Youppi by Pixel - June 2020

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Youth rights and problems Civil society capacity building (for youth organizations) Digital competences and technology- based development Healthy life Promotion of volunteering Social media analysis

Pi Youth Association's target group contains all individuals and youth workers between the age of 15-30 years old living in Turkey. From our target group women, refugees and disabled people have priority as well as everyone that may be considered disadvantaged, whether it is economically, socially or geographically. In addition to carrying out activities to support personal development of the youth, Pi Youth Association also works on youth rights in order to solve the problems experienced by young people in our country. We also determine our medium- and long-term strategies according to the European Youth Strategy Document and the current situation of young Turks.




NCG Cooperation Award 2017“Nantes For our project "Work of Man (WOman)" introduced in the "Nantes Creative Generations" Forum (With Rom Sucar from France and NOUA Magazine from Ukraine)


“Non-Governmental Organization of the Year” Award 13th Ordinary General Assembly of National Youth Parliament 14-17 May 2017 Ankara

Association Pi Youth Youth Association Pi

Pi Youth Association is a non-governmental youth organization that was established to enable young people in Turkey to develop knowledge, skills, positive attitudes and behaviours and to disseminate the decisions taken by the European Union, Council of Europe and the United Nations in the field of youth. We conduct our activities by taking into consideration the global issues and principles as well as human rights, civic participation and the environment. We focus our work on the following six topics:



BY PIXEL Since receiving our accreditation as EVS/ESC coordinating, sending and hosting organization, Pi Youth Association has successfully completed 6 different EVS/ESC projects as the coordinator.

NATIONAL PROJECTS Genç Bak-İş (Erasmus+ Key Action 3 (KA3) Support to Policy Reform)

Genç Bak-İş 2 (Erasmus+ Key Action 3 (KA3) Support to Policy Reform)

Local Youth Associations Network

INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS Being Youth in My Country (Youth Exchange)

Work of Man (WOman) (Erasmus+ KA1-Youth Exchange)

Glean (Erasmus+ KA1- Youth Exchange)

European Cooperation for Refugees (Erasmus+ KA1- Youth Workers Mobility Training Course)

New Media and NGOs (Erasmus+ KA1-Youth Workers Mobility (Training Course)

“Shake a Leg, Together!” (Erasmus+ KA2 project)


Gender (In)Equality Project




P(i)resident Dear Youppi Readers, We are proud to present you with the second issue of our magazine. Although it might be a little late for such initiative- after all, our organization turned 6 years old this year- I think we managed to make up for the lost time. Let's take a look at what we’ve accomplished in the month of May, which we tried to use to the fullest… Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the quarantine, like the rest of the world we had to go online. Online meetings, online trainings, live broadcasts have become an indispensable part of our lives. As Pi Youth Association, we had to transfer many of our activities (such as seminars about Erasmus+ and conversation clubs) to online platforms. They were followed by the celebrations of Europe Day (on the 9th of May), when we hosted Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs & Director for EU Affairs, His Excellency Ambassador Faruk Kaymakçı on our Instagram account. Via live broadcast, we had a very pleasant conversation about such issues as Turkey-EU relations. As you may know, the 19th of May is a national holiday in Turkey and is referred to as the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day. We celebrated it accordingly, by organizing digital meetings for the local youth within the Coronavirus Platform of Well-being- an initiative gathering together representatives of various non-governmental organizations and voluntary institutions in Izmir. As one of the activities we organized a knowledge contest, during whichthanks to the support of our sponsors- we distributed gifts to 38 young people. Another important thing this month was a deadline for the funding of Erasmus+ projects. Pi Youth Association's International Relations Team worked tirelessly during this time, and closed this period with numerous new partnerships. In the last week of May, we began conducting a survey in order to determine the knowledge of Turkish youth workers about human rights, youth rights and anti-discrimination. It was carried out within the scope of our project on the empowerment of youth organizations, for which we have been preparing for quite a long time. We will start disseminating the outcomes of the survey as soon as we get the final results, which we’re eagerly awaiting. As Pi Youth Association, we continue to work non-stop in the field of youth. See you next month with new information... More information about board of directors

Begüm İntepeler İŞTEN Pi Youth Association Chairwoman of the Board




Pi Official

What is the Office Team? ''Office team, the hive of our association!''

The office team is the hive of our association. Its members do their very best to provide Pixel Team and all young Turks (aged between 15-30 years old) with a variety of local, national and international opportunities. Pi Youth Association’s office team consists of 16 people in total; this includes 6 professional employees, 5 interns and 5 office volunteers. The office team is divided into branches such as the ESC Coordinator, Pixel Team Coordinator, Finance Team, Local and National Network Team, International Network Team and Local Youth NGOs Network.The ESC Team meets with our partners abroad on monthly basis and, at the same time, trains and monitors all of the ESC volunteers whom we have sent abroad. Local and National Network Team keeps in touch with local and national partners of the associationÂ


YOUPPI and plans strategies concerning our future work. The International Network Team is responsible for establishing partnerships with foreign institutions so that more and more young people could benefit from Erasmus+ initiatives, such as youth exchanges, training courses, volunteering projects and strategic partnerships. The Finance Team deals with the association's financial affairs and publishes annual reports. Local Youth NGOs Team is in charge of communicating with other youth organizations in Turkey. Pixel Team Coordinator organizes events and trainings for our group of local volunteers. Each team is divided into sub-teams in order to share the tasks among themselves and, as a result, be able to work more effectively and meticulously.

BY PIXEL These teams are like pieces of a puzzle: at first, each of them is seperate from another but when we put them together, take a step back and look at the bigger picture, we’ll see a community of dedicated, passionate people who complete each other. In every issue of the magazine, we plan to conduct an interview with a different member of the office team. We will discuss what they are doing and what are their plans for the future. That way, the members of our office team will get the recognition and appreciation they deserve. In this section, we will introduce to you a member of our office team every month. Our guest this month: Our colleague Mert Güzelkasap, who is the leader of the training team in our association.

