Where is East? Where is West? Yaşayarak Öğrenme Merkezi Informal Education Youth Center
international east - west camp
Since 2007, every year young volunteers who have no or very limited access to live an intercultural experience and work for social change and transformation in their locality meet in Izmir, Afacan Youth Center with their peers from all over the world. During East-West Camp, they have a chance to share their activities, experience intercultural learning first time in their life and also create a network with young people who are from different cultural backgrounds. This camp inspires them to be part of the solution and progress in their local society which starts with themselves. 10th and 11th periods of International East – West Camp took place on 27July - 5 August 2012 and 7 - 14 August 2012 in AfacanYouth CenterYenişakran, İzmir.
Criteria to be a part of East – West Camp are simple; Ÿ Working as a volunteer in their locality for social
change, Ÿ Having a limited opportunity to travel to either within Turkey or abroad. Ÿ Foreign language proficiency is NOT expected. Camp has already proven its effect through raising its leaders from previous years' participants. However below comments of participants from all over the world and Turkey may worth to have a look!
Quotes from the participants
Biljana Bedricic (East – West Camp 2012, Belgrade / Serbia): Feeling open to others, and just willingness to communicate with each other was enough to share quality time together. For me it all had deeper meaning, and had affected me on so many levels. I really appreciate everyone's effort and at the same time honesty in the relationships we created. From each event we got proper feedback which helped us create reasonable solutions for everyday challenges.
informal education youth center In the end I am filled with the feeling of gratitude to each and every person I met, for all the lessons learned and the great time we had. It was an environment that got me going all the way, and which kept me motivated and willing to contribute with all my heart. It was not just another intercultural camp, it was more profound experience of positive exchange. Elver Akan (East – West Camp 2010, Mardin / Turkey): I met with people even though I have no idea about their language and culture. I communicated with them and seen that I can work with them as a team. I realized that how much I can success. I have never known this that concrete. Kerim Agacanoglu (East – West Camp 2011, Hakkari / Turkey): By coming together from East and West parts of the world and making great permanent friends in just a one week-time, really seems unbelievable, but it is real at Afacan Youth House. I have experienced the most unforgettable days of my life. I overcame all of my prejudices and I witnessed that so many prejudices have been overcame. Also, I saw that differences of languages and cultures weren't barriers to live altogether on the contrary, I felt that as if it was a huge oxygen for millions of flowers in the garden of our world. Nurdan Duzgun (East – West Camp 2011, Eskisehir / Turkey): For me East – West camp means that increasing self-confidence especially to speak English, start of new friendships. It changed my life significantly. I created a blog after the camp to write my memories. After couple of months, I got an offer from “Tropics Magazine” to write as a freelance journalist. Without East – West camp this won't happen. Oğuz Can Ak (East – West Camp 2011-2012, Ordu, Turkey): Whatever you heard about this camp is less than what you can experience by your own. It is gathering of magnificent people from all over the country. I can never imagine, I can form friendships, but it is a special place. Hasan Ali Yıldırım (East – West Camp 2012, Denizli, Turkey): East is east, west is east said Rudyard Kipling. Is it really like that? We gathered from Eastern and Western parts of the world in Izmir and shared our lives during one week. Rudyard Kipling may thought like that East and West can never gather, may be wars at his time made him think like that. But East – West Camp has shown that East and West can live together. Musa Demir (East – West Camp 2009, Artvin, Turkey): My vision enhanced, I became a new person. You will never get rid of me!