TEGV is established with the Board of Trustees of 55 members, under the leadership of our Honorary President, Suna Kıraç, on 23 January 1995. Chairman of the Board of Directors is Prof. Dr. Yılmaz Büyükerşen. The first Learning Units started to be opened in Istanbul. On 1 September 1995, the computer-aided training center meets children. Volunteers are also supported by establishing an Academy of Volunteers.
Our first Education Park, Fındıkzade Education Park, comes into service with a ceremony attended by the then President Süleyman Demirel. Modern Textbooks Project is started. New event points start to be launched, whereby TEGV starts spreading across Anatolia. Works of the Foundation are shared with the public through the media, under the motto of “Better to Light a Candle than to Curse the Darkness”.
The initial TEGV publications, Okumaya Başlıyorum (I Start Reading), Hayat Bilgisi 1-2 (Social Sciences 1-2), Türkçe 1-2-3 (Turkish Language 1-2-3) textbooks are published, which are approved by the Ministry of National Education. The “mission and vision” of the Foundation are established and published.
Concerts themed “Singing for the East” are organized for the Eastern and South Eastern Activity locations. TEGV has been selected as the most successful NGO by the Dünya Newspaper.
Immediately after the August 1999 Marmara Earthquake, “Life Quarters” are established in the earthquake-affected region, to support citizens affected by the earthquake, and the bus project titled “Hope 2000” is developed. The first “Telethon” Campaign is held. New activity locations continue to be launched.
“Volunteers of Basketball” Project is put into practice in cooperation with Tofaş company. “Motivation Meetings for Volunteers” start, where all volunteers in Istanbul come together. The first “Firefly Learning Unit” goes into operation in Kastamonu province. The number of activity locations rises to 56 around Turkey. “One Million Children Education Campaign” is launched.
Between 21 and 23 April, “Telethon” is broadcasted uninterruptedly for 23 hours on NTV channel, in an attempt to generate income for the “One Million Children” Campaign under the title of “23 Hours for the Future”. “Anatolian Summer Volunteers” project starts. Football player Mehmet Özdilek (aka Şifo Mehmet) plays his testimonial match and donates the revenue to TEGV. A glorious testimonial match is played with AC Milan. TEGV is awarded the “Succeeding Foundation of the Year” by the Prime Ministry Directorate General of Foundations.
The second “Telethon” broadcast is held for the “One Million Children” campaign. SMS donation system is used in Turkey for the first time. “Classroom of Stars Year-End Show” is organized with the participation of numerous artists and business people. Our education programs are gathered under five main titles, with the concept of a rich learning environment. TEGV is granted the “NGO of the Year” award. An integrated management system is activated, making all the data related to the activities of the Foundation accessible and traceable simultaneously at the Headquarters and in the Field. “Read, Think, Do” education program is developed by TEGV.
“Telethon” campaign is held on April 23. Sponsored by Nokia and in collaboration with the IYF (International Youth Foundation), “Dreams Workshop” project starts as the first international collaboration for an education project. In the wake of the Bingöl Earthquake, a “Tent Learning Unit” is built in Bingöl. International Volunteer Day starts being celebrated on 5 December. Collaboration is made with community centers, in order to reach children that remain outside of our activity locations. Cartoon Characters on the Street Exhibition is organized jointly with Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV).
Ferit Aysan Education Park, in memory of our donor from Bakırköy district of Istanbul, is opened. Within the scope of the Telethon Campaign, “Education Volunteers Joint Broadcast” is televised at the same time on 9 national television channels, for the first time in our country - Turkey. TEGV is awarded a “Certificate of High Achievement” by the International Youth Foundation. Sponsored education programs are brought into action. Programs are started under the following titles: “I Can be Nourished” in collaboration with Nestle, “Young Inventors” with Eczacıbaşı and “Harmony of Hearts in Education” with Arçelik..
Sponsored by Turkey’s leading brands and corporations, the international “Spirit of My Brand” conference is organized for the purpose of strengthening corporate social responsibility and the ties among NGOs. A collaboration starts with the UNIDA Foundation, which involves supporting training of trainers and monitoring children’s activities. A project supportive of social events is signed with the Ministry of National Education. “Sports with Games” program is started in collaboration with Kraft and “Saving” program with Citigroup.
