June 9 was a day marked by the final step in the implementation of the SocialErasmus project that was launched by the Erasmus Student Network in the 19th of May, with the online campaign “Where Are You Now”. More than 31 boxes of food were distributed among Syrian refugee families in Kadifekale - one of the most affected areas in Izmir, Turkey.
This project was developed with the collaboration between two local ESN sections from different countries - Sweden and Turkey - after winning the “Go Social With ESAA” grant award. The aim was to raise awareness to the refugee crisis and stimulate the exchange students to take an active role in the discussion of solutions that can be helpful in solving this crisis.
ESN Kalmar and ESN Izmir United kicked off the project with an online fundraising campaign, named “Where Are You Now”, giving emphasis to the high number of students on mobility, who are reinterpreting the act of “crossing borders”. More than 70 students, from different nationalities and origins, who are now doing their exchange studies in Sweden and Turkey, successfully joined this campaign. The aim was to fundraise money, which was later used to buy and distribute food among some refugee families in Izmir, and to inspire other ESN sections to welcome and support refugees in their host countries.
The second part of the project, an activity named “European Council Simulation”, has reunited local and exchange students from Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden, on June 26, in an environment created with the aim of stimulating the discussion of their opinions on the new EU-Turkey deal, that ends irregular migration between Turkey and Europe.
After fundraising almost 700 euros, ESN Kalmar and ESN Izmir United proceeded to the final stage of their project. Together, they have organized a distribution day, where, with the help of a local refugee aid organization, Aegean Refugee Aid, volunteers and students were able to visit Kadifekale and donate boxes of food to at least 31 families of Syrian refugees, who are currently living in slums.
Their mission was, not only to raise symbolic funds that could help the local refugees in Izmir, but also to inspire other organizations, communities and nations, to cooperate and support this crisis, by promoting country cooperation.
Here is the link of the news related to project, has been published on one of the television channels in Turkey: