MY ESC LIFE: AMAZING MEMORIES AND CHALLENGES
Kako se je Evin odlučila na volontersku službu u Zaboku, kako je izgledao čitav proces te što je sve radila i naučila možete pročitati u članku.
Day at university… I was sitting with my friends and we were drinking coffee. We talked about the articles we need to write, projects and of course, we joked. I got a message from my friend. He sent me an announcement from Mreža udruga Zagor. I remember that I was so happy and immediately asked him for more details.
After our conversation, my journey has begun. I sent my motivation letter and Europass CV.The next day I had an interview with Zagor. I was worried because I am from Turkey and I need a visa for Croatia. However, after the interview, Zagor chose me as one of the volunteers and we started the visa process. Of course, process for getting a visa was difficult but we managed to solve everything on time.
I took a break from my college; resigned from my jobs and came to Croatia. I can say that I do not regret it because I got a lot of experiencethat I could not get if I had stayed in Turkey.
When I first came in Zabok, it was hard for me because I did not have friends and I did not know what I could do in Zabok. On the second day after my arrival, I met my colleagues from the office and my mentor. They gave me some advice about Zabok. In addition, my mentor gave me a lot of information about transportation, supermarkets etc. Having a good mentor is an important because when volunteers come to another country they start a new life, and they live in a different culture and it is exciting and challenging. I was lucky because I had an understanding and helpful mentor.
When I came here, my life changed. I was living in Istanbul and Istanbul is a crowded city. Always I had to rush and walk fast. If I want to go to another district, at least I should spend 1-2 hours on the road. In addition, there were always some events in Istanbul. Life is slow in Zabok. I do not have to rush, walk fast. Because Zabok has only nine thousand people and there is not a lot of traffic and people are chill. There are fewer events than in Istanbul. When I came to Zabok, I realized that I still walked fast. However, after a few months, I also started to walk slowly and be more relaxed. Of course, sometimes I get bored. Nobody says that you will always have fun. When you apply for an ESC project, you should know that sometimes you would get bored, feel mad, and miss your old life. It is a normal process. If you were living with your parents, be ready to cook your food, clean your home and respect other people’s space. Sometimes you can feel alone. When I came here, it was difficult for me because I did not get used to staying at home. After a few months, I found close friends and started a deeper conversation with them. Nevertheless, I can say that if you live in a small city and you like to meet people, you should pay more attention to finding friends. I learned that sometimes I can feel alone, mad and tired but it taught me many things about myself.
The good thing is that I work here. I resigned from my old job but I started volunteering in the organization. People from the organization are kind, helpful and open-minded. I learned many things from them. Probably when I go to my own country and look afar, I will better understand what they have given me.
When I came here, I already had some projects in my mind. When I told my colleagues, they supported me and I started. My first project was creating the “Stories of ESC Volunteers” podcast channel. I talked with people who participated in the ESC project and I ask them questions about their ESC experiences. It was important for me because young people like me do not have a lot of knowledge about ESC. This is a good opportunity for living abroad, improving language skills etc. In this podcast, I asked what kind of problems they were faced, and what they recommend for those who want to apply for the ESC project. I learned many things from old volunteers. Sometimes when I had some problems, they gave me some advice about ESC life and sometimes we shared our amazing memories. One of my good memories, I interviewed Marija Ratkovic from Serbia with whom I had not met before. I met her through zoom thanks to my mentor. I went to Serbia 3 months after the interview and I met Marija face to face. It was a great memory for me.
My other project is mla-dost.dobro magazine. I can say that this magazine is like my baby.
The decision to publish the magazine was easy but when I started to make plans for it, I realized that I have to spend a lot of time on creating a magazine. I was lucky because my mentor Marija Gebert is a graphic designer and she designed the magazine. We had our first meeting on 9 February and we talked about the magazine with young people. Moreover, we shared our first issue in April! I cannot explain my feelings at that time. We spend a lot of time but we succeed!
I wanted to do it because I wanted to meet the young people and create a free zone for young people. Also, I think the continuing of journalism on mla-dost.dobro can be an opportunity for the creative participation of young people. Young people can contact each other and they can write about their interests in this magazine.
I had some concerns before publishing. I did not know many young people and I was afraid that we would not be able to find articles. However, after a few months, we managed to reach local young people. Now I cannot believe that we already published five issues. I got a lot of good feedback, especially from local young people. We are still working on it and every day more and more people hear about the magazine.
I am still volunteering in Zabok. I know that I will experience many things. I will meet many people, talk with them and learn more. When I return to my country, I will have many memories to tell. Maybe years later, I will look at the magazine issues and the photos, congratulate myself for my courage, and be grateful for everything I have been through.
Thanks to everyone who has already come my way.
Članak je napravljen u sklopu Eurodesk programa.