Between July 11th and September 12th, I participated in the Erasmus mobility that took place in Turkey, within the project @HER-Strengthening socio-economic Integration of mothers with Migration background. Together with the @H.y.r. o Association, we helped move the Renaissance Institute headquarters in Ankara to Kocaeli, Izmit. First, I learned to work in the Canva application to create a poster to announce the opening of the Renaissance Institute in the new city and we managed to gather some locals to join us in various activities.
With the opening of the new office, we initiated a series of activities exclusively for students and locals who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. These activities consist of courses in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian, sports classes, pilates, basketball, and gymnastics, but also photography, film, painting, and reading circles. We have implemented this series of activities in the Izmit community to discover new skills of the participants. The goal was to create a space where city citizens can get to know each other better, share common interests, and learn from each other while motivating each other simultaneously. The citizens of the Izmit community were receptive to our message and thus, we managed to have a significant number of participants who were with us throughout the mobility.
At the same time, after a visit, we managed to create a partnership with the Dilkulesi Institute. Dilkulesi is a private school where students and students can attend courses in English, Italian, Russian and German. Through this partnership, I and my colleague from the H.R.Y.O organization, committed to offering English and Italian lessons to the students of the institution, receiving in return Turkish lessons. This partnership has linked new connections, resulting in its continuation after the end of mobility.
At the beginning of August, I managed to create a new activity with the Renaissance Institute, called Social circles with the help of the Erasmus+ program, an opportunity to implement the exchange of experiences in the virtual environment. These activities offer young people opportunities to connect in safe online spaces. Participants build meaningful relationships across borders and cultures and practice important skills of engagement, critical thinking, and teamwork. This activity continues to this day, and the main topics of discussion are daily challenges, time management, business negotiations, the refugee crisis, and ways to stop, climate change, and improve the quality of life.
At the end of August, we had the opportunity to implement a partnership with Kocaeli City Hall, having as main purpose the exchange of projects on environmental activities. We had the chance to see local initiatives of the municipality on the ground. We have launched our openness to cooperation with other organizations and city councils to expand our initiatives in permaculture. The initiative took as an example Terra Franca, a permaculture founded by @h.r.y.o in Palermo, Italy. Throughout the meeting, we have cooperated and engaged in these activities by sharing our knowledge. The meeting ended with an agreement, and the city is currently working on the implementation of permaculture in Izmit.
In conclusion, the long-term mobility they had in Izmit, Turkey, consisted in opening new opportunities for cooperation of an institute that opened its doors in a new city. I learned to work in a new program, I had the opportunity to learn a new language, to connect new connections, and the activities initiated then continue to the present.