, but in my country, there is no way to do conversation practice with anyone. But then I saw that people are so nice here, they were always kind to us and when I couldn’t remember a word they helped me to find it. Also, we learned some basic words of the B/H/S language. For example: “dobro jutro, dobar dan, koliko košta, kako si, ne razumijem”…. lots of words like these. I really like to use the words that I learned here because they’ve helped me to make contact with other people who live here. I think this was one of the best parts of this project – Learning new things and meeting new people.
Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) has shown me something important – People can live together without asking about religion or race. They are trying to keep all of those people together. Not just the youth, they are trying to keep children together, too. Because there is some different situation here and they are trying to keep them all together – there is no discrimination between participants in this centre.
On the 4th of April, there was the Catholic Easter, which was one of the newest things that we experienced ever. There was a lot of fancy eggs everywhere. ‘Milka’ (the chocolate company) even made some egg chocolate for Easter — that was so cute. Also, there will be celebrating the Feast of Ramadan. The most interesting thing – They have 3 religions here (maybe more) and they all respect each other. Wish all of the world could be like that.
Finally, we want to thank GAP Youth Association for giving us a chance like this, our volunteer director Yusuf Yaşar, and big thanks to Milos (project coordinator at Omladinska organizacija Svitac), who helped us during our volunteering time here and was so kind the whole time.
İlknur Şimşek, Fethiye Gülsüm Yorgancı, Turkey
Svitac’s (Firefly Bosnia’s) volunteer, March/April 2021