New UNV report says better recognition of volunteerism and its contributions needed

06 Dec 2013

“Volunteerism in Turkey-A Snapshot” report, which is published by United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Turkey and GSM Youth Services Centre, explores how volunteerism can be a powerful force for change and development.

“Volunteerism in Turkey-A Snapshot” report was launched on 5 December, marking International Volunteer Day, at CerModern in Ankara.

The report explores how volunteer engagement promotes civic values and social cohesion; includes people who often are socially excluded, such as women, youth and people with disabilities.

The report shows that the values of volunteerism are relevant in strengthening communities, and volunteers are crucial to enhance physical, economic, spiritual and social well-being of Turkey.

Volunteerism is an increasingly dynamic field in Turkey: more individuals volunteer and both civil society and public sector institutions are looking at ways how to mobilize people for common efforts to create well-being in communities and society.

However, there are plenty of gaps in the field.

Awareness and understanding of volunteerism needs improvement, more data and research on it is needed, and prevailing misconceptions about volunteering needs to be broken.

“Volunteerism in Turkey – A Snapshot” contributes to all these challenges by painting a multifaceted picture of volunteerism in the country and the role it plays in different fields from youth to environment and from disaster management to social services.

It also highlights how the role of civil society sector, public institutions and private sector alike can all promote and benefit from volunteerism.  

The publication calls, among other things, for a national strategy on volunteerism, policy discussions, civil society organization to be responsive to active citizens, and encourages for an efficient use of new technologies for volunteering.

The publication is co-owned by UNV programme and GSM Youth Services Centre, but also showcases articles by 15 other writers and organizations presenting good practices from the field.

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