AYBENIZ OZTURK EUROOPA SOLIDAARSUSKORPUS / EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS
Name: Aybeniz Öztürk
Age: 24 years old
Country/city of origin: Turkey / İzmir
Activity Dates: May 1st 2021 – June 30th 2021
Total Months of Volunteering: 2 months
Hosting city in Estonia: Parnu, Paikuse
Hosting organisation: Paikuse Noorte Keskus
Art, outside activities, gaming.
In 2 weeks this month, we were only allowed to do outside activities due to covid restrictions. But when I first came here, we organized a Turkish Cultural Night because I brought some traditional Turkish food and snacks. My boss, Marika, also gifted me some traditional Estonian snacks. So we had a great night with my other co-workers that night and we were able to taste different things and talked about our experiences in foreign countries.
In the Youth Center, I did many different activities with kids. I have organized a workshop about how to make small objects with air dry clay and kids made some object of the characters that they love like Among Us or like a playstation console and the next day we have painted them. Other than that, we spent our time getting to know each other and talking about Turkey and Estonia. Sometimes we’ve listened to each other favorite songs and danced and taught each other some dance moves, sometimes went for a short walk in the forest. Also, playing board and card games is really popular in PaNoKe and that is why we have many board games here. Kids taught me some of those like Azul (Estonian one)
I am also planning to organize a backgammon tournament soon which is a very popular Turkish strategy game. As board games are really popular in our Youth Center, we decided to develop our own game. Me and Teemu talked about what kind of board game it is going to be like we answered some questions like how many people are going to play, what the purpose is going to be and we are starting soon. As we have a 3D printer we can print the small object that we are going to use in the game. Other than that, some of the kids really love skating so I spent some time in Skate Park with them and they were really excited about showing me their skills. Little ones prefered riding scooters. In one of the weekdays, we went to another Youth Center to meet some of the other volunteers.
Also we decided that it would be really nice for me to leave them something permanent in the Youth Center fort hem to remember me after I leave, so we have been working on a wall art project with Teemu, we are drawing the silhouette of Tallinn and a forest to represent Parnu on the wall.
I really have a special connection with the kids already, they are telling me about their personal problems and things that they are struggling with at school and it means they really trust me. Especially that made me think that I chose the right profession because I am a pre-service teacher. Having this chance to work with children really broadens my horizon.
Other than these, everthying is going perfect in my personal life except just like everyone else I sometimes feel lonely as well but i think its really normal.
Thanks to my tutor, I feel like home here. Also my co-worker, now kind best friend Teele takes me everywhere with her so I get the chance to experience Estonia like a local.
And today I have made a presentation about Turkey for 7 and 8th graders at school.
3 Learning Points: I have realized I chose the correct profession for myself.
Other volunteers also experience the anxious feeling like me sometimes and it is normal.
I have been improving my social and language skills.
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