History

Establishment

The Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV) was founded on January 23, 1995 by a group of businessmen, directors and academicians, led by Suna Kıraç, in order to “support the primary education provided by the government.”

TEGV was founded by a 55-member board of trustees who believe that the main reason for some of the major issues that our country is facing right now is lack of education, and that it wouldn’t be possible to reach the level of contemporary civilization without improving this. The main objective of the board of trustees is to serve education.

TEGV is focused on providing “out-of-school education” support to elementary level students. Over the years, TEGV became the foremost non-governmental organization in its field of activity. In 2009, TEGV was announced by the National Assembly as one of the foundations allowed to organize charity collection without prior permission.

 

TEGV in 20 YEARS

1995

TEGV was founded on January 23, 1995 by a 55-member board of trustees. The first chairman of the foundation was Yılmaz Büyükerşen. On September 1, 1995, a computer supported education center and the first Education Unit were established. The Academy of Volunteers was also created in the same year.

1995

1996

TEGV’s first Educational Park was opened in Fındıkzade by President Süleyman Demirel. The “Contemporary Textbooks” project was started. Work by the foundation was shared with the public through a communication campaign called “Don’t Get Angry with Darkness, Light a Candle”.

1996

1997

The first Ministry of Education approved TEGV books “I Start to Read”, Social Studies 1-2, and Turkish 1-2-3 were published. The Summer Schools program began.

1997

1998

Former US Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance visited TEGV activity centers. Under the sponsorship of the newspaper Milliyet, and the support of some elite artists, a series of concerts were organized called “We’re Singing the East”. The profit was put towards educational units in Southeast Anatolia. TEGV was nominated as the most successful NGO by Dünya newspaper.

1996

1999

“The Life Project” and “The Hope Bus” project were implemented in order to help citizens in need after the Marmara Earthquake in August 1999. The first “Telethon” campaign was run and new activity centers were opened.

1996

2000

The “Basketball Volunteers” project was kicked off in cooperation with Tofaş. The first monthly “Volunteer Night for Motivation” was held. The first Mobile Firefly Learning Unit started to operate in Kastamonu. The number of activity centers was pushed up to 56.

2000

2001

The 23-hour “Telethon” charity campaign was held between and April 21-23. The “Anatolian Summer Volunteers” program started. Football player Mehmet Özdilek (a.k.a. Şifo) donated the earnings from his testimonial match to TEGV. The Directorate General of Foundations rewarded TEGV as the “Most Successful Foundation” of the year. Activities continued in order to create sponsorship deals and new programs.

2001

2002

A second “Telethon” was broadcast for “One Million Children”. This was the debut of SMS donations. “The End of Year Show of the Class of Stars” TV program was a big hit thanks to numerous artists and businessmen. Educational programs were grouped under five main titles within the rich learning environment. TEGV received the “NGO of the year Award”.

2002

2003

The April 23 “Telethon” campaign was held once more. Under the sponsorship of Nokia, and in cooperation with IYF (International Youth Foundation), the “Dreams Workshop” project was the first international educational project. A Tent Educational Unit was set up after the earthquake in Bingöl. TEGV started to celebrate December 5, World Volunteers Day. Doğan Media Group became the foundation’s communication sponsor. TEGV started to work together with Social Centers in order to reach children outside the educational units.

2003

2004

Sponsored Educational Programs were initiated. Another “Telethon” was held from April 23 to May 1. As part of the fifth Telethon campaign, a joint “Education Volunteers” program was broadcast on 9 different TV channels simultaneously. The International Youth Federation awarded the “Overachievement” prize to TEGV. Three new projects were implemented; “I can be Fed” with Nestle, “Young Innovators” with Eczacıbaşı, and “Harmony in Education” with Arçelik.

