A second group of Turkish students are heading to Sudan to take part in a special humanitarian program organized by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in cooperation with national carrier Turkish Airlines, state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) and public broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT).
The 2017 Africa Experience Sharing Program will give 200 students the opportunity to visit several countries, including Tunisia, Libya, Somalia, Kenya, Algeria, Chad, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Ghana and Niger, between Aug. 5 and Aug. 30. Nine NGOs are also involved in the project.
They will participate in social, cultural and humanitarian activities, renovating schools, orphanages, libraries and places of worship and will also be involved in implementing local developmental projects.
Denizhan Özsert, a senior in the Ankara-based Gazi University Department of Political Science and Public Administration, said: "We will visit the Nile River ... and local NGOs, foundations, TİKA offices, [Turkey's] embassy and an orphanage in Sudan." They will stay in the Sudanese capital Khartoum for 10 days.
Koray Kaya, a management student at Istanbul Aydın University, saw the program as an opportunity to understand the African people. "We should visit those regions that bear the stamp of our history and feel their heartbeat," Kaya said.
Turkey has stepped up its efforts to reach out to Africa and develop ties with countries on the continent over the past decade. The TİKA is spearheading efforts to boost relations by creating development models for African countries, ranging from support programs on rebuilding, to education and agriculture.