All Posts by Güler Koca

Making my way into the UN, step by step

First, I was an intern in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, then, a consultant for the UN Agency for Refugees, and now, I am an officer within the International Labor Organization (ILO). Up to date, I was looking at these 3 contracts as separate entities, without linkages, because gosh there has been several years and many, many other adventures in between each one. But today I am looking at this as a whole cycle, an evolving trajectory, and it feels so good.

Continue reading

A potential lawyer’s chronicle: passing the bar examination on the first attempt with no sight. 

When the results were announced, my universe filled with beautiful colours. With a hand pressed to my chest, I slowly breathe out, releasing the pressure I had accumulated during the past few weeks. I had just got a ticket for my dream profession. A good thing I was sitting because everything was spinning around me. I felt an indescribable sensation of freedom as if I had run my best marathon, win my most tough match, swam my longest distance, pushed back the barriers as far as I’ve ever done before. I’ve done my most beautiful travel, written the most beautiful page of my life, reaching the stars. Only a tiny circle of people know what I have gone through to manage it. So to thank them and to pass the torch to future candidates, with or without sight, I decided to broadcast this experiment.

What if the non-profit sector would be more inclusive?

As part of our project on inclusion, my teammates Susanne, from Germany, Melissa, from Scotland, and myself have been designing an online workshop for the non-profit sector. In Scotland, where volunteering is the most common route to work, disabled people are less than half as likely to access volunteering than other people. And even when they get a volunteering position, at the end they are not offered a job as often as other people. Continue reading

On the occasion of Volunteers’ Week in Scotland, here is an update on what my experience in Edinburgh has looked like so far

In January, I have come over to Edinburgh as a volunteer through the European Solidarity Corps, an initiative empowering young people to engage themselves in the response to societal challenges. Despite seeing many expats escaping their host country due to the current pandemic, I have not considered going back home earlier. I have lived in different countries over the last decade, and not being set apart from the local community, whatever happens, has always been my philosophy. Continue reading

Fiji Islands: an archipelago suspended between Melanesian and Polynesian worlds

At the end of the summer 2012 I was getting ready to do my first far away travel on my own. I was hoping to associate learning of English with a new experience involving solidarity toward a developing country. It took thirty hours by plane with a stop in Korea to cover the distance between Lyon and Nadi. I was literally going at the other end of the Earth in a country where very few Turkish people had ever been.

When the flight Paris-Seoul took off it was already night time in France, and the giant was swallowed into the night, going to the unknown. I was invaded by a feeling of freedom. The wings of the plane were mine and I was only one with it. It was I who took off and flought into cotton-like clouds.

Continue reading