Incomes from the book titled “I Have Ideals Longer Than My Life (Turkish title: Ömrümden Uzun İdeallerim Var)” by Suna Kıraç, the Founder and Honorary President of our Foundation, are donated to the Education Volunteers. In order to make activities widespread, “Provincial Representation” practice is put into effect. The 1st International Volunteers Conference is held on 5 December. “I Read & I Play” program is started in collaboration with Yapı Kredi Bank and “Colorful Horizons” program with Visa Europe.
TEGV starts organizing volunteer trainings by means of local trainers. Implementation of the new standard training program starts for fireflies. NBA supports Education Volunteers. “As each child changes, Turkey flourishes” concert is held in Istanbul, where Sezen Aksu, Nilüfer and Ajda Pekkan share the same stage, and also in Ankara, where MFÖ performs. The United Nations Global Compact is signed. Performance Evaluation starts at TEGV. By establishing an Advisory Board of Education, works towards a new training strategy are initiated. Local trainings/method trainings are implemented. The Education Volunteers activity is performed in 81 provinces. For the first time, the number of children reached in a year exceeds 150 thousand.
“Telethon” campaign is held on April 23. Within the framework of the “I Read & I Play” Education Program, “Street Theaters” project is put into practice and staged in 10 provinces, participated by 11 famous theatre artists. TEGV takes part in an REM concert. A survey is carried out about “Youth, Volunteerism and Social Capital in Turkey”. “Knowledge is My Job” program is initiated in collaboration with Avea and “Young Uniforms” with Migros. The number of children we have reached since the day of our foundation exceeds 1 Million. An SMS Platform is established in order to enable online communication with volunteers. One of TEGV’s distinguished trustees, Nirun Şahingiray, who supported our Foundation since the day of its establishment, passes away, donating a large amount of his wealth to TEGV.
TEGV was recognized as a foundation entitled with the right to “collect charity without permission” by the Council of Ministers. The second opinion research of TEGV is shared with the public at the International Volunteers Day on 5 December, under the title of “Lifelong Volunteerism and Achievements”. Istanbul 2010 “Our Home, Istanbul” project is launched. A night themed “You Have Never Seen Them Like This Before” is organized. TEGV calculates its Carbon Footprint under the Global Compact. Together with 20 NGOs from around the World, TEGV takes part in the organization of the civil society forum organized within the framework of the annual IMF/World Bank meetings held in Istanbul. Adım Adım (Step by Step) Initiative supports TEGV.
Our Foundation is granted the Golden Compass Award for the “You Have Never Seen Them Like This Before” Concert, given by the Public Relations Association of Turkey (TÜHİD) at the Public Relations Awards event. A new record is broken with a donation pledge of TRY 4.7 million in Beyaz Show (a popular talk show program)! Under the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture scheme, our first thematic Firefly Culture Truck goes into action in collaboration with the Eruopean Capital of Culture Agency. Our first thematic website, “Our Home, Istanbul”, is established. TEGV celebrates its 15th anniversary.
Sevgi-Erdoğan Gönül Education Park is opened in Şanlıurfa province. Following the Van Earthquake, 9 Fireflies arrive in the region. TEGV activities are moved to campuses where seasonal agricultural workers live. TEGV joins the Hürriyet Train. The 6th International Volunteers Day Conference is held. “Fun, Learn, Hygiene” Event is launched in collaboration with Unilever. A TEGV program is integrated into the National Education curriculum for the first time: Our Home, Istanbul. One of our donors, Alaeddin Yavaşça gives inheritance as charity to our Foundation, while he is still alive.
TEGV is accredited for the European Voluntary Service Program and starts sending volunteers to Europe. Departing from Istanbul and heading to Macedonia, Culture Track commences its operations in Skopje. TEGV Culture Truck introduces the education programs of the Foundation to Macedonian children for 3 months. The number of Fireflies reaches 23, which covered a distance of 112,214 km and reached 720,098 children in 12 years. TEGV carries out an Impact Survey on the Children of Graduates.
