All posts by imece network

Youth Exchange in Timisoara

Timisoara, Romania, was a hub of youthful peacemakers from Portugal, Romania, Turkey, and the UK from November 21 to November 27, 2022. These aspirant community educators and future reconciliation workers benefited greatly from the RESOLVE: Play 4 Peace event.

The program sought to give participants the skills needed to resolve interpersonal conflicts and deal with social conflicts on a local level through encouraging multicultural experiences, improving skills, and promoting understanding. Three boys and three girls from Imece Network participated in the event, and they recounted their motivational journeys of self-discovery and new connections.

One of the most impactful aspects of projects like “RESOLVE: Play 4 Peace” is the opportunity to interact with cultures previously unfamiliar to participants. Fatih acknowledges the significance of these encounters, stating, “These projects help me interact with cultures that I have never encountered before in a short time.” Through engaging with diverse perspectives, the participants expanded their horizons, challenged their preconceptions, and developed a deeper understanding of global issues.

RESOLVE: Play 4 Peace provided an environment that encouraged participants to venture beyond their comfort zones, fostering personal development and cultivating the skills necessary to address social conflicts within their communities.

Through their experiences, participants discovered the profound importance of peace and the power of cultural exchange in overcoming personal conflicts and addressing social challenges. As they continue on their journeys, these young peace builders are equipped with the skills, understanding, and passion to create positive change in their communities and beyond.

Youth Exchange in London

From October 30 to November 5, 2022, London, UK became a hub of youthful energy and global connections as the RESOLVE: Play 4 Peace youth exchange took place. This transformative program brought together young participants aged 18-25 from various countries to develop essential non-cognitive skills and engage in activities centered around peacebuilding.

The exchange presented an exclusive chance for participants to establish meaningful connections with peers hailing from diverse backgrounds. They had the privilege to fully immerse themselves in the dynamic and lively culture of London. Moreover, the exchange empowered them to initiate and launch social action activities within their own communities, making a positive impact on the world around them.

In the lively metropolis of London, the exchange unfolded, immersing participants in a captivating cultural journey. The organizers thoughtfully curated a series of formal meals and events to enrich the participants’ cultural immersion. The Welcome Lunch, Cultural Night, and Farewell Dinner provided the perfect backdrop for participants to build connections, foster bonds, and gain a deep appreciation for the vibrant tapestry of London’s diverse culture.

Youth Exchange in Istanbul

Let’s take a moment to look back on the incredible event called RESOLVE: Play 4 Peace that took place in Istanbul, Turkey. It was an amazing journey that brought together young people from different places, and here’s what made it so special.

During the event, participants had the opportunity to explore the fascinating city of Istanbul. The streets were lively, the markets were colorful, and the buildings were breathtaking. It felt like stepping into a magical world where history and tradition came to life.

One of the highlights of the event was the chance to make a positive impact on the local community. Participants joined in a treasure hunt, visited organizations doing good work, and enjoyed a delightful picnic. They also celebrated their diverse cultures and engaged in meaningful conversations, creating a sense of unity and understanding.

RESOLVE: Play 4 Peace was an unforgettable event that united young people from diverse backgrounds. The exploration of Istanbul, the fun and interactive learning, and the collective effort to make a difference left a lasting impression on everyone involved. While the event has come to an end, the memories and lessons learned will continue to shape the participants’ lives.

Youth Exchange in Cascais

The power of youth in promoting peace and fostering understanding across cultures cannot be underestimated. On 12-18 September 2022, a transformative youth exchange program, RESOLVE: Play 4 Peace, took place in the beautiful coastal town of Cascais, Portugal.

This initiative provided a unique platform for young peacebuilders from the United Kingdom, Turkey, Portugal, and Romania to come together, learn from one another, and develop the skills necessary to create positive change in their communities. Over the youth exchange of a week, 30 participants, including three girls and three boys from Turkey, immersed themselves in a journey of personal growth and intercultural exploration.

By emphasizing the use of dialogue, meditation, play, and sport for development, the program aimed to foster understanding, overcome gender inequalities, and empower participants to become effective social leaders within their communities.

Training Course “The Road to Recovery” in Pamporovo

Spiritual and mental healing was the main goal of the project that took part in Pamporovo, Bulgaria. Young people from 8 different countries faced their fears and learned how to get through them.

The project was held between the 8th and 14th of August. Imece was represented by 3 people. The project aimed to improve the opportunities for the personal and professional realization of young people after the global pandemic, by building healthy habits, improving their motor skills and understanding the factors influencing all aspects of the physical, spiritual and emotional development of the individual. 24 participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and Bulgaria spent 7 days together in the middle of nature and talked about their lives during a pandemic.

“We had very good days from the first day of the project. We bonded with each other and shared our feelings. I especially liked the activity we imagined we were on the ship. I realized what I wanted to do with my life”, shares Cemile.

Other participants agree that this time was unforgettable. Sumeyra adds: “It was so nice to meet people who can understand what you feel, what you have been through during coronavirus days. As it always happens in Erasmus+ Projects; we didn’t want to say goodbye to each other on the last day. However, we know that we will always remember and support each other even if we can’t meet again, thanks to this project”.

Training “CLAIM IT” in Mugla

Our volunteer – Rumeysa took part in the training in Fethiye Oludeniz. The main goal of the project is to increase dialogue between public institutions and youth organizations at the national and international levels.

