24 Temmuz 2015 Cuma
Peace School of Servas, Antakya/Turkey
I heard a joyful voice of a small girl asking me; When is the Servas School starting? It was the 6-year-old child; Tuana. I remember attending the Servas Live with Us Share with Us Children Programme (LUSUP) last year. She looks bigger now. I notice the new teeth growing in her smiling mouth. So cute. What a lovely name she has found for the things we are doing with the kids every year; Servas School. What does the school look like? Well, it is not a typical school that everyone knows. This school is located in the green area of vegetables and fruit trees. The gardens, house yards, the stairs and the gardens are the classrooms of the school. The teachers of the school are the Servas (www.servas.org) volunteers coming from Turkey and different countries.
In this school, there is no formality, no curriculum, no registration and absolutely attendance is not compulsory. There is a direct mutual learning, experience share, language learning and cultural understanding at the school. What subjects are taught in this school? Actually, the volunteers teach whatever they know. However, the basic subjects are peace and cultures. The philosophy of Servas is based on these
We have had a variety of topics and activities in the program this year again. Not surprisingly the number of windows of the kids and local people which opens to the world has increased and
Around 90 children (aged 06-14) attended the event activities during the seventh LUSUP this year. Every morning, the children left their houses and moved towards the Servas Campus like snails. They filled the Servas School classrooms; the large house yard, under the orange trees, the balcony of the house where they could watch the panorama of Antakya. Shortly,
Coming from the outskirts of Alp Mountains in France to a village of Turkey near Syria, Janine (65) sat on the ground under the fig tree with the kids every day and taught them French songs and words. She introduced the children (future culture travelers) the map of Europe. Janine helped these little travelers imagine their future trips by showing the pictures and videos of geography of France and the city life of Janine’s town-Annecy. Being energetic and good with
The local sacred places of Antakya such as mosques, Ziyareths (Allawi’s), churches (Ortodox, Catholic and Protestants) and a synagogue were visited. The artists; Zeynep&Naim held the hands of kids to teach them the art of drawing on wood with fire. The local artists focused on multicultural and local values of Antakya in their works. The artists Musa and Ediz coming from the local art faculty of the university painted peace, Servas and the world in the imagination of the children with the children in the center of the village.
We went to visit the biggest library of Antakya to create the chance of discovering the rich collection of the library (60.000 books) and the tradition of reading in Antakya. We did joint activities with the library workers. Ümmü Hanım, the library director, was very curious and open-minded that she wanted to learn everything about the libraries of India and France. French and Indian volunteers told us about the library systems in their countries. She also shared her library activities with the guests. She said at the end; “What a big chance for me to have the people of the world (Janine, Sumon in this library. I am going to practice at least some of the ideas I got from the foreign guests soon.”
The volunteers and kids learnt the Art of Marbling from an artist at the library. They could practice
Some of the young people who started to attend this program 7 years ago have learnt at least one
Let me tell you more about this school. Combining the traditional values with the contemporary
What else did the children do within LUSUP this year? The curious kids went out into the nature to
We don’t need money for the Servas School. No need to a headmaster. There is no standard program for each day. The topics, classes, games or workshops are planned every night and instant changes can be done. For example, a local man passing by can become an educator all of a sudden and teach kids how to make
This year we have received international support to the program just like every year. Some good friends who are from Korea, Belgium, İstanbul, İskenderun, İzmir and Diyarbakır and who believe in this program and dream of the desired changes in children have sponsored the T-shirts books, paints and stationary of the local children. The Servas School would not have functioned well enough without this support.
We use technology as little as possible in this program. Videos related to peace, environment, children rights, songs and good examples of the world are displayed on the walls for the kids. All activities of the program are recorded and shared with the world through the social media and blogs. Day by day. It was because we believe in
3aydiy (Ekinci) Antakya/Turkey
July 18, 2015
P.S.: Volunteers welcome. Every year same time. July 6-16th.