EVS in Ankara: Laura’s experienceEVS is a great experience that everyone should enjoy at least once in life. It is an unique possibility to get in touch with a new culture, to know different point of views and to meet many new people from very different backgrounds, with different religions and traditions. It gives you the chance to widen your horizons and stretch your mind to new realities and at the same time you have the occasion to volunteer, being useful and helpful for other people.

My arrival in Turkey couldn’t have been better. Turkish people are extremely friendly and hospital and my hosting organization (System&Generation) has an amazing team of people, who did everything was possible to make volunteers feeling comfortable and welcome and who took really good care of all of us. They provided us an introduction where they explained us all the details about EVS project and our tasks and they provided us Turkish classes once per week. During my stay in Turkey I also had the possibility to take part in an incredibly interesting training course in Kayseri about the youth employment challenges, which volunteers from every part of Turkey attended.

During my EVS project in Ankara my task was to raise awareness of the Erasmus + projects among young people and encourage youth mobility. In order to do that we went to visit several universities where we told our stories to the students, telling them how to find these projects, how to apply and how we were feeling about our experiences. Even more, we opened an info point in our office where young people were always welcome to come and learn something more about volunteering. Beside this task, when I arrived in Ankara I met several volunteers, either from my same organization and from other ones, together we had the idea to open a school for refugee children in Keçiören (a neighborhood in Ankara were the number of refugees in incredibly high). In two weeks, without any sponsor or donation, only with the support of my hosting organization and Keçiören municipality, we managed to find some rooms, which we could use as classrooms, some didactic materials and a bus to pick up the children from their homes. We started this project with 25 children and now, after less than two months, we host 60 children.

Many of them could never attend any education, the other had to quit their studies and none of them could speak Turkish. In this school we provide them Turkish, English, Arabic and maths classes, in parallel with some workshops and educative games. At the same time we have also organized some Turkish classes for the children’s families.

Our aim is to contribute to the reduction of vulnerability of refugees by improving the level of education of children and increasing awareness, cohesion and mutual understanding between refugees, local population and European citizens.

EVS has been for sure the best experience of my life, it taught me many things, increased my vocational training and developed my personality.

Laura Governi,

EVS volunteer within the Erasmus + project “Many Opportunities Real Equality”


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