Hi, I am Ferit Coşkun. I am 22 years old. This year, I graduated from The Department of English Language Teaching at Hatay Mustafa Kemal University in Turkey. I participated in the Erasmus Student Exchange Programme in 2020 while I was studying at the university. After the Erasmus Programme, I decided to search more about the projects and opportunities, and I learned that I could find ESC Volunteering Projects and other opportunities on the European Solidarity Corps Website.
In March 2022, I got accepted for the ESC Volunteering Project by Eko Centar Latinovac, Croatia. To begin the project, they suggested that I cooperate with a sending organization, and they helped me to find Pi Youth Association. During the process, Pi Youth Association helped me to prepare all the documents and enlightened me about solidarity, volunteering, and my responsibilities during the project. They contacted me regularly before the project and during the project and asked me whether everything was good or not. Thanks to my sending organization Pi Youth Association, I completed my project easily. Whenever I would like to ask something, they responded to me directly and cared about my situation. I would like to clarify that my hosting organization Eko Center Latinovac was also excellent. They assist me whenever I need them, and they always take care of me.
Thanks to the project, I believe that I improved myself in the field of Permaculture, Preparation Activities for children, Solidarity. During the project, the coordinators of our host organization taught us about Permaculture, Team-Building Activities, and Brainstorming. We prepared the sports activities for the children, and they had the opportunity to be in a multicultural environment. For me, Eko Centar Latinovac is crucial to the local community. Because they provide young people with Croatian Culture, and they help local people to know more about other countries and cultures. We helped local people when they needed us to do something. All local people were grateful for our help, and they appreciate the effort of Eko Centar Latinovac.
I remember that We went to Sovsko Lake where we felt like we were in the natural beauty area, and we cooperated with an association of nursing houses where old people stay. We maintained the benches and the area together. İt was an incredibly perfect day for everyone since we had the chance to be with local old people and met with them. We enjoyed the day together and ate the local foods which they prepared for us. Every week, we had a schedule about What we were going to do. At the schedule, we had workshops with volunteers as well. Some of us shared our skills with others. We did the skill-sharing of Music İnstruments, Language Workshops, first aid, Traditional Dance, and Sewing. We had a notably well time during the skill-sharing. We were 17 Volunteers from different countries, and we acquainted with one another quickly. We learned more about the culture and traditions there. We celebrated the Sacrificial Eid and France Bastille Day. On the day of the Sacrificial Eid, we taught them how to greet and celebrate Islamic Eid and we treated them to candies and Turkish coins as a part of our tradition. Apart from this, we had the traditional intercultural night. All the volunteers prepared their traditional foods and beverages. Eko Centar Latinovac invited the local people to join us and met with us. We ate together our traditional foods, and we had the opportunity to become more multicultural.
During the night, we played some traditional games and dances. As Turkish People, we sang The Izmir March and danced to traditional songs.
I will participate in the Erasmus Internship after this project, and I need to have a Visa for it. While I was staying in Croatia, our Coordinators of Hosting Organisation Eko Centar Latinovac helped me to prepare my documents for my personal project and they were so kind to me in every situation. Now I have a Visa and I will participate in the Erasmus Internship soon. I believe that Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps Volunteering Project have contributed to my life, and they will continue to improve me.
This is the best experience of my life. I hope that all young people will benefit from this opportunity. Lastly, I would like to thank The Turkish National Agency and Croatian National Agency for providing such an excellent opportunity for us and for their institutions Eko Centar Latinovac/ Pi Youth Association.