“Good Life Training Program” and “Bernard Van Leer Firefly” Education Program are launched in collaboration with Kipa. Local Volunteer Meetings are held. TEGV Communication Platform – Chatter is brought into action. “Support for Volunteers Workshop” Project is brought into action, under the European Union’s Financial Support Program and Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Grant Scheme. In collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Türk, MobileKids Traffic Firefly joins us. “4+4+4 Survey” is conducted jointly with the Sabancı University Education Reform Initiative.
Supported by Istanbul Development Agency, Dream Wanderer Firefly commences its activities, targeting the access of children at primary-school age to plastic arts. TEGV becomes a member of the executive board of National Volunteering Committee (NVC), which is a strategic advisory body promoting the recognition, strengthening and dissemination of volunteerism. TEGV is mentioned in the Harvard University’s curriculum as a “case study”. In the 100th anniversary of Turkish Cinema, “Movies with Songs” concert is organized, where the songs from unforgettable movies are performed by actors and actresses.
TEGV celebrates its 20th anniversary. Science Fireflies commence its activities. On 20 December, a special live broadcast is televised on Kanal D TV channel.
In 2016, TEGV is appreciated at national and international levels with the awards granted by Corporate Governance Association, Sabancı University, Vefa High School and the Global Compact. The Oral History project titled “TEGV; from Past to Present” is initiated in order to document the history of the Foundation. The new communication campaign, “Ever Asked Me?”, creates an impression around the country.
The new Information Project, aiming at introducing children to coding and developing basic digital skills, is put into practice with the supports of Algo Digital and Google.org. Ahmet Uysal, our donor and volunteer, becomes the first Turkish person to run a marathon at the poles.
Tekirdağ Fibria Learning Unit of TEGV opens. The first Design and Skills Workshop is launched. As part of the Running Towards Education Project, Ahmet Uysal makes history by running for 1,645 kilometers from Artvin province to Köyceğiz town. TEGV performs the 2021 Strategy study with the participation of all employees.
The European Parliament in Brussels is attended for the “Faces of Turkey (Türkiye’nin Sivil Alandaki Yüzleri)” exhibition. TEGV celebrates its 24th anniversary with the “Children Change with TEGV” campaign. Openings of Design and Skills Workshops (DSW) continue and a total of 11 DSWs are opened. The Cycle to Hope team cycle from Mardin to Göbeklitepe to raise funds for the Design and Skills Workshops. “A Dream on a June Night Concert” is held in collaboration with TEGV. English Education Program is launched in collaboration with Cambridge University Press. The first Integrated Annual Report is published. TEGV is awarded the Silver medal among the printed reports of all NGOs, at the “International ARC Awards” competition - known as the Oscar of Annual Reports -, and the Honorary Award in the field of interior design.
TEGV leaves behind 25 years filled with love for education and pride. TEGV Virtual Museum website is launched. COVID-19 pandemic breaks out. TEGV Digital Education Platform is opened for all children in Turkey, under the consultancy of Google.org and INCO Education Accelerator Group. The “New World” campaign is initiated in cooperation with the Former Arçelik Employees’ Association and tablet PCs are distributed to the children in the disadvantaged regions. Mobile version of Algo Digital is released. Our Integrated Annual Report for 2019 is awarded the first prize in 3 different categories at the International ARC Awards competition. The TEGV Virtual Museum has been deemed worthy of the Golden Spider award in 4 different categories, including the best micro website award.
We sadly bid farewell to our founder and Honorary President, dear Suna Kıraç.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues all over the world. During this period, we are giving away more than 4,000 tablet computers to our children who do not have access to distance education. All TEGV events are moved to the online platform and we provide qualified education support to our children with our volunteers from all over the world. Our 4th International Nirun Şahingiray Education Forum is held with the participation of academics from Turkey and the world. Our biggest learning unit, Çorlu Aysel Öğücü – Lila Learning Unit is opening. Our two Informatics Firefly Learning Units, equipped to bring our children together with informatics activities, are on the road. In the 2021 Istanbul Marathon, we are breaking our all-time marathon donation record by providing qualified education support to more than 5,000 children with donations exceeding 1 Million TL.