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Sample Volunteer Abroad Projects — Turkey

Founded in 1959, EIL-Turkey, the VIP local office in Turkey, has formed many partnerships with host organizations that are open to receiving volunteers. Available host projects vary due to time of the year and the needs and priorities of those associations. From a host projects, we look for a placement that best matches your preferences and capabilities. Volunteer projects are available in areas such as:

Social and Welfare Services

Volunteers are needed to care for elderly people, orphans, street children, and the disabled and homeless. Depending on the association or host project, some administrative and/or language skills might be needed.

Sample Projects:

Urgent Need Foundation Project

children in turkey         

The Foundation gives support to economically disadvantaged families and their children. The foundation provides food aid, clothing, medicine and health check ups. Additionally, the foundation provides scholarships to students as well as uniforms and books. The Foundation also organizes courses, and cultural activities to museums, theatres, and other excursions. Aid is also provided to disaster areas as needed.

            Children Turkey

Volunteers help staff with the office work and help prepare monthly aid boxes.They also work with children directly in the areas of computer technology, arts&crafts, music, sports, language, and chaperoning excursions and other activities.

"Friendly Hands" - DOST ELLER

The main objective of the project is to seek out and support needy people - immigrant families, students, the homeless, the unemployed, single mothers and the elderly - who need care and assistance by providing food, shelter, and educational resources regardless of their age, sex, political or religious beliefs. They accept donations of money as well as goods, and prepare monthly food aid boxes for delivery to the needy.

Volunteers work in the Friendly Hands Shop, accepting and organizing donations of food, clothing, or other donations, preparing the donation boxes, and going out into the community to assist with deliveries.

Woman Coordination Center

This center helps women by educating, giving financial, food and assistance with clothing. Volunteers are welcome to work in the secondhand clothes donation department.


Education Services

While public schools in Turkey are free of charge and primary school is mandatory, many children still do not get a proper education due to lack of adequate facilities, a shortage of teachers in some rural areas, as well as political and cultural obstacles.

Sample Projects:

Children's Friends Association

The Children's Friends Association has established a home for orphans, and for children of missing parents. The children live in the association's building and go to state schools. The main objective is to give disadvantaged children a safe, happy living atmosphere, to enable them to continue their education and to go on to have productive and healthy lives. The association depends on donations of money, food, clothing and of volunteer work for its continuing operations.

Task description: Volunteers are welcome at the association during the school term from September to June and they may work as language teachers, at computer training, coaching sports, or teaching music (teaching to sing, introducing instruments), drawing, handcrafts, ceramics etc. Working hours are flexible depending on the school schedules. Project is available from September to June.

Sulukule volunteer project

This project is set in a Romany district and works to help educate children and also to help women understand their civil rights. Volunteers are expected to work with children, be comfortable teaching basic functions of computers, language, and activities such as arts or sports and assist them with day trips.

Accomidations is in homestay and is available year round.

*Please note that Turkey doesn't accept volunteers staying more than three months. If the participant would like to stay longer it will be necessary for them to pay 750-800 Euros for a Residence Permit.

Children Study Halls

Since 2009 Study Halls has offered students courses in Mathematics, Social Sciences, Science and Technology, Turkish and foreign languages. Our volunteers work mainly as language teachers in the centers. They also support the existing teaching staff.

Beyoglu Municipality Youth Center and Information House

The main objective is to make a difference for young people in the Beyoglu area of Istanbul. The youth information program's aim is to give young people information about the European Union Youth Program, teach them how to write and create a project, have discussions on different topics, training, workshops and seminars.

Peace Education Center

This project takes place at the Bosphorus University. The center was founded in 2007 in order to organize projects about peace. Activities such as education peaceful communication, human rights and conflict resolution. Willing and knowledgeable volunteers are always welcome.

YASOM- Informal Education Youth Center

This project involves "free conversation clubs" held in different languages. Various topics are covered and information is distributed to young people. Volunteers are expected to help organize events and projects hosted by the center.


Food Banking and Social Market

All kinds of donations including food items, clothing, and household goods are collected in the social market. Families in need visit the center and receive whatever goods are useful to them. To maintain transparency in the project, a computer is used to track goods received and taken. Volunteers are expected to work in the collecting and serving area alongside local staff members and volunteers.


Traditional Turkish Arts and Crafts

Sample Projects:

Foundation for Serving Turkish Culture

 The project is run by the Foundation for serving Turkish Culture in a former Ottoman Medrese (a school for Islamic and secular education) built in 1559 by the Ottoman architect “Mimar Sinan”, and located in an old part of Istanbul near to St.Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Description: http://www.videosofturkey.com/pictures/caferaga_medresesi.jpg

Description: Türk El Sanatlarından ÖrneklerFollowing the renovations of the Medrese in 1989, the foundation organizes  traditional Ottoman handcraft and musical  courses and workshops,  both for locals and foreigners.

More than 20 different courses are offered including:  Ebru (traditional Turkish  marbling), gilding, porcelain decoration, calligraphy, ceramic, stained  glass, miniature, reed flute, and leed . The center also hosts music and art exhibitions.

Volunteers will attend classes, help exhibit work, clean and organize classrooms; and assist staff in serving English speaking visitors.


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Assisting those with Disabilities

Sample Projects:


The main objective of the foundation is to help blind persons adapt to community life and become productive members of society. They offer room and board to 35 students at a time, from the ages of 18-35, as well as provide basic skills workshops and basic job training.

