Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that empowers youth by providing training, advice and support to develop projects for young people by young people.
Roughly 95 university clubs are affiliated to TOG throughout Turkey and Northern Cyprus. TOG has two youth centres, the Pink House and Pinhole, respectively in Istanbul and Samsun. TOG offices are located in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and antennas exist in a few other cities. TOG operates with an annual budget of 3 million euros, exclusively thanks to corporate, institutional, and individual donations. In order to remain unbiased, politically neutral and keep its hands free, TOG does not allow donors to provide more than 10% of the annual budget.
Here is how TOG sees TOG:
Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı (TOG – Community Volunteers Foundation) is one of Turkey’s most widespread non-governmental youth organizations, involving over 20000 project volunteers every year. It works to motivate young people aged between 17 and 25 to implement their own projects under the umbrella of youth organizations that are founded by young people, mostly as student clubs in the universities of Turkey. TOG was founded in December 2002 with the vision to foster social peace, solidarity and change through the participation and leadership of young people. The mission of TOG is to transform the energy of young people into social benefit by encouraging them to undertake various projects by their own. Therefore, TOG contributes to the formation of a youth with social awareness and self-esteem and to the enhancement of democratic participation of and for young people.
TOG’s principles are:
- Respect for Diversity: Respect to differences during all activities (cultural diversity). No segregation based on religious, ideological, political views or ethnicity
- Transparency and accountability
- Youth participation and visibility of young people
- Social entrepreneurship
- Peer-to-peer training, aiming to increase both the level and the quality of non-formal education and the promotion of life-long learning