Turkey has great potential to expand its voluntary activities: Minister

Turkey has great potential to expand its voluntary activities: Minister

ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
Turkey has great potential to expand its voluntary activities: Minister

Turkey can immensely enhance its volunteerism with the help of the 20 million youth population it has, Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu has said.

“Our country has great potential to enlarge its voluntary activities, which is a rapidly increasing value in contemporary times. Today there are over 1 billion volunteers in the world. This figure is equal to 109 million fulltime employees, which indicates so much power in the field. This is regarded as a very significant factor concerning the future of humanity,” Kasapoğlu said at an event in Istanbul on March 22 promoting the designation of 2019 as the “Year of Volunteerism.”

Kasapoğlu said the ministry had designated the year 2019 as the “Year of Volunteerism” and is enthusiastic in encouraging Turkish youth to participate in more voluntary activities.

“With 20 million, we have the youngest youth population in Europe. Our ministry’s main aim is to bring up young people who are loyal to their national values, respectful toward the environment and are able to compete with their peers in the international arena,” he said.

Turkey is the most generous country according to the 2018 Global Humanitarian Assistance report, Kasapoğlu said.

“We are being a host country to our brothers who found a haven in our country running away from the destructive impacts of war. Today, no other country is able to do this,” he said.

Turkey has spent about $8.1 billion on humanitarian aid, which makes the country the “most generous” in the world, the minister stressed.

“Hopefully, we will expand our works in a more corporate manner. Our youths have positive feelings about voluntary work and doing good deeds. As the ministry, we will take this to a corporate framework with the help of other public institutions and bodies,” he said.

“We will continue our works by working hand in hand with our youths, all segments of our society, all public bodies and institutions and our ministries,” he said.

The minister also underlined that the Youth and Sports Ministry’s platform for young volunteers currently has about 98,000 members. The nationwide program called “Genç Gönüllüler” (Young Volunteers) has been in use since 2016.

The program operates through a web platform whereby young volunteers and voluntary organizations can find each other. The target audience of the program is determined as the young people in the 14-29 age range group.

The announcements of corporate members of voluntary organizations are approved by the ministry before it takes effect.

Following the event, Fikret Orman, the chairman of the Turkish sports club Beşiktaş, told reporters that he was “very impressed” with Kasapoğlu’s speech.

“We will do everything in our power to contribute. It is a very exciting project. It is important in terms of both serving people and socializing the youth. It is hard to turn these into action, but it falls to all of us to make this come true,” he said.