My volunteering at Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) – Kevser Çıldır, Turkey
Solidarity is a new learning experience
Hi everyone! My name is Kevser and I am a senior student at Necmettin Erbakan University Aviation Management. I came from Turkey for the ESC project through GAP Youth Association. Because of Covid-19, I had no hope that this project would happen, but my adventure started with a phone call and I came to Svitac and Brcko.
This was my first ESC project, so before I came I was both anxious and excited. I do speak and understand English, but I had no practice in speaking. When I came to Brcko I realised that everyone learns through those processes. And I have learnt something else. Language is not everything because we got along very well with the older woman (cleaning lady) and a security man who both work in the Youth centre. They don’t speak English and I don’t speak the B/H/S language but we always smiled and drank coffee together.
Cultures are different, languages are different but people are the same, you just have to smile. I didn’t have any trouble getting used to it because everyone is so kind and helpful that you adapt quickly and don’t hesitate to ask for help and make a mistake. We had activities here with children daily and I think the children were lucky to come to Svitac. Because Brcko is a district that hosts different religions and different cultures. Children come here to see that the differences are not abnormal. Thanks to the volunteers, they are communicating with new people from all over the world. The differences live in peace. At a young age, volunteers whose native language is English teach the basics of English and help the kids become familiar with the language. My favourite activity with the kids was sitting in a circle, enjoying the time together and eating snacks. A child is chosen every day and he/she distributes snacks to his/her friends until they are finished. In today’s world, I think it is very valuable to teach children the feeling of sharing, even though people live selfishly.
I learned so much here through tasting the local food. I highly recommend my favourite food – it is called ‘Ćevapi’. Sunset suits the Sava river very well, so take a walk in the Sava river at sunset. I gained new experiences by getting to know new cultures. I learned the basics of B/H/S language and it was always helpful in communicating with these children, in the market, in the cafe like „hvala, ovo, lijepo, pomozi mi, prati me …”).
I would like to thank the GAP Youth Association, Svitac and Miloš, who gave me the opportunity to live these beautiful memories. I will miss you Brcko.
Kevser Çıldır, Turkey
Svitac’s (Firefly Bosnia’s) volunteer, February/March 2021