''We see a community of dedicated, passionate people who complete each other.''






How did you meet our association? Hi Mert. Can you introduce yourself briefly and talk about your mission at Pi Youth Association? Hi, my name is Mert. I am responsible for the organization of the training team at Pi Youth Association. Together with my team, we organize various trainings and workshops in the association office for Pixel Team and young people in Izmir. These include Erasmus + and ESC information seminars that we organize regularly every month. I personally participate in these seminars, inform young people about Erasmus + opportunities the best as I can, tell them how to prepare a correct CV and motivation letter for projects, what should we consider when applying for projects… I am answering this type of questions. Besides, I also organize interim evaluation and final evaluation meetings with the host institutions of the young people that we send and support as the sending organization with the ESC program.

What, in your opinion, is volunteering? Volunteering is a culture. In fact, although it embraces many things, we can basically define every activity which is in the public interest that we do without waiting for a reward as volunteering. However, doing a job "voluntarily" does not reduce the responsibility you need to take on for this job. You should also carry out volunteering activities seriously, deliver the task given to you on time and care for your motivation to stay high throughout the process. I think volunteering is something beyond education and professional life that everyone should experience. If you get involved once, you don't want to leave it easily. :)

Thanks to a friend from school, I first heard about the association 3 years ago, in 2017. Then I started following their social media accounts and saw the call for volunteers on Facebook. After an interview at the office, I became a volunteer of the association and I have been participating in association activities for about 3 years now.

What do you like the most about the association? I love the fact that it makes you feel like family. Even if you have no tasks that day, but you are near the office, you want to visit the association and ask people how it is going, it gives you those warm feelings. However, there is no strict hierarchy within the association, so everyone can freely talk to each other about everything, and even if it is the first time you come to the association, you will not easily feel a stranger here. That is my favorite feature of the association.

Can you tell us more about the project “WOman”, the first project you joined in our association? The “project WOman (Work of Man)” was not only the first project I participated in, but also it was the first Erasmus + project I joined. It was a truly unique experience to welcome participants of the same age as us, but from different countries in Europe, to know different cultures and to quickly fuse ideas suitable for the project with these new people. At the end of the project, we presented a theater play about gender equality, and I had the opportunity to appear on the stage for the first time in my life. For this reason, the project “WOman” has been a special one for me. It has in many respects enabled me to experience active participation in civil society for the first time.




''The project “WOman” has been a special one for me. It has in many respects enabled me to experience active participation in civil society for the first time.'' Photo: At Nantes Creative Generations Forum whilst presenting WOMan project. France, 2017.

Can you talk experience?





My first overseas experience was with an Erasmus + project called "The Limits of our planet" in Ruzemberok, Slovakia. We were 3 Turkish participants and we received training on environmental issues, walked a lot in nature and participated in many discussions. It was a really enjoyable project with cultural nights organized by participants from different countries. Even though it was 3 years ago, I still talk to the former participants of the project today, as we created memories worth remembering even if the project was of short duration.

Can you tell us about a funny event you experienced in the association or in a project you participated in? Actually, there are many, but let me give a small example from the first foreign project I participated in. We were returning from the Erasmus + project "The Limits of our planet" in Slovakia, which I mentioned above, we had to catch a train that would take us from Ruzemberok to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The train would depart in the morning on the last day of the project. On the same day, all participants were leaving the project location at different times. As the train station wasn’t at a walking distance from our place of accommodation, the project coordinator, Melanie, was taking the attendees one by one to the train station by car. When we also reached the station with our belongings, everything was OK but one thing was missing: my jacket :) I have to say I completely forgot about the jacket that I was wearing outside on me all the time before. So, of course, I started to look for Melanie to ask her to bring the jacket. Minutes before the train departure, Melanie came back with her car and gave me the jacket. After confirming that we have not forgotten anything else, we left and went back on the platform just in time for the departure of the train. Fortunately Melanie saved the day. :)



BY PIXEL Which of the events that took place during your stay in our association you are most proud of? I can give more than one answer to this question, but I think what made me the most proud is the fact that we returned with an award from the "Nantes Creative Generations 2017" forum. It is a forum held annually in Nantes, France and the award is called the “NCG Cooperation Award”. For 3 days, we were presenting to the people from Nantes the aforementioned Erasmus + project “WOman (Work of Man)” together with our volunteer Esin. We were also answering the audience’s questions on the project. At the same time, exhibitors from different countries of Europe were also presenting their projects at the fairground. Following this stage, we brainstormed with a few forum participants and came up with an idea of partnership. We applied for the "NCG Cooperation Award", which is a special award for forum participants, with this partnership idea. After a while, the news came that we won the award and as 3 institutions we decided to use this fund to support another project related to refugees - our project called "European Cooperation for Refugees". Participants from France and Ukraine provided their support for it and with the award we won, we realized a much better project than we initially imagined. Of course, it was a source of pride for me to play an active role in winning this award.

Can you talk about your future plans? I am about to graduate from the Department of International Relations at Izmir Katip Çelebi University. My priority plan is to apply for graduate programs in my department. I want to continue civil society activities while doing a master's degree. Although at the moment it does not seem clear in which city I will be and what job I will do, it is obvious that I will not leave civil society easily. :)

What are the 3 words that you would use to describe the association? Family, sincerity and responsibility.




