ACT in the same way as AEGEE-Eskişehir

As you all can recognise well from the Agora, the Action Agenda Coordination Team (ACT) Committee has dedicated to support the locals who contribute to the Action Agenda. In order to do this ACT members created useful packages which include the objectives for each Focus Area.

One of them is ‘organising an event or action where students can get in personal contact with the target minority in order to experience their daily life.’  This objective is about creating more empathy among our members towards people with disabilities. In order to do so you can get in contact with an organisation that represents minorities and ask for ideas to experience their lives and create more understanding. This is what AEGEE-Eskişehir members started to do a few years ago and made an annual event out of this cooperation. Enjoy the article about their ‘Empathy Day’, written by Engin Ergezer, the president of AEGEE-Eskişehir. Feel free to ACT in the same way!

Have you ever thought about a world all dark? What would your life be like if you could not see? AEGEE-Eskişehir thought about it, made researches and the “Empathy Day” was created.

AEGEE-Eskişehir  did an event for the first time named “Disabled Project” in 2010. The following year, in 2011, Active Citizenship Working Group of the local took over the responsibility to organise it. Finally this year, the project will take place again on 19th-20th of May 2012 and will be presented by the Human Rights Working Group.

AEGEE-Eskişehir members

What is the “Empathy Day”?
It is a day AEGEE-Eskişehir gathers their members and people with disabilities together and share. Sharing life experiences, stories about how daily life is going. Having discussions on what kind of developments can make life easier for people with disabilities. In order to do so, the members imagine being in their shoes.

To be able to understand the disabilities the participants try to perform small daily tasks in a completely dark room, such as trying to reach to the sofa without falling, filling an empty cup with water, picking up a book from a shelf and even reading it if possible. Not being able to walk and trying to get from one place to another in wheelchair. Facing some obstacles like pavements that are not well-designed and using public transportation.

All above-mentioned things are hard to imagine. For a visually impaired person it is very normal and not unusual. At that point AEGEE-Eskişehir steps in and tries to show and prove to people that there is no difference between us. That is why AEGEE-Eskişehir is eager to repeat this event every year to create more personal understanding among the members.

Empathy Day 2012

The Empathy Day which is carried out with the support of Anadolu University, Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality, and Tepebaşi Municipality is three years old now and will take place this weekend. As it is each year, the event will be open to public and the goal is to try to help “normal people” get rid of the disabilities that they created themselves. Stay tuned for the outcomes of Empathy Day that will happen in 19-20th May 2012.

Written by Engin Ergezer and Deniz Özhan, AEGEE-Eskişehir & ACT