A participant of a volunteering program for university students studying in Turkey said a trip to African countries helped them overcome prejudices towards the continent.
A total of 200 students from Turkey visited 18 African countries from Aug. 5 to Aug. 30 to take part in development or aid projects and develop a sense of volunteerism under the "2017 Africa Experience Sharing Program".
The program was organized by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in cooperation with Turkish Airlines, Anadolu Agency and state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT).
Students participated in social, cultural and humanitarian activities, renovating schools, orphanages, libraries and places of worship as predetermined by TIKA and local NGOs in the countries being visited.
They also took part in the implementation of local development projects.
Mehmet Ferah Yildirim, an economics student in Marmara University, said: This program provided us with happy experiences that eliminate all the prejudice in our minds.
Yildirim, who was among the volunteers visited Burkina Faso, said that he got information about the economic, political and sociological structure of the country during the program.
Yusuf Inan, a student of Arabic Language and Literature in Ataturk University, said he took part in landscaping work in a Palestinian refugee camp.
He said the group shared its overall experience with Jordanian and Palestinian teenagers during the program.
Abdulhay Selim Dundar, an international relations student in Kadir Has University, said he attended a maintenance work in Ghana's capital Accra.
This program has an important role in terms of both supporting the development of African countries and exchange of information and culture.
Mustafa Kagan Sonkaya, a student of Gazi University's Turkish language teaching department, said the program helped him discover the close historical tie between Turkey and Lebanon.
Source: Anadolu Agency