2004

2005

The International “Soul of My Brand” Conference was held under the sponsorship of some of the leading brands of Turkey in order to enhance corporate social responsibility, as well as consolidate the connections between NGOs. Volunteer Nights of Motivation were held in Van, Diyarbakır and Izmir, as well as Istanbul and Ankara. A support program for social activities was signed with The Ministry of Education. A “Sports Through Games” project was implemented with Kraft, and a “Savings” project with Citigroup. Number of children reached: 694,368

2005

2006

TEGV children won the First Lego League Tournament. Suna Kıraç, our founder and honorary president, donated the proceeds from her book “I Have Ideals Longer than My Life.” The City Representative  application was put into action in preparation for widespread propagation. The First International Conference was held on December 5. “I Read I Play” with Yapı Kredi, and “Colorful Horizons” with Visa Europe, were implemented.

2006

2007

TEGV started to educate volunteers thorough local instructors. A new program was initiated for the Fireflies. The NBA supported TEGV. Sezen Aksu, Nilüfer and Ajda Pekkan shared the stage for “A Child Changes, The World Changes”. The United Nations Global Compact engagement was signed. Education Volunteers in 81 provinces.

2007

2008

The April 23 Telethon campaign raised record donations. Street Theater shows were organized through the “I Read I Play” project. TEGV projects were represented at an REM concert. A “Youth, Volunteering and Social Capital” survey was conducted. Projects called “Knowledge is My Business” with Avea, and “Young Jerseys” with Migros were put into action. Nirun Şahingiray, a board member who had supported TEGV since day one, sadly passed away. He donated most of his wealth to TEGV, and will always be remembered fondly.

2008

2009

TEGV was announced as one of the foundations allowed to organize charity collection without prior permission by the National Assembly. The number of Fireflies went up to 19. A conference based on the second national survey, “Lifelong Volunteering and Its Benefits”, was organized on December 5, International Volunteers Day. The “Our Home Istanbul” project took off. A themed night, “You Have Never Seen Them Like This”, took place. The Adım Adım (Step by Step) Initiative supported TEGV. An April 23 campaign was held for an entire month.

2009

2010

TEGV won the Golden Compass Prize during the Public Relations Awards organized by the Turkish Public Relations Association for the “You Have Never Seen Them Like This” project. A new record was set with a promised donation of 4.7 million Turkish Liras  during the live stream of the Beyaz Show. The first thematic Firefly Culture Truck took off within the scope of the European Capital of Culture Agency during Istanbul’s year as the European Capital of Culture. The first thematic web page, Our Home Istanbul, was established. TEGV celebrated its 15th anniversary.

2010

2011

The Sevgi-Erdoğan Gönül Educational Park was built in Şanlıurfa. 9 Fireflies were sent to the region after the earthquake in Van. TEGV activities were taken to the settlements where seasonal workers live thanks to the Fireflies. TEGV participated in the Hürriyet Train. The 6th International Volunteers Day was organized. Unilever started the project “Enjoy, Learn, Hygiene”. A TEGV program, Our Home Istanbul, was included in the educational curriculum of the Ministry of Education for the first time.

2011

2012

TEGV was accredited to the European Volunteer Services Program and started to send volunteers. The Education Truck that took off from Istanbul to Macedonia and Kosovo introduced TEGV’s educational programs to the children of Skopje for 6 months. Over the following 6 months, the Educational Truck was active in Prizren. The number of Fireflies, which covered 112,214 kilometers, and reached 720,098 children, was now 23 units.

2012

2013

The “Good Life Education Program” with Kipa and the “Bernard Van Leer Firefly” program were kicked off. Local volunteer gatherings were held. Chatter, TEGV’s communication platform, became active. “Support Workshops for Volunteers” were started as part of the Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education grant and the European Union Financial Aid Program. Thanks to Mercedes-Benz Türk, the new MobilKids Traffic Firefly was added to the fleet.

2013

2014

With the support of the Istanbul Development Agency, the Dream Traveler Firefly set out on the road to introduce primary level children to plastic arts. TEGV became a member of the executive board of UGK (National Volunteers’ Foundation), a strategic advisory body that supports recognition, reinforcement and conventionalization of volunteering. TEGV was included in the Harvard University curriculum. Celebrating the centenary of Turkish Cinema, TEGV organized a Movies Through Songs concert, with soundtracks of unforgettable Yeşilçam movies performed by the actors and actresses from these movies.

2014

2015

TEGV celebrated its 21st anniversary. The Science Firefly started to operate. Kanal D made a special broadcast on December 20.

2015

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