As part of the ESC journey, me and my fellow volunteer, Martyna, are supporting the office team in looking for partnerships for Erasmus+ projects.
Although I have had quite a rich volunteering experience before coming to Turkey (I have been involved in NGOs in my country for 10 years now), my European Solidarity Corps stay in Pi Gençlik Derneǧi is the first time to work directly in the field of Youthwork under Erasmus+ Programme.
How does this discovery look like?
First of all, we have together with Martyna assisted to a small training about Erasmus+ Programme Guide, learned about all the countries participating in the programme (divided into Programme and Partner Countries), the principles of Erasmus+ activities, as well as dived into the details of the programme’s structure: we have discovered the differences between the three Key Actions (in the field of which Pi has been very active) and activities supported for each of them.
And then… we went directly to practice, as it is by doing that we learn the most. We started browsing the numberous Facebook groups that put many NGOs and all kinds of educational institutions applying for Erasmus+ funding together and looking for opportunities for strategic partnerships with prospective partner organizations. It is a great opportunity to learn more about the diversity of projects under Erasmus+ and also get inspired with the ideas of all those organizations. I have already learned about many organizations I decided to follow as I find what they are doing very important for me. What is more, it is also a perfect opportunity to learn more about all the projects that Pi Gençlik Derneǧi coordinated and took part in before we arrived here and became a part of the team. I am glad I can contribute to developing the network of Pi Youth Association and be its ambassador.
Currently, looking for partnerships and promoting Pi projects is one of our daily tasks. We are still learning and get support whenever necessary, but I have to say we have already quite a good knowledge of Erasmus+ programme ourselves. This month, we gave a small training about searching for partnerships under Erasmus+ to two local volunteers who are from now on doing the same. This was an empowering and motivating experience and I know I will continue spreading this knowledge.
In the end, I would like to share what I personally appreciate the most in these networking tasks. In fact, I have been willing to get involved in youthwork months before starting my ESC journey and being a part of it now is a small dream coming true. I have met many people who inspired me and whose work I admire. Every time I see an inititiative or a post of an organization that I have heard about or from people whom I know from some previous youthwork events, there is this warm feeling in my heart of being in a right place.