I participated in the Erasmus+ project named ‘Virtual Reality: Extremism and Radicalization’, organized by the Youth Studies Association, with 38 participants from 9 countries, between 2-9 June 2021 in Istanbul.
On the first day of the training course, we gathered in Kadıköy, went to the training area and made a short introduction. The next day, the content of the project and the program were mentioned. Participants from different professions and transitions shared what they knew about the subject and gave examples from their own countries. Afterwards, some activities were carried out on the participants getting to know each other better and getting to know each other. In the afternoon, participants were asked to prepare short videos about Erasmus+, Europass CV and Youthpass. At the end of the day, the participants tried to introduce their organizations.
On the 3rd day of the training course, we discussed the definition of extremism and radicalism, and evaluated these concepts through different examples. The push, pull and contextual factors that play a role in the realization of ‘extremism and radicalization’ were discussed. We focused on how we can react in such situations. In the international culture night we held in the evening, the unique traditions and characteristics of different countries were introduced. Local snacks brought by the participants from their own countries were tasted.
The fourth day was reserved for the participants to tour the city. We divided into several groups and visited the historical and touristic places in Istanbul.
The next two days we did more activities on the subject. Among these activities, a game about a problem that arose due to the irrigation problem between the two countries attracted my attention the most. The two countries had to plant lemons or olives in their fields to make a living. Lemon was taking a lot of water, olive was not providing much return. So a way had to be found. At the end of the game, unfortunately, both countries could not make a living in our groups. Although this game seems very simple at first, at the end of the game, all the participants were surprised by the results. Thanks to this game, we were able to understand a little better why the problem occurs in such situations, which are very common in normal life. I think I will use it when working with young people after many activities like this that I learned in this project. At the movie night held in the evening, we watched a movie on ‘Extremism and Radicalization’ about the attack in Norway in 2011 and we discussed this movie.
On the last day, we shared how we can apply what we learned during this training in our lives and what kind of activities we can do on this subject when we return to our associations. We gave our feedbacks about the training in general. We learned about Youthpass and shared our own individual learning process. In the evening, before returning to our countries, we had a farewell party to say goodbye to our dear friends who we spent one week.