Pixel Team is the name of our local volunteer team who helps organize our activities and regularly participates in them. It consists of more than 100 young people aged between 15 and 30 years old. In order to become a Pixel Team member, one doesn’t have to be a student or know any foreign languages. However, since our association is based in Izmir, there is a condition to be a resident here and have some time to spare in order to take part in our activities. Every September, a call for new Pixel Team members is published on our website and social media accounts. The team is formed as a result of one-to-one interviews between the organization and the applicants. Then, if chosen, they take part in the orientation training which is organized in order to thoroughly familiarize them with our association’s culture. Our greatest expectation from the selected team members is that they can actively participate in and support our initiatives in the following year. The biggest advantage of being a part of Pixel Team is the possibility to engage in various activities free of charge. Those range from English speaking clubs and development workshops on technology skills to trainings about capacity building. Sometimes, the volunteers might even take part in cultural events, such as concerts or theatre performances. Being a part of Pixel Team provides young people with the opportunity to gain some crucial soft skills, such as time management and the ability to work with others, as well as awareness of various social obstacles and the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions. Numerous motivational events are also organized throughout the year to bring Pixel Team members together. This way, they can get to know each other better and, as a result, their sense of community is established and the team spirit is boosted.




BY PIXEL What is the concept behind the idea of ‘volunteering time’? ‘Volunteering time’ is a system created to monitor the time that Pixel Team members devote to helping the association. Every young person selected for the team takes part in different activities throughout the year. Afterwards, the time they spend on it is recorded by us in order to objectively see the effort put in by each volunteer. The more hours they dedicate to volunteering, the better their chance is to participate in various Erasmus+ projects in which our association is a partner. For many of them it is the very first time they have an opportunity to travel to Europe, or anywhere abroad for that matter. When it comes to organizing local events, any work that needs to be done is announced publicly. Then, the volunteers themselves decide if and how much they want to get involved. That way, instead of being forced to do something they have no interest in, they make a conscious decision to dedicate their time and energy to a cause that matters to them the most. We would like to see all the young people who take responsibility seriously, who like to challenge themselves and explore the world in our team. I am happy and proud to be a part of this beautiful community of people united around the idea of enabling young people to fully activate their potential and strive for a better future.

As G. Wilhelm Leibniz said;

“He directs humanity for the better, who drives the youth for the better.” All the best, İLKCAN BULUŞ, Pixel Team Coordinator





Can you introduce yourself briefly and talk about your tasks at Pi Youth Association? First of all, I will start by saying that I am very happy to be a guest in the magazine this month.I was born in 1992 in Izmir. I grew up in Izmir and lived in Izmir until my university years. I graduated from Chemical Engineering department of the Uşak University in 2014 and returned back to Izmir, my home. After doing master’s degree at Ege University, I worked in different sectors in some short-term jobs. Currently I am a safety advisor for dangerous goods in a consultancy firm (my job title is a bit long). Besides, I am a volunteer at Pi Youth Association and I have some responsibilities here. My adventure at the association started as a member of Pixel team. I started to take different tasks over time. I am currently in the office team, I am the pixel team coordinator and I am the head of the training event team. I record the operations related to Pixel Team formed by the volunteers of our association and also the volunteering hours of our volunteers. In addition, I organize the trainings and events organized in our association, share the announcement with the Pixel team and create the participant lists. I worked with Seda, the financial coordinator of our association, in my works and I learned many things with her from the beginning, she became a very good colleague for me.

What is volunteering in your opinion? For me, volunteering is doing a job without waiting for a reward. When you do wait for it, it is only to receive a spiritual pleasure. It makes you feel happy and when you put your head on the pillow in the evening, you go asleep with the thought “what a nice job I did today”. Frankly speaking, these were the feelings that I hadn't tasted for a long time, until I met the association. Now I fill many gaps in my life with this place and I get the enjoyment impossible to describe from every work I do here.




How did you meet our association? My acquaintance with this place was officially a domino effect and a chain of coincidences. Considering my position in the association now, it sounds incredible. It will actually be a little long, but I want to fully describe this meeting. In fact, this is the story of how a bad event that can happen to a human being can turn into beauty with the butterfly effect. It all started with my hospitalization as a result of a discomfort I had in 2019. I was in the hospital for about 1 month and I can say that it was the most difficult period of my life. During this time, my roommate's wife and his wife's sister were visiting him in the hospital every day. When I talked to them one day, I mentioned that I had never been abroad, how I was feeling regretful about it and that I wanted to have such a long-term experience. They also had some information about ESC and they told me about it. I learned about this programme and heard its name for the first time in my life. Then I started doing some research on ESC during my stay at the hospital. What is EVS (former name of ESC)? How to apply? And so on. I got to know everything. As I was reading everything I found, I saw the name of Pi Youth Association in a random place.When I saw that the association was in Izmir, I thought I would go and get some information. At the first possible opportunity, I came to the office to seek advice. Actually, everything started when i first came to the office. I decided to become a Pixel team member that day because as I got to know the association, I wanted to be a part of its beautiful team. I waited until September, when the applications opened and I applied to become a Pixel team member. In fact, when I got the e-mail for the interview dates, I realised that I may have been the first person to fill in the form – I’m saying this without exaggerating. After the interview, I was stressed that I would not be accepted. The waiting time was very difficult and when I received the acceptance mail, I was walking on sunshine. After I became certain of being a member of the Pixel team in October, I can say that things went on rapidly. I became a part of this family and very strong ties have been formed between us.

What do you like the most about the association? The association has so many characteristics that I like but I think the most important thing was that they saw me as part of the family from the day one. They gave me this feeling so much that it was as if I had been here for years and would never leave. I felt a very nice warmth shared by everyone, especially Seda, Demirkan and Begüm. It is not easy to find such people and even more rare to have such people as collaborators. They also gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted to do. In fact, they activated the potential inside me. I sometimes find myself thinking about what else can I do for the association. It is not easy to find someone who can see the potential in you.




Can you talk about your first experience abroad ?

I dreamed and made plans for going abroad for years, but somehow these plans were not as I imagined. I was able to live my dream only at a later age due to various setbacks. I had my first experience abroad at the age of 28 this year in March, and of course this happened thanks to Pi Youth Association. So I will keep this memory for the whole of my life.This was a training course of Erasmus + program held in Zakopane, in Poland, in March. We had a very nice and unique experience with 3 other volunteers of the association. It was exciting at all times, from boarding the plane to visa control and setting foot for the first time in Poland.

