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TOG’s International Road

01/02/2010

Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı (TOG), is  a wide spread youth non-governmental organization in Turkey with over 20000 volunteers. TOG works to motivate young people aged between 17 and 25 years to implement their own projects under the umbrella of TOG youth organizations that are founded by young community volunteers mostly in the universities of Turkey as student clubs. TOG was founded in December 2002 with the vision of realization of social peace, solidarity and change through the participation and leadership of the young people. The mission of TOG is to transform the energy of young people towards social benefit by encouraging, inspiring young people for developing, realizing various projects of their own and to contribute to the formation of a youth with social awareness and self-esteem and to enhance democratic participation for young people with young people. 

Since its foundation from December 2002, young community volunteers implement three kinds of projects: social service, social awareness and social advocacy. In the social service projects young people do social service especially for kids. Young people attract attention to several important social sensitivity such as climate change, AIDS, over-consumption etc. for increasing the social awareness. In the social advocacy projects young people advocate on the human and social rights of young people related to the needs of young people.     

All the projects are planned and implemented by young community volunteers. TOG supports these projects; partly funds the projects or helps to raise fund for them; communicates with public and press, and empowers the young people with trainings, traineeships, grants, and mentorship. TOG focuses on leadership of youth, volunteering, active participation, respect to differences, sustainability, transparency, accountability, team work. TOG’s main office is located in İstanbul s but there are also offices in Diyarbakır, Ankara, and İzmir. TOG has 3 youth centers that are in Samsun and İstanbul.

In addition to promoting  volunteerism in Turkey  TOG also fosters:  

Respect to diversity

·      Respect to differences during all activities (cultural diversity)

·      No segregation based on religious, ideological, political views or ethnicity.

Transparency and accountability

Promotion of leadership of young people and youth participation

Teamwork 

Social Entrepreneurship

Training based on youth peer education

·      Aiming to increase both the level and quality training

·      Promotion of life-long learning

·      Creation of public consciousness in the field of training

TOG's activity sphere is wide thanks to the willing  community of young volunteers designing their own projects. Some of these projects are local; the others are performed regionally nationwide or international. The activities include renovation of disadvantaged schools,  democracy and human rights training programs,  reproductive health training programs, entrepreneurship programs for women and youth, campaigns against prejudices and inequalities,  assistance to  and awareness  for the rights of the disabled citizens. TOG also served to the university students by distributing scholarships, by offering mentorship programs and   arranging internships.

Becoming a member of YEU

Youth for Exchange and Understanding’s mission as “promoting peace, understanding and co-operation between the young people of the world in a spirit of respect of human rights” is one of the reasons for TOG wanting to be a member that is why it applied for becoming the member of this network that has similar mission as TOG.

TOG is now on a process of deepening its relations in “Youth for Exchange and Understanding”. This is only one side of the internationalization of TOG but an important one. Through its membership in YEU TOG learnt more about the EU Youth in Action programme and is also becoming a partner organization for the “Youth in Action” projects.

 

Evren Ergec

Head of International Relations Department


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YEU has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727066