ERG SES F 03, Parallel Session F 03
As a result of the effects of neo-liberal politics, non-governmental organizations started to take place for the solutions of many educational, societal, health, etc. issues by means of social service. NGOs’ taking place intensely in the educational process in the early period of 21th century has several reasons such as neo-liberal approach based on the idea of minimizing governments and becoming more functional of societies, taking more responsibility related to social services, generalization of democracy by providing participation in decision-making process (Bikmen et. al. 2006; Güler, 2005; Sutton & Arnove, 2004). In accordance with this approach, international institutions such as United Nations, World Bank, and European Union have been accepted non-governmental organizations as a vital stakeholder for almost all of their projects (Karataş, 2008).
ILKYAR (The Foundation of Support to Elementary Schools) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Turkey which has the mission of increasing the motivations of especially students in village schools for educational enthusiasm and continuing to their long-term educational life, making contribution for their education, helping book allowances for children, supporting successful children (especially girls), and organizing educational activities for teachers, etc. The NGO performs its activities within collaboration of The Ministry of National Education in a completely non-political way and away from mass media. By means of this mission of ILKYAR, it has been making a serious contribution as an NGO for the eradicating inequality in educational opportunities and reaching the desired enrollment rates in both basic education and high school education in Turkey. Therefore, NGOs can take important role in the management and financing of education especially in developing countries (Boukary, 1999: 2-3).
One of the most important key elements in NGOs is absolutely volunteers whoact for social responsibility and fulfill the most of necessary works in the body of NGOs. NGOs in the field of education started to realize and become aware of their importance and thus there are an increasing number of researches related to volunteers as social capital, the reasons of volunteering and the motivating factors that affect volunteers to give a long-term voluntary service (Volunteering and Sustainability Research Report, 2010; Akman, 2008; Soytürk, 2008; Boz & Palaz, 2007; Martinez & McMullin, 2004). It is believed that this study can give opportunity to make a dept analysis about this issue benefiting from the qualitative research methods’ advantages.
This study aims at volunteer university students’ roles and experiences at ILKYAR as a non-governmental organization. In the study the following research questions have been addressed:
1. What the advantages and disadvantages (if any) do the ILKYAR volunteers have?
2. What are their long-term contributions throughout their volunteering period?
3. What is the concept of ‘civil society’ and/or ‘non-governmental organization’ according to the ILKYAR volunteers?
4. What are the contributions of ILKYAR for the region and the country?
5. What do they think about NGOs in Turkey in terms of their functions, activities, etc.?
Bogdan, R. C. & Biklen, S. K. (1998). Qualitative research education: an introduction to theory and methods. Allyn & Bacon: America Online. Güler, B. A. (2005). Devlette Reform Yazıları. Ankara: Paradigma Yayınları. Volunteering and Sustainability Research Report. (2010). Turkish Association of Educational Volunteers, Retrieved from the address http://www.tegv.org/v4/Main.asp# on 18.01.2011. Akman, P. (2008). Effects of motives, volunteer role identity and sense of community on sustained volunteering. Master Thesis. Bogazici University: Istanbul. Soytürk, M. H. (2008). Volunteering in non-govenmental organizations: the sample of Deniz Feneri organization Ankara branch. Master Thesis, Hacettepe University: Ankara. Karataş, İ. H. (2008). Non-governmental Organizations in Turkish Education System: Their Positions and Functions. Marmara University, Institute of Educational Sciences, Doctoral Thesis: Istanbul.Boz, I. & Palaz, S. (2007). Factors Influencing the Motivation Of Turkey's Community Volunteers. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 36, 643. Martinez, T. A. & McMullin, S. L. (2004). Factors affecting decisions to volunteer in nongovernmental organizations. Environment and Behavior, 36, 112. Bikmen et. al. (2006). Civil society in Turkey: the period of change. The Project of civil society index – Turkey country report. Third Sector Foundation of Turkey. Retrieved from the address of http://www.tusev.org.tr/content/default.aspx?c=73&s=124 on 13.01.2011. Sutton, M. & Arnove R. F. (2004). Civil society or shadow state? State/ngo relations in education. IAP Greenwich. Retrieved from the address of books.google.com/books?isbn=1593112025 on 14.11.2010. Boukary, H. D. (1999). The village schools of save the children/USA in Mali: a case-study of NGOs, communities and the state’s emerging roles in the provision of basic education in Sahel. Doctoral Thesis. Indiana University.
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