Who are we?
We are a group of students in Kalmar, Sweden, and Izmir, Turkey, who volunteer for the Erasmus Student Network.
ESN works for the creation of a more mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing the student exchange from different levels, and providing an intercultural experience also to those students who cannot access a period abroad ("internationalisation at home").
What is SocialErasmus?
SocialErasmus is an international project by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) which promotes a social attitude among young citizens participating in mobility programmes, to facilitate their integration into the local community while gives them the chance to make a long lasting social change in society through volunteering activities. The project goes under the slogan: Leave your mark!
Why have we started this project?
In the past year, we have witnessed social media sharing thousands of pictures of adults and children refugees crossing the sea on boats, from Turkey to Greece, in search of a safe route to Europe, hoping to find a country that could serve as a temporary home, while theirs is still a war zone. In 2014, Turkey was calculated to give home to 1,587,284 refugees, most of them coming from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Recently, and after most European countries have officially closed their borders, the European Union and Turkey have decided to end irregular migration to Europe. They do this by automatically returning any illegal migrant in Greece back to Turkey, promising that for every Syrian refugee being returned to Turkey, another Syrian will be resettled to Europe. At the moment, 50.000 refugees are estimated to be living in improvised camps and detention shelters in Greece, some waiting for their deportation others trying to find ways to be reunited with their families, while living in poor and miserable conditions. Questions regarding the new EU-Turkey agreement being a good solution for the migrant and refugee crisis aroused, and despite the promises that were made, these refugees are still in need of resources for proper aid. For that reason, and for thinking we are a powerful community and network, we have decided to create a social project with the support of all international exchange and Erasmus+ students around the globe.
What is our project about?
The Erasmus Student Network Kalmar and ESN Izmir United (a cooperation between all ESN sections in Izmir, Turkey) have created this Social Project with the support of the Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Association. Our goal is to raise awareness for the importance of country cooperation when it comes to help the refugees. ESN Kalmar has chosen Turkey for this cooperation on the context of the new EU-Turkey Agreement. Our mission is, not only to raise monetary funds, that will be used to buy specific goods that these refugees need, but mostly to inspire other organizations, communities and nations to cooperate and support the aid of refugees, by promoting this cooperation between students from different countries.
What goods are we going to buy and distribute with your money donations?
Hygiene products, baby diapers, food, cookies, candies and colouring books (for children).
Who will benefit?
Families of refugees in Izmir - Basmane, Kadifekale, Buca areas -, Turkey. There are at least 15 families in each neighbourhood, which means, the more money we collect, the more we can give!
When are we going to proceed with the distribution?
We expect to have collected at least 250 euros (almost 840 Turkish liras), by the 1st of June. The ESN in Izmir, will organize a distribution day with their local and exchange students on the 4th/5th of June.
For more information about our project and activities, and/or you wish to receive updates and follow the distribution of the goods, please contact us on [email protected], and visit our Facebook pages, www.facebook.com/ESNKalmar and www.facebook.com/esnizmirunited.
Greetings from the Erasmus Student Network in Kalmar and Izmir.