See the reality
The project took place in August 2019 in Diyarbakır, Turkey and gathered 47 people from 10 countries: Lithuania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Great Britain, Romania, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia and Turkey. The aim was to let the participants see the reality of refugees, victims of the war in Syria, who have fled to Turkey. Meetings with members of two non-governmental organisations, one session at a local university where academics and a vice-mayor of Diyarbakır gave their speeches were the highlights of the program.
Unfortunately, the aim of the organizers was to show Turkey as a very welcoming country, where refugees integrate perfectly with the warm and open society. Most of the information that participants have received was a well prepared propaganda, some facts with some lies. As a participant with a little bit of experience in the field of humanitarian aid, I could tell it was not the reality, unless all the educated, well behaving and sad but not traumatised refugees went to Turkey, while all the others fled to different countries. We have seen a beautiful facility with classrooms, swimming pool and a place to learn traffic rules, happy children, brave women working for NGOs.
Also the ecological initiative has not corresponded with my sensitivity. The idea was to let free a few dozens of birds to help the ecosystem harmed by hunters. The intention was admirable, but not the event itself. During several speeches of important figures the birds where hold in the hands of the gathered people, also children, who treated them as toys, for example throwing them down. The adults not only did not react, but also have found and brought two wild turtles to entertain us.
In fact, the only bright side of the project were the intercultural nights. We had 4 evenings to learn about the culture of the participants’ countries – fun facts about history and language, traditions, dances, music, food, drinks.