You are going to Estonia in September as part of the ESC project. How and when did you decide to apply to ESC?

As I mentioned briefly above, I actually learned by chance what ESC is last year. Unfortunately, I'm a little late on this. When I first learned about this program, I saw you can participate in this program until the age of 30, and I realized I had 3 years left. When I was studying at the university, there was no Erasmus agreement in my department, and I can say that I was sad not to be able to go abroad in such a way. I searched for different ways, but other ways would be difficult for me financially. ESC was exactly what I wanted, I thought it would be great to have this experience and to spare this time for volunteering.

How was the application process and the interview phase?

Initially, I was getting to know for a long time how to write a motivation letter. I attended the Erasmus+ Information Seminar organized by our association, which helped me a lot. I understood why I did not receive a positive response to my application, especially without writing a good motivation letter. Motivation letter is actually the most important part of this job.When looking for ESC projects, what I wished for the most and what was the most important criterion was to find a place that works in the field of youth. It is because I can already be a youth worker. I wanted to improve myself in this regard and see how youth work is done in another country. So I did not look country-oriented, I applied when I saw a project on the subject I wanted. I was very lucky that the institution that I accepted was a youth center. In the project that I applied for, there were 8 institutions in Estonia and we were able to apply for projects in 4 of them. After approximately one month after I send my application, I received the first e-mail from one of the institutions there and had an online interview. found it stimulating; I was particularly nervous about the English interview.


But the interview went well. The next day, I passed the interview with another institution. The interviewing person told me that if they were positive, they would make a comeback in 7 days at the latest. My duties in the two institutions would be almost the same. Then one day I saw on our association's instagram account an article naming the participant selected for the Estonian project. I saw that someone else was selected from Turkey. Of course, I was incredibly disappointed; at such moments, you start to question yourself to find out where you made a mistake. Anyway, I did not follow such a thought and instead I started to think of luck in another project. But it was a project I wanted so much, truly it was the first time I wanted a project with all of my heart. The other institution I contacted said that they would notify me within 7 days and 7 days passed. I thought they had already selected someone else. Then, suddenly I received an e-mail on my phone, I looked at it and that was an e-mail from the institution having intervewed me saying "we chose you". It must have been one of the few moments I will never forget in my life. I can't express my joy at that moment with words.



Why should young people do ESC? Youth is a great treasure and time of opportunities for every person, even though we do not realize it. I think that when there are opportunities, it is the best time in life to make the most of them. To be honest, I have seen many disadvantages of studying at a university in a small city, perhaps because of the fact that I could not realise all the potential. I think years of youth are the time when people have the most energy to be open to learning. Especially in Turkey, everyone who is a graduate tells you to enter a job immediately. But most of the time, when you start your business life, you seem to be on the start line of a very long road. When we start that way, we actually give up many things without realizing it. I think Erasmus+ programs are a great opportunity for young people. An opportunity for graduates or students - anyone, to experience things before they are involved in the hustle and bustle of life. It is an opportunity thanks to which you can acquire incredible values and equip yourself in every way. Even during the training course in Poland, which lasted just 2 weeks, I grew personally a lot. I am even more excited when I think about what I can do during a long-term project. So I think everyone who has the opportunity should take part in ESC. It is because in this time in life you can absorb so many things that will later define you. What is more, it is the time of life you will be mentally going back to in the future.

Did you have any hesitation because of your English level while applying? Yes, I especially experienced this hesitation a lot before I attended the training course in Poland. I was wondering if I can talk, how they will react to me speaking, or what if I have difficulties: dozens of things have passed through my head. However, when I went there, I found out that these fears were groundless. While I was having a hard time in the first two days and listened more than spoke, in the last days of the project I found myself having long conversations with people and this happened only in 2 weeks. So the training course made me abandon the fear and now I still have some concerns for my English in the perspective of ESC, but at least I don't scare myself with thoughts because I know I will overcome this. This hesitation always happens when a person has not lived any experience abroad before. I have never been in an Englishspeaking training before. I had a base just because I graduated from Anadolu Lisesi. Now I know what I should improve, I know what I can overcome, and most importantly, I know how to proceed. So my biggest advice to all young people right now is that they should definitely learn English as soon as possible, and they should be able to speak English very well when they graduate from university. This will open doors to them everywhere in life.

Can you talk about your future plans?

I can say that being at the Pi Youth Association has changed my future plans. When I was asked this question a few years ago, I had no answer, I was just living in the present, I had many issues in my head. Now I have become someone who knows what he wants. I definitely want to be a youth worker in the future, I want to be in the field of civil society. I love my work here so much and most importantly, I do not feel tired of any work I do. I started to feel more energetic and more useful. Working for young people, being one of those who show them the right way, and providing opportunities for them is a very pleasant job.

The 3 words that summarize the association for Ä°lkcan:

Family Team Work Success






About the training course in Poland: The training course we attended took place in Zakopane, Poland. When we arrived, Zakopane was covered in snow. The host institution was “Green Elephant Foundation” and the subject of the project was “Prevention Violent Extremism Guide”. In two weeks time, we learned a lot and found answers to many questions, such as where we encounter extremism and violence, how to approach it and prevent it. We dived into those issues with the help of games, group collaboration and theatre. Thanks to this approach, all the activities were highly engaging and we actively participated in each one of them. As a result, nobody was just a passive listener, all of us had a chance to learn something. During some of the moments of the training, we were reminded of our own experience with violence and of the bullies we have faced. The subject of the training was definitely very useful and important to us.

