Here are the impressions of Burhan Satır, who went to Bosnian Representative Association for Valuable Opportunities – BRAVO in Sarajevo with our European Solidarity Corps project “A Place I Know” for short term:
I went to Sarajevo from Turkey at the beginning of March for the 2-month volunteering project.
A very warm and sincere Bravo family welcomed me upon my arrival, and BRAVO informed me about the project and Sarajevo in the first days. As the 8th of March coincides with International Women’s Day in Sarajevo, special flowers and chocolates were distributed to women in Sarajevo and their days were celebrated. The main purpose of the project was to have a joint event with disadvantaged individuals, which is how it happened. We got together with disadvantaged and elderly people and organized events in 2 different clinics. We did sports and gymnastics activities with the Bravo team with disadvantaged children.
With this activity, which aims to bring children, who have the right to live like every individual, to life, children were tried to be involved in life to some extent.
In another clinic, where elderly people came together and engaged in different activities, joint activities were organized with individuals, including a conversation environment, handicraft activities that would help them use their mind and hand skills and improve their hand skills. This activity was also organized to fulfill the purpose of the previous activity.
Another activity was the participation of young women football matches. Watching the matches from there, even being there, was very nice to take part in the background of this environment.
Research has begun for an activity where Bravo volunteers can be in involved in Sarajevo. A joint activities were planned in consultation with Yunus Emre Institute. In this regard, Turkish practice lessons and courses that will be planned on any subject belonging to Turkish culture (food, dance, etc.) were discussed. On the other hand, the heads of the Psychology and Sociology departments of the International University of Sarajevo were contacted and information was obtained on what kind of joint activities they can engage in. It was discussed with the psychology department that there may be volunteers about communicating with disadvantaged individuals and that this should be planned.
Bosnia and Herzegovina changed my perspective on life in many ways. It made me understand once again that I have to do my profession with more willingness, that disadvantaged people are actually very important and valuable people. He also made me realize how my English was and in which areas I need to improve. I tried to cover them as much as I could and also realized that I was willing to learn a new language, but since Russian and Bosnian are very similar languages, I learned that I need to be detailed and careful. Although I am used to living apart from the family, I have experienced living in a completely different environment. I would like to express my endless thanks to the sending organization EPEKA, the host organization BRAVO, who helped me gain these experiences.