Thursday, May 31

'Creative Thinking With Leonardo da Vinci'

'Perfect day would start with going to a country where they speak a language I don't know... New customs someplace where I'm completely out of my element… ' Dan in Real Life

Salzburg  | Austria    

After a long time, I got a second chance to go abroad with the Lifelong Learning Programme. Last month, I arrived in Augsburg to begin a three-week media programme, funded by the EU, which aims to foster greater working mobility within Europe.

The programme started with cultural training, helping participants to settle in with advice about travel, communication, and accommodation. Afterwards, we visited many local and international media companies in Bavaria. In all the programme activities, we saw Germany’s creative side in a short term. The professionals in field of media shared their experiences with us.

Salzburg | Austria 

In my opinion, the Leonardo da Vinci programmes are a powerful tool for vocational education. With no doubt, the programme gives us a great opportunity to acquire new knowledge, skills and competencies. The programme improves both personally and professional development.

 Augsburg |  Germany

Augsburg | one of Germany's oldest cities

At the end of this process, it is not only about vocational education. During the programme, I got another chance to travel to many places in Bavaria, in my leisure times. The roots of west Europe history always interest me a lot; I have been very impressed by Germany in general. The nature, rich history and cultural life they all left a deep impression on me. I have to be able to say that sincerely. Augsburg is the city of the Fuggers, Mozart and Brecht. Its rich history is evident wherever you look. And Also, Augsburg is a big bicycle city,so it is one of most livable places.

Prague  | Czech Republic

Discover | all details about my experience:

There are many places I'll remember. So I recorded a summary video about this experience with my camcorder. And also, you may find three photo albums:

Sunday, February 6

Q & A II

Istanbul | Turkey
As you know, the EU has designated 2011 as the "European Year of Volunteering". In this context, I would like to share new interview with you. This article deals with Claire Florence Steiner’s EVS experience in Istanbul. Within this interview, I’d just like to emphasize how important it is for young people to be volunteer.

1) Could you please introduce yourself and give us some information about your life?

My name is Claire Florence Steiner and I am 20 years old. My mother is from Sydney, Australia and my father is from Wels, Austria.

I have had a very different and interesting life so I will try to put it all in a nutshell and be brief as possible.

I was born in Bangkok, Thailand and moved to Pakistan with my family when I was 4. I spent most of my childhood there, our family ended up living there for 13 years in different cities such as Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore which is on the Indian boarder. My parents ran a deaf school for young people who wanted an education. We taught them International sing language, computer programming as well as how to read and write in English. It was set up in such a way that we were able to get them jobs once their training was over so they would be able to support their families as a lot of them were from poor families. I helped out with running the center while doing my High School. I was also a member of a dance team with a few of my sisters which performed at functions such as local weddings, government school events, private parties, or company events. We learned the local dances as well as Bollywood style.

When I was 15 we moved to Adana, Turkey. I lived there for 4 years as a volunteer for ‘Family Education Association’ assisting in the “Anything for a Smile” Hospital project and the training of Turkish student volunteers who would work with us part time. I also worked as a volunteer for “Coloring the World” Art Project to beautify the environment of children suffering from long-term illnesses. Another project I did was organizing and participating in shows and animation programs such as face painting and balloon sculpturing for underprivileged children. While doing this as well as finishing my studies, I took on other hobbies such as learning oriental dancing, culinary arts, guitar and singing, as well as traveling to other cities when I had the opportunity.
Claire Florence Steiner
In early 2010 I had the opportunity to work for 2 months in India with slum children. Around the same time, I was introduced to EVS via a friend who was working in Istanbul. I had visited Istanbul many times over my stay in Turkey and fell in love with the city. I applied and was accepted right away. I moved to Istanbul on the 15th of June, 2010 which was my starting period date. Since being here, I came to love the city and its people even more! My hosting organization here in Istanbul, ‘Family Education Association’, is the sister center of Adana so I was quite familiar with the projects. My Volunteer's tasks were: Secretarial and administrative work/communications, painting colorful wall murals in hospital wards (Coloring Their World), organizing children’s animations and working at a home for the elderly.

