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LIVE with Ozge: volunteer in the field of migration

LIVE with Ozge: volunteer in the field of migration

Ozge is 24 years old, she is from Bodrum, Turkey. She’s interested in migration and human rights topics and has been actively volunteering in these fields since high school.

Ozge has been volunteering for quite a long time now for different organizations in various countries. Although her volunteering path was diversified, she always volunteered in fields related to migration and helping refugees. She first started to volunteer in Izmir, Turkey in 2015 for an organization distributing humanitarian aid and legal support to refugees. Because of her young age, she did not have a lot of responsibilities back then but this experience made her want to keep on volunteering and helping others even more.

After that first experience, Ozge volunteered for a lot of different organizations from different countries, always with the aim to help refugees. In fact, Ozge went to Lebanon with the organization AEISEC where she volunteered as an English educator and curriculum developer for disadvantaged kids who were actually mainly Syrian refugees. Later on, when Ozge moved to Ghent, Belgium she started to volunteer for Ghent4humanity which provides humanitarian aid to refugees in Dunkerque and Calais to distribute humanitarian aid. Ozge also volunteered for Europe Must Act as a Turkish-English translator. She would mainly translate refugees’ testimonies and legal documents. Afterwards, Ozge also participated in an occupation at her university in support of refugees demanding to be regularized. Last, she volunteered in Gaziantep, Turkey with an organization called kırkayak kültür aiming to create a dialogue between new migrants and the local community due to its proximity to the Syrian border. 

Yes to being a volunteer, but be aware of your positionality and power dynamics involved!

Now, Ozge finished her university education and is looking for a job in the field of migration. She wants to remind us that although volunteering may have a positive impact, people shouldn’t feel superior only because they volunteer. We have to be careful about the power dynamics involved in these relationships, rethink them, and maybe create deeper connections and friendships. Ozge also recommends to start volunteering locally and then abroad, listen to the podcast to discover more!

About Pauline Lebutte

My name is Pauline, I am 24 years old and from Brussels (Belgium). I love to travel, I worked and travelled through Australia, Southeast Asia and Europe for two years about 6 years ago. So, when I got my master’s degree in Conflict and Development Studies in June, it was only logical for me to go on and travel again! Except that this time I wanted to do something related to my studies. I wanted to have a positive impact on our world and acquire some work experience and new competencies at the same time. So participating in the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) and especially volunteering for TDM 2000 in Cagliari was just perfect!

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