Here are the impressions of Çağlar Yolcu, 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 left Turkey for this program at the beginning of March.
We had a great time with BRAVO for 2 months. Together with BRAVO, we helped children with autism to carry out sports activities. There was a coach and 5 children with autism in this gym we were in. We helped these children to perform certain sports activities. The important thing here was that those children needed this. The children there were spending almost all their days in their homes and could not spend their energy. I think we gave them good moments thanks to this sports activity.
Later, through BRAVO, we conducted special studies in the clinic with elderly people. We aimed for the people here to spend more quality time. We organized Turkish language course, handicraft activities, etc. We joined them in table tennis activities, which is their favorite one.
Finally, I attended the training and matches of the Sarajevo young women’s football team. I can say that I work in every position required here. I carried a stretcher, collected the balls, and distributed water, etc. I can say that it is one of the activities I enjoyed the most. Even though we couldn’t play, it was very enjoyable to watch it.
BRAVO had a Youtube channel but it was not actively in use, I asked our director if we could use it actively. He said that he would be happy to help us and he was very happy. He provided us with all kinds of equipment for it, he gave us access to the channel. I also recorded our trips and my editing process is still going on. I will upload it when I finish it. We also interviewed Turkish tradesmen in Bosnia and Herzegovina and recorded them as well. In my spare time, I helped project managers to write their new projects. So they finished their projects much faster and we had more time for something else to do together.
I started learning a new language, I think my approach and relationships with people have improved, I know my English is better now. I know more about disabled and elderly people now and I will try to do something for these people during my stay in Turkey. I think I am getting stronger in terms of mental health. Because it is not easy to live apart from family in another country. Now I feel more ready for long term ESC projects. I’ve had experiences and moments that I hadn’t had in my life before. For this, I would like to thank our supporting organization EPEKA and then our host organization BRAVO.