Turkish Overseas Flagship Alumnus Interns at 17th Annual International Women’s Film Festival

The following post is written by Andrew Lockdall, Turkish Overseas Flagship alumnus. 

In May 2014, Turkish Flagship alumnus, Andrew Lockdall assisted in preparations for the 17th annual International Women’s Film Festival at his internship in Ankara. Andrew was kind enough to write a short article about his experience interning at the Flying Broom, an organization that aims to provide information and training to empower women, and contribute to the development of efficient policies for solving women’s problems

Here is his story:

Interning at Flying Broom was undoubtedly a rewarding experience. The work I performed ranged from assembling nametags and sorting posters, to compiling lists of sponsors, and writing film summaries for the film festival.  Working with a team of dedicated, talented, and sincere individuals, while addressing critical issues such as early marriages, domestic violence, and gender inequality in general was not only a great way to improve my Turkish, but also my overall character.

Flying Broom is perhaps best known for its annual International Women’s Film Festival, which is currently in its 17th running.  I feel very lucky to have been a part of its preparation, as it is truly an impressive event, which features ore than 100 woman-directed films from 42 countries.

The Turkish Flagship Program is designed as an innovative overseas language program for students in all fields of study. The academic-year program at Ankara University/TÖMER consists of daily Flagship lectures, individual language partner tutorials, guest seminars, and direct enrollment courses at Ankara University/TÖMER in the students’ fields of specialization.

Turkish Overseas Flagship Alumna Participates in 28th Annual National Linguistics Conference

The following post is written by Victoria Rust, Turkish Overseas Flagship alumna. 

IMG_0056In May 2014, Turkish Flagship alumna, Victoria Rust, attended Turkey’s 28th National Linguistics Conference.Victoria was generous enough to write a short article about her experience at the conference. Here is her story:

On May 8 and 9, I had the privilege of attending Turkey’s 28th National Linguistics Conference, held at the Sakarya University Culture and Congress Center.  The conference provided an opportunity for the linguistics scholars, professionals, and students of Turkey to connect in person and share research findings, discuss academic interests, and learn about current issues in the field of linguistics.

IMG_0135Because it was the National Linguistics Conference of Turkey, all organized sessions, posters, forums, panel discussions and roundtables were conducted in Turkish.  As a result, I was able to use my Turkish to not only learn, but also discuss with presenters and fellow attendees about a wide array of topics ranging from endangered Turkic languages, to linguistic analysis of slogans used at the Gezi Park demonstrations in Istanbul.

I first learned about the conference during my internship at the Ankara University Linguistics Department, a component of the Turkish Overseas Flagship Program. Being a Flagship student, I have been afforded opportunities such as this conference.  By attending, I was able to make valuable connections, which help to further my professional career goals as a linguist.

The Turkish Flagship Program is designed as an innovative overseas language program for students in all fields of study. The academic-year program at Ankara University/TÖMER consists of daily Flagship lectures, individual language partner tutorials, guest seminars, and direct enrollment courses at Ankara University/TÖMER in the students’ fields of specialization.

 

FLEX Alumni Promote Eco-Awareness with Coastal Clean-Up in Sevastopol

FLEX Alumni Promote Eco-Awareness with Coastal Clean-Up in SevastopolOcean trash is a serious pollution problem that affects the health of people, wildlife, and local economies. With coastal areas facing the double threat of climate change and environmental degradation, FLEX alumna Svitlana Buko ’97 organized a project using a FLEX Global Youth Service Day grant to promote ecological awareness among the coastal population of Sevastopol, Ukraine. The project also aimed to connect ecology researchers, kayakers, and volunteers to the general population.

On April 12, Svitlana recruited 37 volunteers for a daylong coast cleanup that included representatives from local nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, marine research institutions, water sport organizations, local businesses, and seven FLEX alumni. Show their support and concern for Ukraine’s waterways, the volunteers took part in a variety of nature-friendly activities including dolphin watching, trash collecting along the beach, kayaking, and hiking. Participants also took part in two workshops on ecotourism and dolphin protection.