2) When were you happiest in EVS?

I think my happiest times working in EVS was my project, Coloring Their World. It was wonderful to work with my team as well as we had really good times together and learned the importance of team-working as well as how to effectively communicate ideas in a group situation while being willing to listen to criticism and other points of view. Also seeing the results of our project, the appreciation of the children and the hospital staff! It was really beautiful to see how such a small thing meant so much to the children such as having them help with panting a small part of the wall or just communicating with them and being able to help them get their mind off their illness or the depressing situation.

Of course, I loved the On- Arrival training as well as the Mid-term training. I had good times and built lasting friendships through these trainings.

Saturday, December 11

Q & A

'Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, 
but by the moments that take our breath away.' George Carlin

As you know, recently I finished process of my EVS. And I came back to home, Istanbul. I loved almost everything about my time spent in Slovenia. I believe that we all created a world together, with my friends. After this experience, I understood that friendships are the most important cornerstones of our life. Many thanks to my friends for supporting my dream.

Kamnik | Slovenia 

Within this article, I would like to share my last interview with Marta Kwiatkowska. I met her via Facebook after I published ‘EVS Volunteer Speaks’ video series. I thought that I could create an interview in an article about her EVS experience:

Could you please introduce yourself and give us some information about your life?

My name is Marta and I'm from Poland. Now, I work as an EVS volunteer in Greece.I live on a small island called ‘Lefkada’ and I work in the Elderly Care Centre. The aim of my project is to be a company for old people, spent time with them and help in daily activities. I and the other volunteers work with try to bring some animation to the life of residents. We organise events, make artistic workshops, play music, decorate the house, and invite guests. We try different ideas and techniques to make the daily life of the residents more colourful and happy.

 Marta Kwiatkowska

When were you happiest time in EVS?

There were already a lot of moments during my EVS when I felt really happy. For me personally especially important and memorable are moments in the Elderly Centre. My project is very emotional. There are difficult moments but there are also a lot of beautiful and happy situations. I remember the moment when I first felt that the residents know me, when I gained their trust and friendship. It was very nice and moving. When I see that they wait for me, like my company it makes me also very happy. But EVS it’s not only the project itself of course. I have an opportunity to live with other volunteers from different countries. Our life together is also full of beautiful moments I will never forget.

Saturday, November 13

' A Farewell to Slovenia'

Venice | Italy 
In here, I've got a world of chances. One of the most important chances is to meet new friends. But, I guess it's time to say goodbye. Goodbye my friends, thanks for your helping hand, standing by me.

Special thanks to those who made my dream possible...

In a world far away, we may meet again...


Monday, November 8

‘Fill in the blanks’

Public Library | Ljubljana
"Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed..." 
                                                                                                   Leonard Cohen

Last days, I published last episode of ‘EVS Volunteer Speaks’ video series. Within this entrepreneur project, I have witnessed their experience with my camera. I aimed to reflection EVS opportunities to potential young people who especially fewer opportunities and from non-eu countries.

In the project, one of the most important consequences is that I met a lot of friends in here. By the way, many thanks to my friends who have contributed in many different ways to helping make this all a reality.

Within ‘EVS Volunteer Speaks’, I added intercultural dimension on my main project and tried out to change something in a routine project. And after I published video series, I received a lot of comments; I felt that I am contributing to the construction of new programs in here.

Friday, October 29

'Follow Your Bliss'

Ljubljana | Slovenia

In my last 16 days, I’m still in the process of creating new videos with Engin. Yesterday, we recorded two new interviews with Julia who is from Kiev, Ukraine. If you watch our video series about EVS, you know our aim is always to provide visibility of their experience, and also multilingualism. On this basis, last videos will be in English and Ukrainian.

We focused upon this journey, again. It’s still a magnificent journey.

