Peace of Art, a project led by Yeditepe University Erasmus Club (Erasmus Student Network Yeditepe) and Okan University Erasmus Club (Erasmus Student Network Okan) was selected for a grant by the GO SOCIAL WITH ESAA initiative, which is supported by the European Commission. Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is the biggest interdisciplinary student organization in Europe, supporting and improving the student exchange operating in 530 universities in 40 countries. ESAA aims at providing and continuing the transfer experiences and knowledge among the students who took part in exchange programmes by developing the networks of students attending the exchange programs supported by the European Union, and creating an education and experience atmosphere for them.
Thanks to Peace of Art, a SocialErasmus Project, together with their Turkish peers, refugee children living in Turkey had the opportunity to attend the art workshops given by the artists both professional and experienced with kids on 6-11th April 2017. More than 120 children, 9 artists, 9 psychologists, nearly 20 Erasmus students, 15 ESNers involved to this project.
SocialErasmus is Erasmus Student Network’s international project. This project enhances the social attitudes of the young citizens participating in exchange programmes. While easing their integration in the local society, it gives them a chance to make an unforgettable change in the society with the volunteer projects they get involved in. Main purpose of this project was to enable the kids to socialize with one another by using the universal and consolidative power of art. The aim was to strengthen both international and intercultural communication, help them discover their potential and interest in art branches such as printing, instrument making, dance, body percussion, yoga, art, puppet making, music and water colour painting. Increasing the social cohesion and communication power through using the healing power of art was also one of the purposes of this project. By organizing this project with the participation of various Erasmus students coming from Germany, the Netherlands and Poland and ESN volunteers from Yeditepe University and from Okan Üniversitesy, it was aimed to enable refugee children and Turkish children to meet with different cultures at a very young age, besides it was aimed that Erasmus students could raise awareness about this highly important social cause.
At the end of the project, children’s works of art were exhibited at a non- profit art initiative Halka Art Gallery on 13-16th April 2017. In this exhibition, children saw that different cultures create bigger richness only when the necessary opportunities and chances are given to children. Children who took part in the project visited the exhibition and had a chance to see their works on display.
ESN Okan: “With this project, we were able to provide children a creative platform where they could dream again, and have a unique chance to communicate with their peers and gain experience in arts.”
ESN Yeditepe: “What made our project different from the others implemented for the refugee children was to help our future, that is the children, to dream and to reveal their inner artists by using art and to offer educational equalization in art, as well.”