We were very lucky to have lovely instructors- Karolina, Monika and Denis were not only our trainers, but they became our friends as well. They conducted this training in the most entertaining way- it never turned into something dull. It was incredibly enjoyable for us to sit and talk with them during the breaks and in the evenings as well. The day we left for Cracow and then for Turkey, Karolina came to see us off at the terminalit was a very nice thing for her to do. Somehow, it made us feel even sadder and more reluctant to leave. During the course, we met a lot of wonderful people from Greece, Armenia, Ukraine, Tunisia and many other countries, and became good friends with some of them. What is great when it comes to events like this, is the fact that everyone instantly builds friendships with each other, without paying attention to the country of origin or without referring to any preconceived notions or stereotypes. Our departure was indeed a very tearful farewell. We left earlier than other participants, and most of them cried while saying goodbye to us. That’s something most people won’t experience in their life! It showed us that even in a short time, you can develop a special bond with others.

About the host institution The Green Elephant Foundation (Fundacja Zielony Słoń) is a NGO located in Lublin, Poland. We organize events in Zakopane- the winter capital of Poland in Tatra Mountains, Lublin and in rural regions of eastern Poland. The foundation has been established by a Polish writer, Mr. Jacek Rębacz. Ever since, we have been committed wholeheartedly to the development of education level among adults and youth, particularly with the use of non-formal education methods.

We support and promote civic education, readership and literacy. We carry out educational initiatives and European projects. We believe that the need for self-development is one of the basic human needs and a primary factor driving the development of civilization.





How does it feel to have an Erasmus+ training course as your first overseas experience? İlkcan Buluş :

Actually, this training course allowed me to kill a few birds with the same stone. All these years I wanted to go abroad, but couldn’t, due to various unfortunate events. Perhaps if this experience had been a regular trip abroad, I would’ve only seen a few places, taken some photos and returned to my country. However, by going to the training course, I managed to experience a lot more. I made friends with people from many different countries who I’m still in contact with. In addition to that, I visited new places and saw new things. It was an amazing opportunity for me to experience all of this at once. It also made me find out a lot of things about myself.

How did you benefit from the project? Alican Yeşilyurt :

At first, I thought there might be a problem for us to cooperate with participants from a few countries, which Turkey clashed with a few times on a political level. Unfortunately, our lives can be influenced by geopolitical events, as well as by historic experiences. I was particularly worried about Greece and Armenia. I would like to say that I hold no prejudice against them, however the rumours and information we hear in the news can amount to some tension. First night, we all had dinner with our colleagues from Armenia. They also admitted that they were a little nervous about approaching us, but were adamant about leaving past events in the past. We had no problems with each other and we even worked together for the rest of the project. We also ate almost every meal with our friends from Greece- we managed to create a truly Mediterranean atmosphere, very warm and sincere, as it usually is the case when it comes to neighbours. I particularly liked one of our interactions- during a culture exchange night, they brought Turkish delight with them and asked us, "We brought Turkish delight, will it be a problem for you?" Frankly speaking, at first I couldn't understand what they meant, but later on I realized that it was actually a very polite question and a thoughtful thing to do. Obviously, even though we say we do not have any prejudice towards others, some notions are still rooted in our subconsciousness and can affect us. Thanks to the training course, I understood that global politics and media coverage should not affect our lives and perceptions of other people.




What was the biggest difficulty you had during the project? Tuğçe Yılmaz : I was very excited because this was my first project. What will happen, how will it go, what will I do? I went there with a lot of questions and doubts in my head. I had to get out of my comfort zone and adjust to a completely new environment. Different places, different people, even different food- I found it all both interesting and challenging. Looking back at it, it all was quite difficult for me, especially the fact I had to adapt quickly to a new multicultural environment, find my place in it and not be afraid to speak my mind.

What was the most interesting thing you discovered during the project? Büşra Şimşek :

When I was going to the project, my concern was that the participants from other countries could have a negative image of the Turks. I thought they might be prejudiced, but luckily, I came across an opposite reaction. Many people loved the Turks and wanted to learn more about our culture. This unexpected interest surprised me. However, the most interesting thing for me was that the Ukrainian participants knew how to speak Turkish. The fact that I could communicate with them in Turkish throughout the project was lovely.


For more information about The Green Elephant Foundation:



P(i)RESS This month our guest is the Bayraklı district and Mr. Serdar Sandal from the Bayraklı Municipality.

What do you think about the Concept of Volunteering? Do you think enough attention is given to voluntary work in Turkey? The concept of volunteering actually runs in the blood of these lands. Ahi culture, collective work, solidarity and sharing have been our tradition for centuries. We are the ones who cannot sleep while their neighbor is hungry. But migration from village to city, which is a result of globalization, has even alienated us to our neighbor. Imagine, 30 million people who migrated from the village to the city today are trying to live together in the metropolises. Urbanization and new business life have significantly reduced the volunteering rate on the basis of non-governmental organizations. Volunteering means taking care of the city you live in, nature and the people in need. Speaking to create a more civilized city is to strive to create awareness. As for the second part of your question; I think volunteer work in Turkey needs to be improved a bit more. I believe that especially young people will take part in voluntary work and contribute to the environment they live in while at the same time improving their social skills. We, as Bayraklı Municipality, try to do our part so that volunteering activities are activated..

Can you tell us about your work in the youth field? We set out to make Bayraklı a city for children and youth. The most important pillar of this is the education of young people, the development of their versatile skills and contributing to the effort to understand our country and the world. We live in a world where the number of young people whose right to education is taken away and who are not allowed to develop in line with their interests and abilities increases day by day. First of all, we try to eliminate this injustice. At Bayraklı Social Activity Center (BSAC), we offer more than 900 young people an opportunity above the standards and we try to support them academically and socially. We try to meet the demands of young people in sports, art and skill-based courses that we open all over Bayraklı. For example, we have a project to establish a Child and Youth Village in Doğançay region. We are trying to bring it to life soon.

Mayor of Bayraklı Municipality Serdar Sandal





Is it important that young people go abroad?

"Who knows more? The person who reads a lot or travels a lot." This is a question that has become cliché now, the answer to this question is missing without another. In my opinion, those who read while travelling and travel while reading know more. After all, we were all born, grown up, live in a certain environment. This environment is our mother's bosom, our safe area. However, we do not have the chance to be successful and happy in life without taking risks, seeing innovations and knowing our distant environment by staying in this environment only. It is indispensable to go abroad to have a different perspective. Every young person should go abroad, see, hear, absorb, compare and analyze. Then he/she must return to our country with the information which he/she has obtained and spread it around. What do you think about youth unemployment? One of the open wounds of our country. Studies say that youth unemployment has increased. The most important point to worry about is the increase in the unemployment rate of university graduates. Young people should head for production areas. Young people have tremendous transformative and innovative power. Today, young people should be more diligent in the fields of technology, design, agriculture, science and art. Look, the coronavirus reminded us things we forgot for a while. For example, agricultural technologies. It suits best for young people to work on this area. They can blend the experiences of older people with modern-day. Our door is open to every young who produces. We are ready to provide all kinds of support. To date, we have not turned down any young people who have a project in Bayraklı and who applied to us. Mayor of Bayraklı Municipality Serdar Sandal What kind of activities will you organize for young people after Covid-19? Apart from the Children and Youth Village, we aim to provide a new generation public space to the center of Bayraklı. A floor of this place will belong only to young people and will work as a science, art, technology, design center. Young people will go there, if they want, they will meet and do their work in common work areas, they can do their individual work if they wish. There will be a modern library inside. Apart from the works, we will also organize cultural and artistic events.





What kind of benefits do you think the protocols signed with youth associations will benefit?

When it comes to youth, future emphasis is always made. Although this emphasis is partially true, I can not agree to all of it. Because for me, young people are the "present moment". We have a dream with young people, such as making decisions and going on the same direction. We want young people to get involved in the management of the municipality. Let them say our mistakes, make suggestions, carry out projects… This is how they make the biggest contribution to us. For example, we give great importance to the protocol we signed with Pi Youth Association. We plan to send young people living in Bayraklı to abroad as part of the grant programs. Just imagine, there are thousands of children in Bayraklı who cannot go abroad. How beautiful it would be if we give hands, give strength, change the course of a life.

What is the most important advice you will give to young people? I'm a mathematician. My advice to the youth is in the words of our famous mathematician Cahit Arf. “Mathematics is basically a matter of patience. It is necessary to understand by discovering, not by memorizing.” Follow the values of the Republic. Be skeptical and critical. Strive to discover the most. The joy of discovering is really different.



n o i t a n i t s e pi d YOUPPI



Lužánky Leisure Centre is the biggest and oldest leisure time centre in Czech Republic and it’s located in the second biggest city of the country Brno. Since 1949 it has provided rest and relaxation for children, youngsters and adults, as well as serving their needs for education and developing all sorts of interests. All 10 of our workplaces dropped all over the city are linked together by the Lužánky name (and all of them begins with the letter L). Lužánky is open to the public during the entire school year, from morning till night. Every year over 65,000 people take part in our activities.

Vision and Mission

Since Lužánky is a state-funded organization run by government of the South Moravia region, we have the privilege to cooperate with other institutions in Brno, for example universities. Our main offer are leisure activities and extracurricular education for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Our mission is to encourage personal development and meaningful spending of leisure time to the broad public. We also offer the largest network of preschools in and around Brno. Lužánky also covers the Proud rope climbing centre, with one of the longest rope cable routes in the Czech Republic. At the Legato site you will find the first children’s circus in the Czech Republic, the Cirkus LeGrando. One of the Lužánky Leisure Centre sites is the Lorien recreation centre in the Orlické hory (mountains). It provides accommodation for outdoor schooling, ski courses and a residential base for trips by children’s organizations.

Staff and Volunteers We have over 120 core employees and about nine hundred part-time employees involved in the management of the courses and other leisure activities. Since 2006 we are also involved in European voluntary service, now called European Solidarity Corps which offers the opportunity to gain experience as a volunteer or employee and in a selected European country to all young people between 18- 30 years of age. Within this program we already hosted 97 volunteers and sent abroad 105 Czech young people. Every year we host around 10 volunteers who work in Lužánky and other coordinated organizations and enrich with their presence the activities of diverse open-scope youth clubs, school educational programmes, art and sports groups, circus activities, public events as well as bringing their own ideas and projects. Currently we are hosting 11 volunteers from Europe, Turkey and Morocco.




Values Our values are to provide as many leisure activities as possible, to provide people social contact, give them opportunities how to spend their time doing interesting activities which can move them and also we want to support tolerance towards other cultures. Shortly we want to help to create better and happier people in our city.

Contact Information You can reach us through contacts mentioned on our website here. E-mail adress: Or through Facebook.

Activities and Projects We have over 600 regular activities during school year- hobby clubs in all workplaces together where people of different ages can meet. During summer we organize more than 200 holiday events. These are not just residential camps for kids, teens and parents with children, but also courses, workshops, and sports activities. For children who want to stay in Brno we offer a wide range of suburban camps. We also provide further education for teaching staff and those working with children, largely on the basis of accreditation granted by the Czech Ministry of Education. Each year we offer over 30 accredited courses.For pupils of nursery, primary and secondary schools, we have over 100 tuition programmes on offer. We also provide schools with school trips and adaptation courses.

Why should young people participate in ESC projects? Because it is unforgettable experience coming just in the best period of life which can show them what possibilities they have in life. The will gain new friends, experiences, skills and their life will just change.




Why should young people participate in ESC projects in Czech Republic/in your organization? We are experienced organization, taking very good care about volunteers who often stays here or at least they come back to visit us. Since we are coordinating organization also, volunteers have many possibilities to work in different environments, and work on common projects together. Also Brno is a second biggest city here so there is lot of life, lot of foreigners also which gives Brno a cosmopolitan character. We are connected with other organizations so volunteers can connect also with other volunteers a do activities together. There is so many possibilities.