Saturday, October 23

"3 Ideas After Meeting"

Kamnik | Slovenia
"Words are never 'only words'; they matter because they define the contours of what we can do." 
Slavoj Žižek

The following letter includes only base information about my ideas of EVS project. I prepared it to MC Kotlovnica. It was only suggestion for preliminary evaluation of projects.

Dear Friends;

First of all, I would like to say that thank you for this meeting. I learnt a lot of information about application process of projects. It was useful to developing new ideas for me. It was first time in my life how to exchanging of opinions about Europass CVs and project application process with different viewpoints.

As you know, after I prepared to presentation videos about EVS, I always receive messages about it from potential volunteers. It was my aim. It was an important added value to my project. From now on; I guess that I have to write some information about it on my webpage.

Coming to the end of my journey, I would like to share some ideas with you about new projects in Kamnik.

Thursday, October 21

'the EVS Daily and a Promotion Video'

Today, I would like to share some information about new e-newspaper and a promotion video.

The idea of e-newspaper enhances the quality of the projects and visibility of the projects. Understanding recognition of the projects is related to visibility. So, it’s important. The idea of ‘the EVS Daily’ is from another volunteer in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Furthermore, Aylin’s newspaper headline mention about ‘EVS Volunteer Speaks’ video series:

'Two young people from Turkey, as volunteers in Slovenia have created a web page with a special message. Their aim is the same as Aylin’s, a volunteer in Netherlands, in the city of Maastricht. They want to make their voice heard by young people all around Europe. Some call them activists. They call themselves “idealists”. They say, “We had an idea, and we started -like building a house. Our dream is to spread the enthusiasm for EVS among young people, as much as possible. This mission is possible. We can make it.'

Monday, October 18

‘Some Signs for New Life’

Kamnik | Slovenia
‘What would you do if you know you could not fail?’
Robert Schuller 

Coming to end of my journey, I’m preparing my youthpass certificate and some reports about my experience. This takes a long time… And I’m recording news in different fields and montaging videos in koTV studio…

First, I would like to share my work schedule of last month:

9th October, 12 pm: Basketball marathon
13th October, 7.30 pm: Indian culture event in public library of Kamnik
15th October, 7pm: Schoolmate’s event in galleria Veronica
16th October 9 pm Opening concert of Kotlovnica youth center
18th October 3-7 pm: Interactive media workshop in koTV studio with Italian friends

Wednesday, October 13

"EVS placements in Kamnik"

Udinese | Italy
My hosting organization is looking for partners for EVS projects and wishes to apply on November deadline.

They would like to host two or three volunteers from 10. 2. 2011 on. Volunteers will be working in youth center and a house of culture in town Kamnik, Slovenia. Volunteers will get a basic knowledge on organizing events, logistic and preparation work, working with professional video and photo equipment as well as basic knowledge of media education.

They wish to host volunteers for 8 months. For more information, please contact EVS Mentor: bojan(at)

For Information about EVS:

For preparing a CV:

Sunday, October 3

'The End of My EVS is Near'

Time is in the middle of the night, and I couldn’t sleep with my thoughts. I would like to remark on my thoughts on my blog…I need to leave from here soon. In my life, the end of an experience is near.

Graz | Austria

“I am I plus my circumstances.”
Jose Ortega y Gasset

In last days, I felt really bad because I’m afraid of my life after EVS. But I felt it time after time; when I was graduated from university; I couldn’t find job long time. Time was economic crisis. My life had collapsed around me; I've worked myself into exhaustion. And I knew that I hadn’t to behind the times. And I knew that I’m the creator of your own future. But all of this happened because of knowing how to develop my personality.

Tuesday, September 21

'The Story of These Videos'

Zagreb | Crotia
Today, I would like to share a report from Engin. He wrote this document for his organisation. In my opinion, there are a few notable topics, so this is good example for potential EVS volunteers. How did we live among EVS ?