The first part of the training took place between 1st and 7th August. A group of young people gathered together to discuss the importance of youth organizations, their role in the country and cooperation with public institutions. The training was given by GoFor – Youth Organizations Forum in Turkey.

“We learnt about public resources and EU funds that we can use in this programme in the days of public resources and civil society relationship, as well as EU funds, being international public resource”, says Rumeysa. It is worth nothing that according to the Mapping and Needs Analysis Report of Youth Organizations in Turkey, prepared in 2021 by GoFor, of which we are one of the member associations, 6 out of 10 youth organizations find their cooperation with public institutions almost non-existent or insufficient.

During the training, participant had a chance to learn also about legislation for civil society. “I think we will better understand that in the second part of the project, which will take place in Ankara”, adds Rumeysa.

LTA Beyond Borders in Paris

In the end of June, Özgür had a chance to participate in the event “LTA Beyond Borders”. Programme focused mostly on developing collaboration initiatives between neighbouring partner countries within the Erasmus+ and ESC programmes.

The project was held in Paris between 20th and 24th of June. More than 120 participants from 30 countries took part in it. During those few days, they organized various workshops on increasing the visibility and value between the programme and partner countries, withing Erasmus+, ESC and international cooperation with the three regional SALTO Centers.

As Özgür is sharing, it is difficult to put his experience he gained there into words. Not only workshops that were held there but people he has met, he will remember for a long time. “Exploring Paris during this process created the most enjoyable moments of the experience. I would like to thank Imece Network for providing opportunities for youth”, he adds.

YE “Sport A Language We All Speak” in Bulgaria

Young people from Turkey had a chance to participate in a project in Bulgaria. Between 25 – 31 May, they gathered with other young people from Europe in a Lozen, a village located in the Stolichna Municipality of Sofia.

The project dealt with the importance of sport as an educational tool for intercultural learning, fighting discrimination and promoting social inclusion. Imece network was represented by 4 participants and 1 leader. One of them was Efe, who shares: “For me this project was incredible. Before the project, I always had a question mark about its subject, but they told us the subject in a very good way with the workshops they prepared meticulously.”

The moment he remembers the most is when they took on the roles they gave them and tried to play them for 1 hour.“This left a good impression on me. We cannot prevent discrimination in sports, even if we do not want it due to the media. While everyone knows very famous male actors, we may not even be aware of the existence of female athletes with the same degree. This is true for all sports and athletes.”

The project in Sofia left an impact on all participants. Efe adds: “I have removed one more obstacle in my mind”.

Testimonials From Youth Exchange in London

Hello, I’m Âsûde.

I was a participant from Turkey in the Resolve: Peace Camps project in London on May 17-22. This project has participants from Cyprus, Hungary, Spain and Bosnia.

The Resolve: Peace Camps project consisted of many events emphasizing peace on a global axis. It was a full-blown session where we discussed what we can prioritize from the past conflicts with the guest speakers, visited the war museum about Britain and talked about the conflicts on the artefacts here, information has be given about the European Union and Brexit in the Europe House, and discussed the issues that occupy the agenda in international relations specific to various identities.

In addition, being involved in a project in London, one of the world’s leading metropolises, is enough to have unique experiences in many ways. You can encounter a different celebration every season. It was also enjoyable to explore the streets and talk to the people you met there.

There are many parameters that ensure the healthy development of communication on platforms where people from different cultures come together. I had no difficulty in communicating and establishing relationships with the participants in this project. All of them were people I was very happy to meet, had a great time with and would like to meet again in the future.

Finally, I believe that such projects support development in many areas. I am very happy to be with İmece Network in this project and I would like to thank İmece Network for this.

Âsûde Özkal

YE “Digital Transformation” in Greece

6 participants from Turkey took part in a Youth Exchange in Thessaloniki from 31st March to 9th April. This time helped young people to gain hard and soft skills important for the digital era and the labor market but also made it an unforgettable experience for them.

This youth project aimed to encourage young people to use more effectively digital tools and resources, through non-formal education activities. The project included 2 activities: the APV and the Youth Exchange, which the second one was the main activity. In Nea Kallikratia, Halkidiki young people from 9 countries came to improve and strengthen the knowledge, skills and behaviors regarding digital transformation and its connection with the current labor market.

During the project young people could take part in workshops like: introduction to Digital Transformation, getting a job vs. creating a job, Digital Tools for Project/ Time Management, Debate (pros & cons of Digital Transformation), role play theater and many more. Cansu, participant from Turkey, says that she really liked the debate: “It was a very nice experience, it definitely changed my perspective”.

Not only non-formal education and workshops were part of the project. People coming from different countries had a chance to share their culture and values. It was a time to make new friendships and discover new cultures. “Culture nights were the most entertaining activities for me. Because it is very nice to learn about different cultures and taste their food”, says Furkan, the other participant. “What I liked most was that as all the participants, it felt like we were family, not from different countries, it felt like we shared the same cultures”, adds Cansu.

This Youth Exchange gave the opportunity for young people to spend time in intercultural environment, get connected and be active on local, national and international level as well as become more aware of Digital Transformation and its connection with the current labor market. And as the Furkan is saying: “It was a beautiful project. I learned a lot of new digital tool usage. And it was an experience I will never forget in my life”.