Hello, my name is Mustafa and I am one of the participants of the Erasmus+ project called ‘A European Dream’. I am studying Mechanical Engineering at Bogazici University, and considering that this was particularly very interesting and different for me and it was full of beautiful memories and experiences.
The above picture shows us, the humble Turkish team 😊. The program was full of activities, sessions and team work and a lot of get-to-know one another events. Participants got to force themselves think and speak in a language which is not their native tongue. That was very self-improving. The debates and presentations were particularly very helpful for that purpose.
The project was also heavily included the non-formal educational methods. Non-formal education shortly means learning through untraditional methods. It doesn’t resemble to the formal educational system we are used to which is a teacher’s teaching us in an institution. It has 4 characteristics;
- Relevance to the needs of disadvantaged groups.
- Concern with specific categories of person.
- A focus on clearly defined purposes.
- Flexibility in organization and methods.
The program was intended to show the participants the ways of non-formal education through storytelling, debate, drawing, presenting, theatre etc. We also had the opportunity to practice what we learn. For example, we implemented what we learn in the theatre part of the project which was focused on ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’. We prepared a performance to perform in the crowded squares of Ljubljana, to gather attention on important topics such as ‘Unemployment’, ‘Ideas Behind EU’, ‘Democracy’ etc.
Storytelling was also great to participate in, because we have been shown of all the points people should consider while telling something or passing a knowledge. One of these points is the wording which is called ‘Rasas’. It basically states that the way you tell things influence and direct people who hear that. All the sessions and activities were also great for seeing the things out of a certain pre-defined perspective, which students at positive sciences are usually not able to do in the sense of formal education.
We also had a Cultural Evening, it is one of the core events of youth exchanges. As the name suggests, everybody bring any kind of cultural representation specific for their countries and tell the stories of its. We brought Tarhana soup, Turkish delight and Turkish coffee. I think it was one of the nights which we felt most integrated with each other, because we were able to see we weren’t really that different culture-wise.
I also would like to mention about the people. Everybody had a story of their own. Getting to know people from a variety of different background this closely and this detailed was a very interesting and widening experience. Even a person you might say a teenager was filled with life experience than you might expect and had a lot to offer. I definitely loved the experience of getting to know these great people in this kind of purposeful event. I was also surprised by the fact that how close we get in such a short amount of time.
Also, the youth center in Elerji, which we spend the days of the project, was also great. It was really great, calm and definitely full of green. It was a very interesting and visionary experience for me and I also loved the fact that every single event or activity had purpose behind even though it wasn’t obvious at the first glance. I really appreciate for being given this opportunity and would like to thank Lycian Pathfinders for the ideas and purposes they are pursuing to fulfill.