GENÇLERİN ULUSLARARASI GÖNÜLLÜ HİZMET DENEYİMLERİ VE BİREY ÜZERİNDEKİ SOSYO - KÜLTÜREL ETKİLERİ

Uluslar arası gönüllülük, yaygın eğitim ve kültürlerarası öğrenme için önemli bir araç olarak düşünülür. Avrupa Komisyonu'nun Avrupa Gönüllü Hizmet Programı (AGH), gençler için bu tür eğitim ve öğrenme deneyimleri yaratmak için geliştirilen özel bir eğitsel programdır. Türkiye 6 yıldan fazla bir süredir bu programın uygulanmasında aktif rol almaktadır ve bu bağlamda ciddi bir deneyim birikimi sağlamıştır. Türkiye'de gerçekleşen uluslar arası gönüllülük deneyimlerinin incelenmesi, ilgili literatürde gözlemlenenlerden farklı bulgular sunabilir çünkü Orta-Doğulu/Müslüman bir toplumda uluslar arası gönüllü hizmet deneyiminin diğer Avrupa toplumlarına göre çok daha fazla kültürel zorluklar yaratacağı düşünülebilir. Bu makale, arka-planda Doğu-Batı ilişkilerini temel alan sosyolojik bir perspektiften hareketle AGH Programı dâhilinde uluslar arası gönüllülüğün etkilerini araştırmayı amaçlamaktadır. Gençlerin uluslar arası gönüllü hizmet deneyimleri süreci ve sonrasında ev sahibi ülke kültürüne karşı algı ve tutumlarının değişip değişmediği veya hangi boyutlarda değiştiği ana araştırma sorusu olacaktır. Araştırma verileri, 2007-2011 yılları arasında Balıkesir'de iki farklı kuruluşta AGH deneyimi yaşayan 30 gönüllüyle yapılan ve derinlemesine mülakat tekniği kullanılan etnografik bir alan araştırmasından gelmektedir. Ek olarak, iki ev sahibi kuruluşun 8 çalışanıyla yapılan odak grup görüşmelerinden elde edilen veriler de kullanılacaktır. Araştırmanın ana bulguları, Avrupalı gençlerin Türkiye'deki AGH deneyimlerinin onların kişisel gelişim ve sosyal becerilerine ciddi katkılar sağladığı ve Türkiye ve Türk kültürü hakkında eskisine oranla daha fazla şeyler öğrenmelerine vesile olduğunu göstermektedir. Ama kültürel farklılıklara saygı, hoşgörü ve derin bir kavrayış geliştirmeyi ifade eden kültürlerarası öğrenme açısından bu deneyimlerin Avrupalı gençleri çok değiştirmediği, kültürlerarası öğrenme bağlamındaki olumlu etkilerin sınırlı kaldığı görülmektedir. Makale, kültürlerarası öğrenme etkilerinin sınırlılığının Avrupalı gençler arasında çok köklü bir şekilde yer edinen Avrupamerkezci bakış açısıyla ilişkilendirilebileceği ve eğitim politikalarında kültürlerarası öğrenme söyleminin belirleyiciliğine ihtiyatla yaklaşılması gerektiği önerisiyle sona ermektedir.

International voluntarism is considered to be an important venue for non- formal education and intercultural learning. European Voluntary Service (EVS) Program of European Commission is a specific program to generate such educational and learning experiences for young people. Turkey has been involved in the implementation of this program for more than 6 years and accumulated a significant level of experiences in this context. Examining international voluntary service experiences taking place in Turkey may provide different findings than what is observed in the literature because international voluntary action in such a Middle Eastern/Muslim country may create much more cultural challenges than all other European countries. From a sociological perspective based on the East-West relations as the background, this paper aims at exploring the effects of international voluntarism, within the context of EVS Program, in terms of whether, or to what extent, young people's perception of and attitudes towards the host country's culture get changed during and after international voluntary service experience. The data for this exploration comes from an ethnographic research conducted with 30 European Voluntary Service volunteers who volunteered in two different organizations in Balıkesir, Turkey between 2007 and 2011. Additionally, data was gathered and used through focus group interviews with 8 staff members of host organizations. The major findings indicate that an experience of international voluntary service significantly contributes to the personal development and social skills of young people and that it helps them to learn more about Turkey and Turkish culture. However, positive effects of such an experience are limited in terms of intercultural learning, which is closely related to respect and tolerance to and a deeper understanding of cultural diversities. It is suggested that this limited effect may be associated with deeply rooted Eurocentric perspective among European young people and that a precautious attitude might be appropriate before making the discourse of intercultural learning as one of the leading principles of educational policies.

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