Sevastopol, Ukraine - Balaklava, Dolphin Watch

FLEX alumna and Simferopol resident Tetyana Timofeenko attended the dolphin protection workshop. “I learned a lot about dolphins and their habits and lifestyles. It was very useful to learn about how to help a dolphin in a critical situation. The lecture was very interesting with great information about Crimean beaches, and the ways in which they are preserved,” Tetyana said.

Click here to learn more about the FLEX program.

FLEX Alumni Champions Healthy Eating Habits in Kyrgyzstan

FLEX Balykchy, Kyrgyzstan -Think of Your Health When Young - FLEX Alumna Zhamilia Klycheva '13 with the participant of culinary show 2alumna Zamilia Klycheva ‘ 13 wants to spread awareness about nutritious eating and healthy lifestyle habits to her community in Balykchy, Kyrgyzstan. Zamilia’s project, Think of Your Health When Young,is a collaboration with two of her fellow FLEX alumni. The group led a two-day event on April 11-12 that coincided with Global Youth Service Day, which involved over 2,000 volunteers from the local community.

Think of Your Health When Young launched with presentations for 8th and 9th graders from six different public schools about how to champion an optimal diet and adopt a healthy lifestyle. The session presented information on genetically modified foods as well as the consequences of unhealthy eating habits. Afterward, the students were invited to attend a culinary show. Balykchy, Kyrgyzstan -Think of Your Health When Young - FLEX Alumna Zhamilia Klycheva '13 with the 5th and 6th graders from local public schools, during sport activities

On the second day, volunteers from ten local public schools and three colleges joined together to clean up three lake territories in Balykchy. Following the cleanup, participants gathered on the main square for a thank you ceremony, where each school was given certificate of appreciation and encyclopedia for their library. Zhamilia concluded the event with organized sport activities for 5th and 6th graders from local public schools to promote outdoor activities and exercise. The project’s official partnerKumtor Gold Company distributed sport equipment for all the public schools at the event. Representatives from local City Hall and media also attended.

Click here to learn more about the FLEX program.

 

FLEX Alumni Implement Road Safety Project in Tbilisi

Tbilisi,-Georgia---Safe-Roads---Pekini-Avenue-VolunteersWith pedestrian related traffic accidents on a rise throughout the world, FLEX alumna Natia Sharikadze ’08 teamed up with nearly 100 volunteers to spread the word about road safety for Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) 2014 with the Safe Roads project in Tbilisi, Georgia. Aimed at spreading awareness about rights of pedestrians, the goal was to remind drivers of the need to stop at crosswalks—known locally as “zebra crossings”­—and to reiterate to pedestrians the need to cross the street only at appropriate and marked crossings.

The two-day event, attended by 42 people, kicked off on April 12 with a training session people Tbilisi, Georgia - Safe Roads - Chvachavadze Avenue action copyabout traffic laws by representatives of three partner organizations. The following day, 93 volunteers—including 15 FLEX alumni—divided up into teams to share their message with the community.  Volunteers visited over 60 crosswalks on 40 city streets, crossing in large groups at marked crossings holding a zebra-stripped banner that said: “On the Zebra, Stop for Pedestrians.” The group also passed out information flyers to nearby drivers and pedestrians. On Rustaveli Avenue, a central street in Tbilisi, volunteers promoted the anti-jaywalking campaign among children by drawing chalk pictures on the sidewalks and distributing funny poems about jaywalking. About 2,000 flyers were distributed, and over 3,000 drivers and 1,000 pedestrians were reached during two-day event in Tbilisi.

The International Spark Program, Children of Georgia, University of Georgia, Georgian Alliance for Safe Roads, and American Councils partnered to make this project a success.  Photos of the event can be found here.

Click here to learn more about the FLEX program.