Volume 13, Number 17
06 Feburary

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Volunteer: Change Lives Including Your Own

Many Bilkent students are familiar with the work of TDP (Toplumsal Duyarlılık Projeleri / Community Projects), which is carried out by Bilkent student volunteers and supported by other organizations such as Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı (TOG) and Uygar Görme Engelliler Derneği. These organizations allow students to volunteer in several activities, such as tutoring elementary school students in underprivileged areas, teaching sports, art, and computer classes, or visiting elderly people in retirement homes.

TDP is ready for the new semester. In addition to ongoing projects, TDP's latest project is the International Project Group, which was created to help TDP volunteers actively participate in the European Union Youth Project that started April 1, 2004 in Turkey. Turkey's being a participating country provides TDP with the opportunity of both hosting projects in Turkey and taking part in projects abroad. Among the subjects handled in these international projects are matters of global concern such as racism, xenophobia and human rights. One of TDP's upcoming projects is the Action-1 Project of Youth Program in Slovenia in May 2007.

TDP is planning to focus on the education of its volunteers this semester by organizing seminars, conferences, and workshops in order to increase the quality of its social services. "We believe that we will be one step closer in our projects with the help of these forums. To increase the attendance we will be certifying the volunteers who complete these programs," says Ceren Çerçi (ECON/III) a TDP correspondent.

TDP is also planning to organize a seminar and workshop series open to all Bilkent students on volunteering to increase social awareness throughout Bilkent. "We believe we need to increase all kinds of volunteering activities to increase public awareness. To see children smiling with a happy eye means more than anything else does. The most important part of volunteering is to have a chance to be involved in the different worlds of people, which you cannot learn from any book. You have to experience it. Those who want to be a volunteer should note that TDP volunteers need energy and be able to take responsibilities but that they can also change someone's world." says Nurşah Sak (AMER/III).

Aslıhan Yilmaz (IR/III): “Another interesting project is the Project for the Education of Visually Impaired Students and is supported by Bilkent University and two NGOs: the Modern Association for the Visually Impaired and the Modern Women Association. The objective of this project is to help visually impaired students with the university entrance examination by providing them with certain educational services. It also encourages the students to play a part in social activities.

TDP's coordinator Vehbi Çelme (IE/III) said that the organization was ready to welcome new volunteers, and added, "TDP's mission is to help individuals and the community, and to solve problems and make a difference through the efforts and ideas of its volunteers. TDP invites all students to contribute their time and suggestions."

Be a part of the volunteer activities at Bilkent instead of watching it. Doing so will be beneficial both to yourself and others," says Aslı Kırbaş (CTIS/I). For more information, you can call ext.1550 or email: tdp@bilkent.edu.tr  or click on: http://tdp.bilkent.edu.tr 

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