In the last semester of my university, I came across the idea of participating in an ESC project by chance and I did some research on this subject. I went to the Polish city of Lodz in the summer for Erasmus Internship and had the opportunity to meet with a few volunteering friends there. With their support and opinion, I applied to the organisation in Lodz and got accepted. In fact, Lodz has been the city where I have done my every project to this date. Although I tried other countries and cities, I had the opportunity to somehow do three projects, Erasmus, Erasmus internship and European Solidarity Corps, in Lodz. I always mention that Lodz is my destiny whenever I talk about it.
My project took place in Łódź, Poland on a long term (12 months) basis. The title of my project was Energy, Creativity, Solidarity… The aim was to have free workshops for children, young people and seniors from the local community and support them in everyday life.
My main task for the volunteering project was to work in a library. Working in the library to collaborate with librarians was to help the daily work routine and present my culture to people by creating and preparing workshops and presentations while helping the team there. In this context, I was organizing, preparing and conducting presentations and workshops for different age groups on topics such as Turkish culture, history, traditions, environment and world problems. I have been in 5 different video projects, 2 of which are mine. I was the person responsible for my own video projects. I have made many contributions in shooting, directing and editing.
In my ESC project, we were 19 volunteers from 11 different countries. Thanks to this diversity, I had the opportunity to become more aware of cultural differences and to learn more about traditions, customs and values. I was sharing my house with a Turkish, Spanish and Latvian friend. Thanks to this, I had the opportunity to get to know different cultures and dishes. Living in Poland for 12 months helped me get to know Polish traditions and customs very well, I got involved in the city Łódź by participating in events, workshops and festivals, and had the opportunity to introduce my language and culture as well.
I would like to mention the opportunities provided by my institution. We lived in a house with volunteers from different countries. They provided us with a transportation card for us to be able to provide more convenient transportation in the city. We had Polish classes every week. They prepared different styles of trainings and workshops for us. Different culture workshops were held, a city game was organized and we had the chance to participate in different events in different cities.
I also want to talk about the city I was in. Poland is a unique country with a delicate historical background and many natural beauty, as well as exclusive architecture. Also, living and working with the people of Lodz gave me the opportunity to learn and talk about all kinds of topics; history, cuisine, culture, traditions etc. This ESC experience has helped me enrich my knowledge of Poland and Polish people while taking an active role in society. We even made a video with the volunteers about this Lodz, you can watch it on Youtube. I share the link below…
The Volunteer of AGH-128 Polonya Project “Ufuk Coşkunsu”
Pi Gençlik Derneği (Pi Youth Association)