Separately Together part III. - Yaygın Eğitim Merkezi
This is the third part of the article series, Separately Together. The name comes from the fact that we are far from each other but still we have common history, shared beliefs, which keeps us together in good times and in bad times. With this article series we would like to introduce you to our international partner organisations. If you missed the previous ones, you can read them here.
Believe me when I say: you should apply for the next youth exchange or training you find interesting. I tell you why. Because you practise the language, meet new people, experience other cultures, but most importantly you break down the stereotypes. If you come to our upcoming project you may meet with today's guest. We are introducing TIA's Turkish partneror ganization. They are Yaygın Eğitim Merkezi, which means Non-Formal Education Center. We are talking with Aytaç Uzunlas who is a coordinator at the organization.
When and with what aim was the organization founded?
Yaygın Eğitim Merkezi, meaning Non-Formal Education Center, was established by active youth workers and trainers in Ankara. By becoming a legal entity at the end of 2011, our association has started its studies and projects with its dynamic and young team. Our association, its members, administrative body and consultative body have generous experiences by participating in youth projects from all over the world. Our team's main objective is to share their experiences with youth people.
The main purpose of the Non-Formal Education Center is to thrive and to increase the abilities/skills of youth people by using the peer method on youth volunteers. The mission of the Non-formal Education Center is the active citizenship of the youth people therefore our association opened up its doors to all participants from all over the world.
Non-Formal education can be explained as learning by doing. It contains many tools and methods in accordance with the field of education subject. Teaching is not just possible by teachers but also possible by trainers and facilitators. Participants are having a chance to experience both formal learning and active learning methods. Instead of using classing classroom system for the education process, non-formal education gives more comfortable and physically active classroom systems to use. Under the frame of the non-education system, in accordance with learning by doing theme, simulations, games, activities, debates and sharing tools are being used by trainers and facilitators for the education method. Non-Formal education is active learning and internalization based on experiencing through learning by doing.
Non-Formal Education Center is a contact point in Eurodesk. We are working in youth information field so that we are using Eurodesk tools and network really actively and we are organizing youth meetings, trainings, seminars etc. in the universities for the young people as an Eurodesk Contact Point.
How do you reach the youth? What kind of programmes do you organize?
Non-Formal Education Center is founded as a Youth-NGO: we are always with young people. We mean that we are always with young people in the field.
However, if we are mentioning the youth population which is over 20 million in Turkey, the social media, digital tools and youth info day activities are the main channels to reach youth in Turkey.
NFEC serves youth mobility opportunities to young people such as participating in exchanges and trainings, being a sending organization for volunteering programmes and offering youth information.
Tell us about your country's youth. What difficulties are they facing? How can you help them?
According to the perspective of our organization, one of the main challenge of young people in our country is the lack of non-formal learning opportunities in our education system. The difference between non-formal education and adult education is not defined well. The young people meet the non-formal learning too late. As an NGO with our project, we are trying to include young people to the non-formal learning circles.
Do you think that the civic society is independent and autonomous in your country? In your opinion in what field should the NGOs develop?
As NFEC, our target group and activities are well defined and transparent. It easily shows the benefit of our activities to the society. Even, we receive support from the governmental institutions. However, the number of organizations who have really specific aims, objectives and activities are not too much.
Are you a member of any local, national or international network?
Non-Formal Education Center is a contact point in Eurodesk, as we stated above earlier.
The European Solidarity Corps Quality Label (former European Voluntary Service Accreditation) certifies that an organisation participating in the European Solidarity Corps is able to ensure the necessary framework conditions for young people to take part in solidarity activities in compliance with the principles and objectives of the European Solidarity Corps and further requirements necessary to ensure quality.
GoFor is the umbrella organization for the youth organizations in Turkey. Yaygın Eğitim Merkezi is one of the founder member of the Youth Organization Forum.
AvecaPro Non-Profit, which provides technical support to our organization.
What do you think about TIA? Share a good memory with us.
This one is a difficult question. We had wonderful moments during our meeting, exchanges, trainings. Each gathering we were creating unforgettable moments and having fun while working.
We can mention tens of memories with TIA but the best memory would be sharing the almost two years with TIA team. Under the PlayINclusive KA2 project, we have worked with TIA and Amics. During the project time, we have met several times and each time it was a great opportunity to strengthen our friendship as well as partnership. During the long term partnership, the youth leader Mert Can Başkaya became a member of the board. The improvement that he has shown in this process with the support of TIA and Amics, was priceless.
In addition to all these achievements, the best outcome of the partnership of TIA and NFEC is providing hundreds of abroad opportunities to Turkish young people.