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In the absence of a national strategy on youth volunteering in Turkey, policy field titled “Volunteering and Mobility” which is set down in the National Youth and Sports Policy Document was deemed as a strategic guide on youth volunteering.
After the adoption of new governmental system, with the issuing of Presidential Decree 1 dated 10/07/2018, enhancing of the volunteering activities and promoting civil consciousness on volunteering among youngsters have been specified as the task of Ministry of Youth and Sports. This legal basis has provided an impetus for the betterment of existing National Volunteering Programme. Also there is an ongoing process for preparing a statue law dedicated to volunteering. Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports has designated 2019 as “The Year of Volunteering”.
Also, in order to bring together the distinct volunteering activities under a single strategy, Volunteering Strategy for 2019 The Year of Volunteering has been released. This strategy has 6 main focuses:
- Strengthening of the culture of volunteering.
- Efficient utilization of technology.
- Effective organisation and risk management.
- Strengthening of volunteering management and volunteering education.
- Strengthening of the relations among volunteering organisations.
- Recognition and certification of volunteering.
Detailed information regarding the scope and contents of the National Youth and Sports Policy Document was given in the previous chapter. Only the scope and contents of “Volunteering and Mobility” policy area of the National Youth and Sports Policy Document will be mentioned in this section.
In the “Volunteering and Mobility” policy area of the National Youth and Sports Policy Document, three policies and fourteen targets are determined in relation to volunteering. These are:
Policy 1. Increasing the participation of young people in volunteering activities and removing obstacles in the way of volunteering.
Target 1: To organize voluntary activities which aim to enable young people to acquire vocational skills apart from educational activities, which increase their learning competence, develop employability opportunities and the sense of solidarity, encourage them to adopt into the society more easily and to become active citizens.
Target 2: To perform studies which encourage young people to get integrated into certain voluntary institutions to make voluntary work instead of volunteering on their own and to conduct their voluntary activities in this way.
Target 3: To conduct studies in order to establish platforms which will increase the number of activities based on social volunteering, to increase the number of voluntary institutions, to improve the present voluntary institutions and to support such institutions.
Target 4: To make studies which will increase the influence of voluntary institutions and non-governmental organizations to make voluntary work more widespread and systematic.
Target 5: To strengthen communication between voluntary organizations and their support for each other.
Target 6: To increase young volunteers’ participation in non-governmental organizations and to help young people engage in activities which will support their success.
Target 7: To conduct necessary studies for the adoption of volunteering and for the establishment and expansion of awareness of volunteering at every level of educational programs.
Policy 2. Raising awareness of young people about the participation in voluntary activities for disadvantaged people.
Target 1: To conduct joint studies with young people who volunteer for the integration of disadvantaged young people and children into the society.
Target 2: To promote and to support voluntary activities which will enable young people to come together with disadvantaged citizens.
Policy 3. Supporting voluntary activities of young people and non-governmental organizations and informing young people about non-governmental organizations and volunteering.
Target 1: To increase the number of scholarship programmes provided by public institutions and to enable non-governmental organizations and young people to benefit from these scholarship programmes more.
Target 2: To provide the support of the private sector in addition to central administration and local administrations for non-governmental organizations and to conduct practices encouraging this support.
Target 3: To make introductory studies for young people about non-governmental organizations and volunteering programmes by means of benefiting from the power of educational institutions, media and social media.
Target 4: To carry out works which will highlight volunteering activities more, increase the coverage of these activities in the press and encourage young people to participate in voluntary activities.
Target 5: To make controls which are conducted by public institutions and organizations in the task fields of non-governmental organizations more efficient in order to prevent the abuse of volunteering.
- The Ministry of Youth and Sports,
- Ministry of National Education,
- Ministry of Development,
- Ministry of Family and Social Policies,
- Local Authorities,
- Supreme Council of Radio and Television,
- Media Companies,
- Non-Governmental Organizations.
As it is mentioned in the previous chapter, National Youth and Sports Policy Document was passed on with the Cabinet Decision dated 26/11/2012 and No 2012/4242 and took effect after being published on the Official Gazette dated 27/01/2013 and No 28541.
In accordance with the below provision of Article 18 of the Legislative Decree Number 638 on the Organization and Duties of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Dated 03/06/2011; “National Youth and Sports Policy Document is drawn up by the Ministry and submitted to the approval of the Council of Ministers with the purpose of providing coordination and cooperation between public institutions and organizations which carry out policies and activities directly or indirectly affecting young people and sports. The National Youth and Sports Policy Document is reviewed and updated in periods of four years at the latest. In the updating process of the National Youth and Sports Policy Document, recommendations of the relevant public institutions and organizations, sports federations and non-governmental organizations are taken into consideration.”, update works are organized in periods of four years.
Revision and update works of the Youth and Sports Policy Document which is an important compound of legislation on youth in Turkey is in progress and it is planned that these works are concluded by passing a new Youth and Sports Policy Document as of 2017.