The center is located in Emirgan, one of the oldest residential areas by the Bosporus. Volunteers should have some experience working with the blind. Tutoring is usually on one to one basis therefore working hours can be flexible. The project is available all year long.


The main objective of the project is to educate patients and their families about schizophrenia, to overcome stereotypes in their society, and help patients to socialize. They have separate courses for patients and their families in the center. There are also classes in singing, painting, and folk dances as well as daily excursions and summer camps.Brazilian volunteer with a group at SFA

Task description: Educator (music, drama, drawing, language, handcrafts, dance). Males (25+) only, should have experience or willingness to work with this special group. Hours are 11am-6pm weekdays (including lunch break). The project is available all year long.


Turkey holds a unique geographical position as the genetic center or “diversity center” for a large number of plants. It is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and Near East gene centers. Because of its position between Asia, Europe and Africa, Turkey has flora and fauna comprised of elements of all these continents. The 120 species of mammals living in Turkey reflect its central geographic location. As in any rapidly developing country, Turkey's enormous population growth destroys habitats and displaces many species of animals. Turkey's concerns about bio diversity often take a backseat to the more pressing issues of development and growth. Booming industrial production also led to higher levels of energy consumption, imports, air and water pollution, and greater risks to the country's environment. Therefore, Turkey's most pressing needs are for water treatment plants, wastewater treatment facilities, solid waste management, and the conservation of bio diversity.

Sample Projects:


Sea Turtle Research & Rescue

Description: http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSsta_Sek2ng3xwwPFH9HkSr4oE5vEE6WI7iKT81DChmCQ_G_705Ur7LIc

The project includes rescue and research studies on sea turtles. Research includes: nest relocation, nest protection, embryonic developments, sex determination, genetic research,and pollution. In addition, ill or injured sea turtles are rescued and rehabilitated.

The project takes place in Dalyan- Iztuzu Beach, MUGLA. Dalyan is a town in Mugla Province located between the well-known districts of Marmaris and Fethiye on the south-west coast of Turkey. The town is an independent municipality, within the administrative district of Ortaca.Dalyan achieved international fame in 1986 when developers wanted to build a luxury hotel on the nearby Iztuzu Beach, a breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle species. The incident created major international storm. The development project was stopped and the beach is now a protected area.

Task description in a typical day: Feeding the turtles,cleaning pools, dressing wounds, giving information for the visitors. During summer months relocation and protection the nests and caring for the newborns takes place. 

Working hours : Regular working hours between 8 am – 5 pm; during summer months on the beach the work starts at 10 pm until 2-3 am, which requires aprox.10kms. walking.

Accommodation : On site--In tents or in dorms, with the expectation of contributing to general living arrangements in terms of communal food preparation, taking responsibility, being part of a team.

Transportation : Participants are responsible of the travel costs to/from Istanbul airport to project site.

Project is available all year round.


WWF--Sea Turtle Conservation Description: http://www.kizilot.net/wp-content/uploads/caretta1.jpg

The main aim of this project is to enhance the conservation of Turkey's sea turtle population, and to promote the sustainable use of its vast natural resources. The project area is located in Adana Province in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Adana is the gateway to the Cukurova plain, the large stretch of flat and fertile land which lies to the south-east of the Taurus Mountains. The lakes and the linked lagoons are the places where unique land and sea creatures, especially green sea turtles and birds, reproduce and shelter.

Volunteer's Task: The position involves lots of walking along the 22km. beach. Tasks include marking turtle's nests, preserving them and helping baby sea turtles find their way to the sea when they hatch. Volunteers will stay in shared tents(supplied by the WWF) with other volunteers (local&international), and will share cooking and other chores in camp or are free to bring their own tent and sleeping bag. The Turtle Project is available June to September; office work is available all year long where administrative and web site work is needed.

Lisnia nature and wildlife protection program

This program is based in Lake Burdur, one of the largest and deepest lakes in Turkey. It is home to 100 different types of birds and 300 types of waterfowl. Volunteers will work to increase awareness and preserve the lake and wildlife. There are 8 sub projects to work on: Cancer free lake, let live and let the lake live, wildlife rehabilitation, education for children nature protectors, organic farming, energy savings and gene preservation of local vegetation.

Accommodation is on site in shared bungalows and bathrooms or bed and breakfast in a local boarding house. This project is available year round.

Botanical Garden

The aim of this project is to create an educational garden; to increase knowledge and interest of the public about plant diversity and the environment. The volunteer can undertake research projects to help protect threatened endemic and develop a reference library. Volunteers can also be helpful in six themed gardens, by collecting data, documenting, researching and taking part in educational activities.

Start dates for the above programs are as follows:

January 5th and the 19th

Febuary 10th, and the 24th

March 10th, and the 24th

April 14th, and the 28th

May 12th, and the 26th

June 10th

July 21st, and the 28th

August 11th, and the 25th

September 8th, and the 22nd

October 13th, 20th, and the 27th

November 10th, 17th, and the 24th

December 14th, and the 21st

(All dates listed are for the year 2015)

*No arrivals on and between the 17th and the 19th of July as well as on and between the 23rd and the 27th of September.

Fraud Alert
Be advised that there is an individual misrepresenting himself as a participant in a VIP program who is trying to sell/rent property to unsuspecting individuals.

This is not a legitimate offer and this person is not in any way associated with VIP.

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