How did you become partners with Pi Youth Association and what are your thoughts about our organization? We are currently hosting one volunteer supported by Pi Association and can’t complain either for a volunteer nor the organization.☺

What do you think about your ESC volunteer Rana and the activities she has done? Rana is really passionate about the topic of her project and she is giving her best to it. She already joined a lot of activities, came with her own ideas and events and even directed in a play in English theatre. We are happy to host her here.

What are the three most important qualifications that you want a volunteer to has?


We always hope for volunteers who are responsible and reliable – so we can count on them, initiative – so they are not afraid to step forward and curious – they want to learn and get to know new things.

pi family Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am Rana. I am 26 years old and from Eskişehir, Turkey. I studied English Language and Literature at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey. Theatre is my main interest and I have been performing for many years as an amateur. I have been teaching drama as an ESC project since october in Brno, Czechia. Where did you learn about Erasmus+ and ESC from? I do not remember exactly. It was a long time ago.

How and when you decided to apply to ESC? I had been planning to apply long-term ESC after I graduated. Therefore, I was checking on the project during my last year of university. What matters to me was the project which is convenient for me and that I can enjoy. I wanted to do something in the field of theatre specifically because I want to do a master's degree in theater field, and before I do that, I wanted to do something in this field. Yet, I hadn`t come across any project connected to theatre field until I found the project in which I am working now. I applied this project as soon as I saw it. This project is the first and only one I applied for.



How did you meet with Pi Youth Association? How did PYA support you as a sending organization?

After deciding to apply to ESC, I joined some relevant Facebook groups. People there wrote that the Pi Youth Association is very good as the sending organization. So I contacted the PYA after receiving my acceptance from the project. I trusted only the people's advice without knowing how important the sending organization is. Then I understood how important the sending organization is. I am so lucky for PYA accepted to be my sending organization. After starting the project and meeting other volunteers, I saw more clearly how well Pi Youth did their job and how much they support their volunteers. There are 11 volunteers in the institution I work for, and I am the one who sees the support of the sending organization most. Thank you very much Pi Youth Association.

In your opinion, why should young people participate in ESC projects? To gain life and working experience. To learn to work and communicate with people with different perspectives and different perceptions of life in a different culture, in a different country. To see the working principles outside the culture we are born and grown in.


How was the application process and interview stage? As I understand, the application process of each project is not the same. I sent a motivation letter with a CV in Europass format. Afterwards, I received an e-mail stating that they wanted to interview via Skype even though the deadline was not over yet. We set the date and time for the interview. Of course, what I call `interview` is not like an exam. We talked about what I wrote in the CV and motivation letter. Then they told me what to do here if I am chosen.


you ta Why should young people participate in lk a litt activit le bit a i e bout y s there ESC projects in Czech Republic/in your our ? I work as a dr organization? ama te school acher a Since I liked the project, I did not research activity t some c e nter. W after English about the organization before applying. `How e have classes C . I also zech an Czech, important it could be, I will be doing my job`, particip d at least a te the o I prepa my par I was saying. But it isn't like that. Here, I met n es in re som tner lea e activi d s t s t h other volunteers from other organizations hort le ies and ose act sson/w ivities. o I r k m and understood how professional Luzanky is. shop o Beside ade a n Shak s my p r e o s ject, I p peare. One of the best organizations of Czechia. They Engl ish spe articipa a t k e ing am d in an are always with us on everything. In comm ateur t unity a h e ater nd dire particular, they never made us feel lonely in cted a p lay the these unfortunate, quarantine days. They are W re. hat wa s the m always very caring and do their best to make d ost int uring y erestin our vo us feel comfortable. g thing luntee I don`t ring pe know, riod so I suppo which far? s e t m h e a r de me What are your advices to the young people e is not surpris anythin ed. g who wants to participate in ESC? I recommend you to make searches about the organization you will work for. If the organization is good, there would not be much problem. Even if there are some problems, they can be easily resolved. Do not apply the projects only for going abroad. You may not have a good experience if you do not like the work. Enjoy every moment, try to learn something from everyone, everything. Especially if you go to a city where there are so many foreigners, every person means a new culture. This is a great opportunity. It is necessary to know how to take advantage of it.

How is your Czech learning process going? Czech language is more difficult than I thought. We had obligatory lessons together with the other volunteers for the first 3 months Then it was said that whoever wants to continue can continue. I preferred to study by myself instead of attending the classes. My Czech friends help a little. But in general, I find it hard to learn. Instead, I started improve my Spanish in the quarantine days.






Ephesus Museum ...), inns, baths,

asked questions via Pi Youth

heritage. In terms of culture and

Association’s social media is "Where are

entertainment, this city is very

you based?". Our association is located

enjoyable. This is the result of the city's

in İzmir, one of the most beautiful cities

versatile history and being a modern city

of the Aegean region. Izmir has many

at the same time. The number of its

famous places, food: from boyoz

cultural centers, art galleries, theaters,

(traditional pastry) to kumru (sandwich

conservatories and libraries is

with white cheese and tomatoes,

impressive.There are many cafes and

associated with Izmir by all Turks), and

restaurants in Izmir, as well as many

art: from the clock tower to the historical

entertainment places, especially at

elevator. Clock Tower in Konak Square,

Kordon (a boulevard along the sea in the

historical Elevator Tower, symbol of

city center), in Karşıyaka and in Alsancak

Jewish culture, old bazaar Kemeraltı,

(central districts of the city). Walking

situated between Mezarlıkçıbaşı and

along Kordon feels like daydreaming.

