Don’t Forget! We are Responsible for the World.
The Social Responsibility for the Future Generations Responsible for the World
For the last 16 years since 2000's, the social responsibility projects are very popular among both institutions and individuals. Finding permanent solutions to social problems has become a very important for many institutions. However, we still experience many problems in terms of the sustainability of social responsibility projects. After participating the projects once or twice, the volunteers say that they want to continue the project by supporting it financially as they do not have enough time or have other priorities. According to 2012 data of World Giving Index, CAF has stated that the donation rate is 10% and the volunteering rate is 4% in Turkey. In this context, Turkey is ranked 137th among 146 countries in the volunteering ranking. Turkish citizens prefers proving remote support by making money donations instead of taking active part in the, because many candidates of volunteering do not have enough knowledge about civil society and social responsibility projects.
After these results, the trainers and civil socialists rolled up their sleeves. They have found out that the sense of volunteering is not given as of the early ages of children and thus they, as they get older, adopt “volunteering” as a sense that they should be responsible for the rest of their lives. Thereupon, many institutions have started to conduct various studies to engrain the responsibility and sense of volunteering in the children. It may be stated that including social responsibility projects into the courses is the most successful of the studies. Many private education institutions that want to invest in the future bring children together with social responsibility projects beginning from kindergarten, and introduces the volunteerism to the students by ensuring that children both have fun and learn through these projects.
The students take theoric and applied courses in the field of social responsibility as much as a math course during the period from kindergarten to university. In this way, while they have the chance to get to know the society they live better, they also develop their own motor skills. The students that actualize their social responsibility projects while they are still at school classes have the opportunity of enhancing many competencies such as organization, communication, effective presentation, public speech, respect for diversity, self-confidence. Thanks to a project realized or participated, the student gains the feature of becoming an active citizen who finds solutions for social events.
The social responsibility projects not only support self-improvement of an individual and also considerably contribute to his/her educational life and academic performance. Many universities around the world evaluate not only academic performances but also the work of students, conducted for society. Since 2014, many high school students have been accepted by the best universities of the world thanks to the social responsibility projects they realized. This model has now been adopted not only by international universities but also some national universities. Bahçeşehir University evaluates the students through an application system called Apply BAU. One of the most important aspects of this evaluation is the social responsibility projects participated and realized by the student. It means that the student can be granted with a 100% scholarship by the university thanks to a project s/he realized. We actually witness to the changing education system based on projects. Previously, such projects had no impact on the evaluation process; however, students now can make difference thanks to their social responsibility projects and enhance his/her entrepreneurial spirit.
Another sector in the field is the companies that provide consultancy services for social responsibility. The professional volunteers specializing in the field of civil society provide education institutions and students with services for social responsibility projects consultancy. The students are directed by the specialists while they are devising and realizing a project in many fields within the scope of consultancy services. Recently, it is one of the most preferred consultancy models by parents, education institutions and students, as the students directly contribute to their academic performances by observing and reinforcing the projects participated and knowledge obtained during courses.
The social responsibility projects contribute significantly not only to the students but also to the education institutions. The education institutions increase the quality of education they provide by combining these projects with training methods while raising conscious volunteers for the future. Recently, one of the most preferred education and social responsibility methods is “service learning.” Thanks to service learning method, student learns how to use a subject studied at math class to solve a social problem. In other words, we can say that it is another version of STEM adapted for civil society. Thus, the student learns how to use and blend different disciplines together in order to be useful for the others and to realize his/her project thanks to social responsibility projects.
The students who spend time for these projects make difference not only at universities but also in the job applications and have the chance to be one step ahead of other candidates. The students have the opportunity of conducting field works through social responsibility projects and observe the society more closely; learn budget management by means of social entrepreneurship; and meet other volunteers across the world thanks to volunteers exchange programs.
The social responsibility projects add value not only to the students but also to the society and education institutions. The students who are included in all these works and organize these projects, ensure that their peers also participate in such projects by acting as a role model; thus the rate of active volunteering increases day by day. As social responsibility projects are included in the school courses, individual with high level of volunteering perception are raised.
Before the end of summer holiday, participating in a social responsibility project should be included in the to do list of students. Don’t Forget! “We are responsible for the world.”
Hürriyet Eğitim Guest Writer