GIVE A HAND
The Give A Hand Organization organizes four two-week summer programs each year for high school students in Istanbul and Gaziantep. In these program, high school students participate and implement projects to help aid the educational needs of Syrian refugee children. The Give A Hand programs aspire to create leaders that will be catalysts of social innovation. By providing educational, recreational and personal growth opportunities to refugee children, volunteers learn to stand up for what they believe in, step up and become leaders. At the end of the programs, volunteers grasp the extent of the power they hold to create change, raise awareness, and impact someone’s life. As one volunteer put it, “even though we can’t speak the same language on the streets, we managed to help these children find the hope they lost when they left their country behind.”
Through these programs, student volunteers are enriched with a more nuanced view of the political and cultural conditions of the Middle East as a whole, and Turkey in particular. Student volunteers experience the local culture while also learning about the geopolitical situation in the Middle East from lectures and workshops given by international relations and politics faculty members of Turkey’s top universities. If they are interested, volunteers are given a chance to take their academic experience one step further and do research about these subjects.
During the programs, volunteers experience the rich history and local life of Turkey through guided tours either in Istanbul or the Southeast Anatolia region of Turkey. All accommodation and meals meet international standards, and adjustments are made according to personal diet restrictions.