The Story of These Videos (AIM)

On 8 of August when i was in Kamnik, me and the other Turkish EVS volunteer in Kamnik (Cem) decided to record videos about EVS and then we went to Stari Grad of Kamnik for taking EVS videos via EVS volunteers and the first volunteer was me on this video:)

Wednesday, September 15

‘Last 56 days’

S.Konjice | Slovenia
If you ask me that where’ve you been hiding yourself? We still have made some promotion video about EVS. Yesterday, Engin and I recorded new interviews in Ljubljana. We have been keeping busy… Same as always.

Yesterday’s recording, I think it’s our great work. We recorded 5 new interviews in multi-languages.  It is in English, German and Serbian Languages.  It’s been nice talking with EVS volunteer and also foreign people (from South Africa, Italia, and India)  in Ljubljana. In my opinion, we have to make plans to get together again.

Vive la difference!

'Morning's coffee in Ljubljana'

Ljubljana | Slovenia
We thought that we won’t give up recording new things. Because of comments of our working was so good for our motivation. It's worth our while to make new ideas. And today we went to Lasko-is a name of famous bear of here- for recording new interview with other EVS volunteer in there. He is from Spain, and he has different style.

Engin prepared the questions and I prepared equipment for making interview with him. First of all, for going to Lasko, we had to go to Ljubljana-is capital of Slovenia-

Saturday, September 11

'Comments About Our Videos'

Brezice | Slovenia

Some comments about our videos:

‘Special thanks to Cem and Engin whom they shared us perfect video about Action 2, European Voluntary Service… We’re sure that you will like it… Congratulations!’
Turkish National Agency

"Your use of video, Facebook and blog is an excellent example of how new media can be used to reach a high number of people in our target group - young people. I was very impressed by the number of people following your Facebook-page, and I think this shows both that people are interested in your project and that there is a great interest in EVS in general. I am, of course, now also following your Facebook page myself and I look forward to see new videos and material there.

Your project very well illustrates that the beneficiaries and users of Youth in Action are the best promoters the programme can have. Thank you for you work and I hope you will continue to spread information and motivate more young people to become involved in volunteering in general and EVS in particular." 

Frode Dal Fjeldavli, Programme Manager, European Commission - 
Directorate General for Education and Culture

"We find such testimonials are very useful not only to show how the Youth in Action programme work; they are one of the best promotional material." 

Maria Podlasek-Ziegler, European Commission - Directorate General for Education and Culture

'Excellent, please keep up the good work! '
Emily Barker, British Council

"We would like to see your work and we really think that we can profit from your movie.
it is always nice to see different attitudes toward volunteering."
Sanja Živoder, EVS offficer in Croatian NA

"We do like your video items on EVS. I will also send them to my colleagues of the Dutch National Agency of Youth in Action. If they would like to use some of your videos..."
Mark Snijder, Eurodesk Netherlands

'Thank you for your EVS videos. They are really good pieces of work and we’ll be happy to include them in our promotion and information activities for EVS in the future.
I wish you all the best in your future work and looking forward to see your future videos.'
Natasa Zebovec
Slovenian National agency of Youth in Action Programme

(These videos on SNA webpage )

" "We liked your videos a lot and would like to upload them on our webpages..."
Terje Henk, Estonian National Agency

'We would like to thank our brand new partners, Cem Bilen and his colleagues, for sharing us their amazing work on European grants, as well as their experiences in this field. Plenty of interesting experiences can be found on this website.

Starting today, every week we are going to promote their work and hopefully motivate some of our fellow European citizens to participate in a mobility project.'
The Euxtra Team
(Experiences, Youth in Action on

Saturday, September 4

"Open Letter 3"

Celje | Slovenia
Dear Readers,

First of all we would like to introduce ourselves to you; our names are Engin Yuksel Medin and Cem Bilen, we are 2 EVS volunteers from Turkey in Slovenia.We have already finished our almost 6 months and then last month (august) we realised one thing about EVS…

Unfortunately when we want to watch some virtual materials about EVS and the other Youth in Action programmes, we canˇt find enough videos which contain whole youth programmes.