The word volunteer is conceived as someone who works in a job on their own free will, however, in Turkey, it is usually thought to be a person who works in an NGO because the act of volunteering is one of the main pillars of NGOs. Volunteering means, at its simplest, not requesting any wage/pay or income/profit from the job one does. Volunteerism means to volunteer. Volunteering plays an important role in the strengthening of the social structure on a spiritual level.
Volunteering is crucial in the cases of national disasters and social development projects. Volunteering also allows the individual to gain knowledge, experience, become active, learn to tolerate, and a professional approach as well as qualities such as taking responsibilities, and being accountable/reliable. Even if one does not earn any income from volunteering, one’s primary personal gain is the skills and competencies they earn.
Dreams Academy emphasizes volunteering as an added value in all projects in order to promote improvement of the volunteering experience, the awareness for it, and encourage more young people to take part in social awareness projects. The academy also benefits from the support of the volunteers to reinforce the concept of volunteering in Turkey. All projects of Alternative Life Association are built on volunteering, and the association views volunteers as the future social entrepreneurs in social responsibility. In this context in Dreams Academy:
The project staff who have the responsibility for coordinating volunteering, act as role models for the volunteers, and adopt an approach that is inclusive (one that is not conventionally hierarchical nor audited adorning a distanced attitude.)
The opinions of the volunteers are not only valued during the fieldwork but also during the office work when the project is under design.
The Dreams Academy volunteers invest in their futures by taking on roles in different stages of a project and contribute to their personal development by being involved in social responsibility projects and project management.
The Dreams Academy project is provided with volunteering support from its contacts/partners, hence, creates a volunteering awareness in these corporations/institutions.
The Dreams Academy volunteers play an active role in the implementation of the project as well as in the field and office/paper work stages, in line with their expertise.
As a result, The Dreams Academy project views its participants, tutors/trainers and project team as actors of change who each have equal rights and conditions and tries to promote a family environment rather than a conventional volunteer-project team relationship.
The volunteers involved in the field work;
Guide the students during the entrance to the classes and at the exits when the workshops finish.
Attend the classes and assist the tutors with;
→ keeping an attendance record,
→ the lessons,
→ repeating the materials covered in the workshop,
→ helping the participants in following the classes.
The volunteers also assist the project team in all activities and events (such as parties, shows, promotions, and presentations, etc.) of the Dreams Academy.
The volunteers in office work;
work in various administrative roles to help the project team with the work overload,
play an active role in the designing and planning the future of the project (if the volunteers have the required expertise if their schedule permits/if they are available),
get a chance to closely observe the planning and implementation stages,
Aside from these lines of work, Dreams Academy expects from its volunteers:
to attend all the workshops that they volunteer in as much as possible,
to increase the awareness about Dreams Academy in their circles,
to seek barters and/or financial support for the sustainability of Dreams Academy,
to implement the values and principles of Dreams Academy in their own lives as much as they can and to adopt ethical social responsibility.
To contribute to the community, producing is not a must. The most influential tool for change is spreading information and knowledge and promoting awareness. Our volunteers become a big part of the social integration by sharing the realities of physically handicapped or socially disadvantaged young people.