VOLUNTEERING STUDIES COURSE OPENED
As of the 2020-2021 academic year, the “Volunteering Studies” course was opened as an elective course at our university.
It is aimed with the Volunteering Studies course to strengthen the ties between the university and the society as the students use the knowledge, skills and experience they acquired throughout their education life. In this context, students started to participate in various volunteer activities in order to gain awareness about various social issues and problems, particularly migration and natural disasters, disabled and disadvantaged groups, which are caused by various humanitarian, social, economic or similar reasons.
Prof. Dr. Askin Asan, Director of the Women and Family Application and Research Center, said, “The main purpose of this course is to develop students’ social, cultural and moral values and skills. Students will take part in voluntary work for a semester within the framework of a timetable they will prepare and will share the results thereof.”
Within the scope of the Volunteering Studies course, the students started to implement their projects for the most disadvantaged groups of the society. The negative conditions created by the pandemic did not prevent students to carry out activities. As a matter of fact, they have been doing the shopping for the elderly, for whom going out in their neighborhoods poses a risk, helping the primary school students who have problems with distance education in their lessons, carrying out studies within the scope of combating the increasing violence against women during the pandemic period, and visiting orphaned children in relevant institutions.
Within the scope of Volunteering Studies course, representatives of many institutions and organizations are invited, who provide students with first-hand information about the conditions of participation in volunteering activities of the institutions.
“We must strive to grow up as a human being”
The first guest invited within the said scope was Mr. Selim Cerrah, Advisor to the Minister of the Youth and Sports. In his speech, Mr. Cerrah gave information about the activities of the Youth Centers affiliated with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and underlined the necessary values for the formation of the spirit of volunteerism. Mr. Cerrah said, “We must strive not to raise human beings, but to grow as human beings”, and reminded the value of deeds that are done just because it comes from the heart without expecting anything in return, in an age where consumption is so high.”
Volunteering Studies Course hosted Ms. Aynur Ayhan, one of the executives of the Urgent Needs Project, on October 23rd, 2020. Ms. Ayhan stated that the Urgent Needs Project, which was established by Ms. Ebru Nurluoğlu 30 years ago, emerged with the idea of taking from the ones not in need and giving to the needy, and continues today with aid activities in many countries, in Africa in particular. In her speech, Ms. Ayhan stated that as a team, they attach importance to the principle of transparency in all their work, and that they gain the trust of people since they always report their work.
Volunteering Studies Course subsequently hosted the President of AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu on October 30th, 2020. Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu gave information about AFAD’s activities and volunteering. He stated that while at university his roommate was an Ethiopian national, and this motivated him to start volunteering activities in the later period.
“VOLUNTEERING REQUIRES HUMAN RESOURCE AND TIME”
AFAD President Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu said, “Humanitarian aid activities are just one part of volunteering activities. Volunteering activities include a wide array of activities in addition to the humanitarian aid activities, such as activities aimed at elderly, disabled, stray animals, and the environment and nature. Volunteering is a concept that involves many resources such as human resources, financial resources and time. Dr. Güllüoğlu talked about individual volunteering activities and corporate volunteering activities and gave detailed information about AFAD’s activities.
Dr. Güllüoğlu explained the necessary conditions to support AFAD voluntarily, and underlined that in many developed countries most of the services are carried out by volunteers. In this regard, he emphasized that there is a great need for volunteers in Disaster Management in particular.
Volunteering Studies Course subsequently hosted the Director of the Volunteer Management of the Turkish Red Crescent, Ms. Nurdal Durmuş, who has been continuing her works in the earthquake zone in Izmir, on November 6th, 2020.
Ms. Durmuş stated that volunteering provides social satisfaction, allows establishing relationships, accumulating knowledge, acquiring good manners and experience, and creates a social added value. Ms. Durmuş then described the volunteering activities of the Turkish Red Crescent in detail, and said, “Our volunteers need the humanitarian aid institutions as much as the humanitarian aid institutions need volunteers.” She stated that the volunteers who exist in all corners of our country are their biggest supporters in all of their activities such as the activities directed at earthquake, flood or pandemic relief, border mobility, education, etc. Ms. Durmuş explained how the volunteering planning and management is done, and also talked about the Disaster Volunteer Training project and the gonulluol.org platform, which will be launched on December 5th, 2020.