Volunteers from Günköy (The Sun Rises the Village), a project of the TDP (Toplumsal Duyarlılık Projeleri/Social Awareness Projects) student volunteer organization, spent the weekend of December 16-17 working at Tokay Yenisu Primary/Secondary School.
To accomplish their tasks, the Günköy volunteers divided into two teams. The construction team transformed an unused classroom into a library, while the education team made it possible for the school’s pupils to experience things they had never before.
Volunteers offered classes in theater, music, art, science and sports as well as general knowledge during the two days of their visit. In the sports class, children competed in a survivor parkour, where they had the chance to experience teamwork. They played volleyball and basketball, and at the end of each day participated in a zumba activity prepared just for them.
The general knowledge class included a trivia contest and many discussion sessions in order to encourage the children to state their opinions with confidence, while the theater and art activities helped nurture their creativity.
Both the science and music classes were designed to supplement the limited resources usually available at the school, giving the children a chance to observe experiments and handle musical instruments they had never encountered up close before. For many of the children, each experiment or instrument was a new experience to tell their parents about at the end of the day.
An opening ceremony for the new library capped off the weekend of work, learning and fun. Speaking at the event, the principal of the school stated that the volunteers’ contributions had created opportunities and positive differences in the lives of the students and also the teachers, giving them two days they would never forget.
The weekend was as special for the Günköy volunteers as it was for the children. When they saw the smiles on the youngsters’ faces, they understood how important their job was. By opening a new chapter in the children’s lives, the volunteers showed them that there is a bigger world they can explore and many things they can do later on in their lives.
“Even if we went there to help educate the children, they taught us many things too,” declared one of the volunteers. “Every second with them was magical; their innocence really touched us.”