Social Rights as a Game
It became even more popular during the Youth Meeting organised by the Community Volunteers Foundation (28-30 September 2012 in Istanbul). The name is “Social Rights” and has just been invented. However, more than 900 young people have already played the game over the past few years. “Social Rights” is used as a tool for awareness-raising activities with young volunteers of Community Volunteers Foundation from all corners of Turkey and enables them to make choices about education, health insurance, social security, retirement benefits. Acting as the state (imaginary country called Dignityland) the participants have to balance among the interests of the population and the budgetary opportunities. Moderator of the game is Alper Şentürk who on an annual basis trains new game moderators that disseminate “Social Rights” .
Do you want to play?
Hayat Zor (Life is difficult) is a game which brings people together over a process of shaping a better future they can imagine. There are no winners or losers in the game or, rather everyone wins, since through a constrictive negotiation process all the participants brush on their speaking, presenting and debating skills. The aim of the game is to create an economical plan of an imaginary country taking into account its current situation. By choosing cards with some options they learn to make their own decision and substantiate their position in a friendly and polite discussion. This enables them to develop their leadership and negotiation skills and prepares ground for them to become future decision makers in their communities.
TOG’s Youth march on Istiklar
Tonight the most famous street of Istanbul was filled with 300 young volunteers of TOG, smiley faces, hundreds plakats and loud voices!
The first Youth March in the 10 years history of Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı started from Galatasaray University and ended at Tunell. All the volunteers had designed unique plakats with messages about Youth that want to share with the others.
The March caught the attention of everyone who was passing from Istiklal Str. and all the time they were taking pictures and videos.
We hope that we have passed to everyone the message that the Youths are here and ready to get what they deserve, so.. stay alert for the sequel of the first Youth march of TOG Volunteers!
Let the game begin…
Why colourful? Because the game is based on colourful bricks. The aim is to create awareness among the youngsters and know more things about democracy. This board game is basically for children because the rules are really simple, but the aim is not only for kids but for every age. The facilitator Alper Şentürk. Expects that the volunteers who participated in this game will know more about respect to the people among us and everyone’s needs and rights.
“Kendine Iyi Bak”
The atmosphere of the Beyoglu Youth Center is special this morning: excitement, a genuine interest towards everything that is happening around, a desire to win and to learn something new. In such an atmosphere it would seem impossible at first sight to raise such crucial for every young person themes as HIV Awareness and Reproductive Health.
However, it can safely be called a profound mistake, as a simple board game “Kendine Iyi Bak”, that took the whole attention of TOG’s Youth Council participants, is exactly the case when one can not only play and entertain him or herself, but learn the important and life saving basics on safe sex, HIV transmission and reproductive health. Step-by-step by moving through squares of the board game young people can learn more and more useful information on what each of us needs to know about our own bodies, how to protect ourselves and our partners from sexually transmitted diseases and how to prevent the unwanted pregnancy.
Seeing a sincere interest in the eyes of everyone who took part in the game, we can surely state that sometimes a simple and accessible to everyone game can teach more than a ten-volume encyclopaedia for all life occasions.
Fighting to be equal
Doesn’t make sense to separate them but the society does. They are different but equal in so many things. As their rights.
When we talk about a women’s association we cannot forget about men. That is one of KADAV, Foundation for Women’s Solidarity, objectives. With an office in the center of İstanbul, KADAV helps women to get to know better your rights and also includes men in their activities. Through this method they started a fight for a world where gender equality is a reality.
KADAV organised one of the workshops for the Youth Gathering that took place on Saturday afternoon. This was an opportunity to share with all the participants what are they promoting and what are their projects. Aware of the changes that turkish society is living, KADAV is stil worried about the women’s situation in the country. According to the law, men and women are equal, but that doesn’t happend in the real life. Women deal with some barriers when they try to be respected, for example, at the workplace.
KADAV tries to develop projects according to women’s needs. Having a job can be the first step to independence, both social and economical. That is one of the association’s objectives. Besides that KADAV has also developed other projects as houses to host groups of people at risk. Pregnancy, abortion and women policy are under their subjetcs.
All of this with three people and the help of some volunteers.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL TURKEY
What does Amnesty do in Turkey? The workshop held in the association central office near the British consulate was packed even if involving yourself in human rights in Turkey can be quite dangerous. More than 2000 students languish in prison for taking part in manifestations. Amnesty main agenda is decided internationally /for example this year it will be family planning/, but they also get involved in Turkish right violations like the death of activist Engin Çeber. Tog volunteers will be able to help Amnesty through universities clubs /though they first have to ask the Dean s permission/ or through one of the groups present all over Turkey.
Head of the board of the association
A group of young volunteers from all over Turkey visited SPOD office to meet SPOD,s Head of the Board Sedef Chakmak and learn about current situation regarding LGBT rights in the country. At the beginning she underlined the ımportance of human rights irrelevant of differences that can be present among people. Volunteers had a chance to get detailed information about two main missions of the organization: raising awareness about LGBT rights and lobbying to maket he necessary amendments to the current constitution to make ıt more gender sensitive. The issue of LGBT is very important in Turkey since many human life’s were sacrificed to human cruelty and intolerance. The country has a traditional society and family values are respected and observed which deprives LGBT representatives of their social rights’. The speaker also called on the participants to be more active in University LGBT clubs and help raise the awareness and change the perception of society of homosexuality as sickness.
Creativy through social media
In the beginning of the workshop the two facilitators Utku Kali and Mahir Horozoglu showed a PDF to the participants which was about some people who now live in 2102 and they don’t have internet access for 20 years, so they ask for a solution from the people in 2012.
The volunteers were divided into four groups and their task was to write wrote four different letters with possible solutions to their problem.
After 20 minutes of discussions, brain-storming and writing, one representative from each group came on stage and read their letter to the rest.
The main purpose of this workshop was to motivate the participants to use more the social media and also think about new pages that they may create of their own. After this workshop the facilitators’ are gonna share all the materials with the volunteers through social media and web pages.
Facebook, Twitter, Tumbr, Pinterent, Google+ etc. weren’t existing couple years ago, everything has started from zero and the correspondence was amazing.
So… be inspired!
How Turkish media portray men and women? To this question tried to answer Tog s workshop, Famous faces. Sultan and Uzun, 2 of the association volunteers, led the partipants. Furnished with pen and paper, everyone had to draw the way he or she thought the publıc saw women. A talk about the most common prejudices followed: why women are only housewifes and the men earn the money? Is it because we are physically different or is it just tradition?
To give youth a clearer idea of how differently women and men are talked about in the media, Sultan and Uzun helped the partipants create a collage about women and sport using popular newspapers. A conservative ımage emerged. The main difference between sexes is stil in the mind of the public.