MERVE: 12 months in Estonia

I’m Merve Muhsine Türkan from Turkey. Before starting my European Solidarity Corps experience, I worked as a psychologist for five years in a kindergarten and a rehabilitation center in Turkey. However, I wanted a different life experience, and to get one, I applied to the ESC project in Estonia. As a result, I got accepted to volunteer at Hageri Youth Center and started my one-year volunteering service in March 2021. 

İn the youth center, my main focus was to help the youth workers with activities such as the ceramic class, media class, girls club, and organizing different games and events. I also had the chance to pitch new ideas and helped the community with local events and traditional folklore days. In addition, I talked with the youth about their daily life, school life, and their hopes and dreams for the future. Also, I taught them how to cook some meals, desserts, and pastries. I also introduced my country and my culture and taught the youth the Turkish language basics.

I learned lots of new skills in Estonia. For example, ceramics, knitting, and sewing. Also, I tried skiing and ice skating for the first time in my life and improved my gardening skills. In addition, I learned the Estonian Language from OLS (Online language support) and practiced talking with the locals.

I liked Estonian culture and nature. Before, I used to live in a big crowded city, and I am glad I got the chance to live one year in a quiet and peaceful place like Estonia. İn addition, Estonians have great sauna culture that everyone should try. I was not fond of the cold weather that much, but I will even miss the cold weather. I’m also going to miss the youth and people I got to know. I have started to miss them already.

It was full of life and work experiences to learn many things about myself and life. My perspective about life changed positively. I think every young person should do this volunteering to know themselves and live better.

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