“The mystery of Arts” youth exchange program in Turkey

Today the group of Bulgarian teenagers from Smolyan and Sofia have returned from the youth exchange program in Amasia, Turkey.

The participants were in the company of peers from Turkey, Italy, Latvia and Ukraine for 8 days. They tried out different art techniques: manufacturing dolls, musical rhytm, working with wool, drawing on T-shirts, manufacturing kites and theater. One of Bulgarian girls  succeeded in impressing the audience with her talents – drawing and teaching others how to make accessories from wool – a method used in the Ancient times in her home region. At the end of the exchange program there was an idea about  a following part of the training, which happened in Smolyan with the hospitality of the School of Applied Arts.

The interesting thing in the student exchange was the participation of teenagers with learning deficiency and the strong support the other participants gave them. Shy and very timid in the beginning, they found a way to each other step by step. They were discovering their strong sides and qualities with curiosity, instead of focusing on their weaknesses and difficulties.

Host of the project is the youth informal group “Grupdinamik” who demonstrated leadership qualities, talents and hospitality in abundance.

A part of the program was a meeting with the Mayor of the town called Mehmet SARI, who welcomed us in the conference hall of the municipal councilors. He told us about his school years and introduced one of his teachers who continues being his councilor up to nowadays.

We were extremely impressed by two schools: ACI licei, where kids are taught from the kindergarten to graduating the high school as well as the center for talanted young people called Amasya Şehit Ferhat Unelli Bilim ve Sanat Merkez. We secretly dreamed about the presence of similar centers in Bulgaria, where working with arts and sciences is happening with joy and suitable equipment, where the environment and the surroundings are helping and stimulating the personal development and the desire to become better and better as well as more capable.