Konak Square, museums (İzmir

Izmir is the 3rd biggest city in the

Archeology Museum, Agora Museum,

Republic of Turkey. It’s history goes back

İzmir Ethnography Museum, Ephesus

8 thousand years. It is not surprising that


libraries: all of them are crucial parts of

the pearl

of the




the city, which reaches back to the

are among the most famous. Çeşme is

Paleolithic period, has hosted countless

one of the most favourable tourism

civilizations throughout history, from

centers of the country, located west from

great empires to small civilizations. Izmir

the city. As for eating and drinking, olive

is the most important gateway of

oil and fish are the main flavours of the

Anatolia to the Aegean Sea. The Temple

city cuisine. Raisins and figs are among

of Artemis, the Seventh Greatest Wonder

the popular products as well. In addition

of the World, as well as 3 of the 7

to that, a wide variety of herbs are

churches of the Apocalypse mentioned in

important ingredients of the dishes.

the Bible, are located in İzmir Province.

Herbs special to Izmir are: Şevket-i

Ephesus Antique City in Selçuklu is the

Bostan (Cnicus benedictus), Arapsaçı

most renowned and main historical

(fennel), Turp Otu (wild radish). Besides

reflection of the ancient character of the

these, İzmir bomba (a sweet pastry filled

province. Ephesus was built 6000 years

with lots of milk chocolate, served hot),

BC. The city has been an important

boyoz (see above), lokma (fried dough)

political and trade center. It was the

are also famous.

capital of the Asian Province during the

To get to know İzmir more closely, you

Roman Empire.The coastline of Izmir

can navigate to the following websites:

province with the Aegean Sea is 629-km

Izmir Governorship:

long. While 101 km of this strip is used as a beach, bays and peninsulas allow a wide variety of sea sports. The beaches

Metropolitan Municipality:

in Selçuk (Pamucak), Çeşme (Ilıca and Altınkum), Gümüldür, Foça, Çandarlı Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate:



A Message from





BY PIXEL Within the scope of May 19th, the Commemoration of Atatürk Youth and Sports Day, "May 19th Digital Youth Meeting" was held with high participation. The event was prepared for the young people between the age of 15-30 in cooperation with the Corona Günlerinde İyilik Platformu (Coronavirus Platform of Well-being CoGİ), Pi Youth Association, Bolluk Bereket Festivali (Abundance Festival) and Yaşar University.CoGİ and NGOs are coming together with planned digital meetings based on young people's needs and their suggestions for the first time. At the moment of the novel COVID-19 outbreak, the call of "solidarity" is founded by community organizations, universities, civil initiatives, social entrepreneurs, professionals and employees both of the public and private sector.Online MAY 19 DIGITAL YOUTH MEETING was held for the first time for 5 days between 15th and 19th May 2020 in order to create a common mindset among young people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, to draw attention to the transformation in the digital field, to design the process in the coming months, to bring young people together with experts important in their fields: most importantly, to give hope to the youth.Young people came together with important experts in their fields under the Gençlerin Penceresinden Corona Günleri (Coronavirus Times through the Window of Young People), Yeni Nesil Kariyer (New Generation Career), Gençler ve Gençlik Politikaları (Young People and Youth Policies), Bir Yolculuk Hikayesi (The Story of a Journey) on online platforms.At the same time, young people participated in two contests named ''19 Mayıs! 19 Genç! 19 Fikir!'' ("19 May 19 Youngsters 19 Ideas") and ''19 Mayıs! 19 Genç! 19 Soru!'' ("19 May 19 Youngsters 19 Questions") via VIDEA Application and Zoom, shared their ideas and won monetary awards, laptops, tablets, academic and personal development training offers. With the idea contest, 20 young people were given monetary awards; with the information contest, 38 young people were given many valuable prizes.


Program Details Award Winning Ideas Contest - VIDEA Application May 08 - May 16, 2020

Coronavirus Times Through the Window of Young People Expert Psychologist Tamer Şenyuva Moderator Gülçin Güven - Child Development and Education Specialist May 15, 2020 at 17.00 CoGİ Instagram Account

New Generation Career Prof. Dr. M. Cemali Dinçer - Rector of Yaşar University Uygar Özesmi - Founder and Instigator of Good4Trust Çağlar Çabuk - 4. Dimensional Academy HR and Management Consultant Moderator Oya Demir - Founder of the Future and CoGİ Spokesperson May 16, 2020 at 16.00 Zoom Broadcast

Youth and Youth Policy Hasan Oğuzhan Aytaç - General Coordinator of Youth Organizations Forum Moderator Metin Şavural - President of the Association for Promoting Slow Life and CoGİ Spokesperson May 17, 2020, 21.30 - CoGİ Instagram / Pi Youth Association Instagram

Award-winning Quiz Moderator Begüm İntepeler İşten - Pi Youth Association President May 18, 2020 at 21.00 - Zoom Broadcast

The Story of a Journey Eylül Demirpehlivan - Actress Aslı Aybars - Actress, Breathing Techniques Trainer Moderator Ümit Yardım - President of Quality in Social Responsibility Association and CoGİ Spokesperson 18 May 2020 Time 21.30 - Zoom Broadcast




PI-CALLS WHAT is ''ESC''? ‘’European Solidarity Corps-ESC’’ is the new solidarity program embracing volunteering, internships and work opportunities, which was implemented by the European Union in 2019. This program gives a chance to young people between the age of 18-30 to participate in solidarity projects in any program country or partner country neighbouring the EU. The projects can have duration from 2 weeks to 12


months. Turkey is not a European Union member country and it can only benefit from the volunteering and solidarity subprogram of the European Solidarity


Corps. The job-internship program is implemented only between EU member countries. For more information about ESC:

You can visit the link below for announcements of the ESC projects, for which our association is a partner and is looking for volunteers:

You can send your opinions about ‘Youppi’ to Additionally, you can follow us on social media accounts for the project's announcements and more information about youth programs.


Thank you!

Pi Youth Association

Microsoft Kaizala: