My name is Ömer Karabacak, I have a long-life story but here I just want to share my ‘ESC’ experience with you.
After graduating from university, I wanted to go on a long adventure abroad, after researching I found that the best way was to participate in ESC projects. We had the opportunity to both works voluntarily and get to know foreign people closely. I have applied for more than 80 projects, but only two of them have returned and Bulgaria was the best choice for me. A different language, culture, and society.
While choosing the project, I did not know much about Bulgaria. That is why I decided to participate in this project to know more about Bulgaria which is a neighbor country to Turkey. Pi Youth Association helped me a lot in visa procedures and getting know the country, and especially when the corona epidemic started in the world, they contacted us and conveyed the factors of the corona process that will affect this project and how we should act.
If I need to talk about my project, I took part in the “Grab the Mic” project for 1 year in Sliven, Bulgaria. My task in this project was to broadcast live on the radio, prepare playlists and produce videos. Being a content producer was an area I love to work and feel happy about because I have no limitations in producing the content I want and implementing it. While diversifying my content, I also wanted to touch on social issues and once a week I addressed a social issue in my live broadcast on the radio, I invited guests to my broadcast to talk about it in detail and get ideas.
I am interested in historical and cultural issues. While I was intertwined with a different culture in a different country, this gave me an idea in terms of content production. I prepared a video by exploring the history of Sliven, the city where I live, and the social and cultural structures of the people in the region. Then, with this video, I started to share a new video about Sliven every week. When these videos attracted attention, I presented my personal project to my Supervisor and it was accepted. The content of this project was to go to local production facilities (factories, workplaces, etc.) in different cities and examine their functioning, visions, historical backgrounds and traditions and to prepare videos for their contribution to the promotion of Bulgaria. We researched the reasons why these workplaces work entirely with local resources, without using imported products, and doing this in traditional ways. We turned this research into a mini documentary series. The name of our drama is ‘Made in Bulgaria’.
One of the reasons I participated in this project was the belief that I would have the chance to travel to different countries. But because of the pandemic, this belief could not come true. As a country, I only had the chance to travel to Romania. In addition, I had the opportunity to travel to many cities in Bulgaria.
As a Turk it did not take a lof of time for me to get used to Bulgaria’s culture because the culture and people of Turkey and Bulgaria are quite similar. Finally, I must say that I would recommend this project that I volunteered to people who have similar thoughts.
The Volunteer of AGH-168 Bulgaria Project “Ömer Karabacak”
Pi Gençlik Derneği (Pi Youth Association)