Our volunteering at Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) – Ahmet Başer and Ali Kutluhan Kaya, Turkey
My name is Ahmet. I am 20 years old, and I am studying English Language Teaching at Marmara University. After spending 3 months at the university, I was stuck at home because of the corona. I heard about volunteer-based projects like this organization and started to apply each of them. My days at home were the same and boring until the day I found out that I was accepted. I was on cloud nine and suddenly forgot the corona and the monotonous year I spent at home. In the blink of an eye, it was time to come to Brcko. My adventure to come to Brcko started that day and I want to share it with you.
After staying for a day in Sarajevo, we took the bus to Brcko. When we got to Brcko, we were exhausted, therefore Milos took us to our house. Our first week at the Svitac organization was the orientation week. During this period, we helped Adin with his activities with children and we thought about what we could do in the next 3 weeks. As this was my first overseas and ESC program, I had concerns before coming. However, the people I worked with, the long-term British volunteers who were our next-door neighbours and other people I met were so helpful and friendly that I had no worries from day one.
We did activities with kids between 11:00 and 13:00. It was really pleasing to do educational activities with children and to provide them with an environment where they can learn while having fun. As a prospective teacher, I feel lucky to have the opportunity to spend time with children and teach them something.
X X X
My name is Kutluhan Ali. I am 23 years old, and I was a volunteer in the hosting organisation Svitac (Firefly Bosnia). If you would like to know why this was one of the best of my experience, please watch my video about one day with Svitac Bosnia. Thanks to Svitac and GAP Association for selecting me as a volunteer in this project called “Volunteer for hope”.
X X X
In the afternoons, we were either studying the local language with Milos or attending activities Malcolm and Angela did with young people and adults. We cleaned the park next to the Sava River with young people, talked about language and cultural differences, read books, and wrote our own dialogues. In short, we did a lot of fun activities and met a lot of new people. The two activities I liked to do during the one month I spent in Brcko were to take a walk to explore Brcko after dark and playing basketball all day with my friends I met here.
Frankly, I came to this small town with very low expectations, but I gained experiences and made friendships beyond anything I could have imagined. I mean, the person reading this, if you are thinking of applying to this project, stop thinking and apply right now. Because it is not possible for me to fit the friendships, friendly local people, and this beautiful town you will get here in just one page.
Ahmet Başer and Ali Kutluhan Kaya, Turkey
Svitac’s (Firefly Bosnia’s) volunteers, April/May 2021