My volunteering experience in Łódź- By Bartu

In early October, I excitedly traveled to Poland to start my ESC volunteering work at a library in Łódź, Poland. I shared a first-floor apartment about 20 minutes far from Łódź’s main street with other 3 volunteers. I joined them later than project started but still my flat-mates and I managed to have warm relation through the project.

I was working in a library in the suburbs of Łódź, with 2 other volunteers and 4 librarians. My working coordinator encouraged and involved me into more library tasks, classes and workshops. I was in really helpful and inspirational environment. I was leading English conversation clubs, English and Turkish lessons, chess lessons and weekly tournaments to mainly young adults but I had participators from all age groups as well as different nationalities not only from Polish local community. I have created library garden for visitors and local community.


During the training held in Torun and Warsaw also in my free time, I had great opportunity to travel through Poland and Europe. I had many trips to different cities with my flat-mates and training mates. Having very diverse group of people in the meaning of age, education, culture etc. helped me to widen my ideas about World and European identity.

In early March, my northern Macedonian roommate visited her home, while me, my Spanish and Hungarian flat-mates were preparing for our long-awaited trip to Iceland, when we have been called to a meeting in the organization. Meeting came out with a new challenge called ‘’quarantine’’.  We all had to go back to our apartments where we had to stay in home quarantine until the restrictions were lifted by the Polish government.

It was the time, our volunteer life changed for good and all pre-planned programs needed to be cancelled. Polish borders have been closed.


Fortunately, we were not left without tasks. The coordinating organization (or, as my volunteer colleagues called it: the office) took over the role of the host organization (i.e. the library, the kindergarten), thus opening up new possibilities. I was able to decide how to help these institutions while working from home. That in itself was a great learning experience, but the real quarantine experience was not what it was, but how the three of us lived in solitary confinement. Our first reaction, cooking-Netflix-card playing-reading package, became monotonous over time. We had the chance have conversations through every kind of topic during quarantine times. I also learned a lot about my own skills. Turns out I can (and love) video editing well. So, I soon shot, edited and shared cooking videos for the local community and organization’s webpages.


Although at the beginning of my volunteer period I focused mostly on my professional development, in this unexpected situation caused by the virus, I still developed but more humanly. I was able to discover the similarities and differences between Spanish / Basque, Turkish and Hungarian culture and language. I have learned that living with others requires an everyday compromise. But it was all worth it. Through joint associations, playing cards, conversations and cooking, I was able to learn even more about the strengths of my roommates and learn a lot from them. Although this period was not easy, I gained valuable knowledge and experience that will help me to stand in any situation in the future, even in a multicultural environment, far away from my family and friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 By Bartu! 



Get to know Francesca

When it comes to leave I have no doubts. It is always good to grab an opportunity and take a plane. This was the case with this experience: when I saw the post on Facebook I immediately thought it was my chance. And now here I am, in Turkey!

I recently graduated in Human rights, interculturality and cooperation for development in Perugia, in the central part of Italy. It was time for me to try something new. I came from a beautiful island in Italy, Sardinia, with amazing weather,beaches and food, but I didn´t want to spend all my free time just relaxing when outside is full of opportunities and adventures.

What made me realize my thrist for knowledge was the experience that I consider as a watershed in my life. I spent three months in India and can’t help wondering how wonderful is leaving our comfort zone and put ourselves and our heart in a completely new adventure and culture. As for India, I am so excited and curious to lose myself in Turkey and Ankara, not only to learn habits, traditions, history and its cultural heritage but also to know myself better. It’s a challenge: you don’t realize how much you can do, achieve and overcome until you start working on yourself and put yourself out there. In my opinion, this is the gift of volunteering: a person goes abroad with the hope to contribute in a society and in reality it’s a “game” on equal terms. Giving and receiving at the same time. Richness all around you, what’s better than this?

S&G for Youth - 12 Webinars to bright our future

System & Generation Association, as member and in collaboration with CEV- Centre for European Volunteering, is starting a new cycle of Virtual Webinars, with sessions carried out by the S&G international ESC volunteers. 
The aim is to promote active citizenship and to raise awareness on relevant issues related to our contemporary society, by involving youth from different countries and fostering their fruitful interaction. 
The webinars will last for 1:15h and they will be implemented, twice a month, through a first introductive theoretical part, to get participants more familiar with the topic and the definitions, followed by an interactive second part, where the participants will have the opportunity to give their contribution, sharing their knowledge, observations and opinions about the subject discussed, through the moderation of our ESC volunteers.

The first session was successfully deliver on the 24th of July, on the thematic of the "No Hate Speech" movement, with the joint participation of youth from 9 different countries (Romania, Italy, Turkey, Lybia, Russia, Algeria, Albania, Pakistan, Israel). 
The further topics that will be discussed in the next sessions are: 

1) Hate speech (DONE)
2) Bullying
3) Domestic violence
4) Toxic masculinity
5) Addictions and unhealthy lifestyle
6) Social Media abuse
7) LGBT rights
8) Human rights
9) Poverty
10) Migrants and refugees
11) Gender Equality
12) Artificial Intelligence

Please, find the promo links of the first session, promoted in collaboration with CEV - Centre for European Volunteering:
S&G at Social Sciences University of Ankara
S&G at Social Sciences University of Ankara

S&G at the premises of ASBÜ

Read more about Gulay
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EVS with kids with disabilities in Lastovica Skopje/North Macedonia

Mert's impressions on his EVS adventure in Lithuania

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S&G at Beypazari Chamber of Agriculture
S&G at Beypazari Chamber of Agriculture

S&G on board for establishing new partnerships and collaborations...

S&G at Chaos TV
S&G at Chaos TV

When talking about migration: S&G at Chaos TV

Mr. Gürkan Akçaer is the New Turkish Ambassador for NAWA PK
Mr. Gürkan Akçaer is the New Turkish Ambassador for NAWA PK

Mr. Gürkan Akçaer has received a prestigious humanitarian recognition from the Pakistani Noble Aims Welfare Association.

Second EuroMed Debate Competition
Second EuroMed Debate Competition

Find out about our "ALF Turkey" Team that took part in the Second EuroMed Debate Competition 2020