About the sustainability program
Our programs in Istanbul are now open for vaccinated volunteers. See the additional info. section for COVID-19 requirements.
Those with a yearning to work the land and spend time in a rural village in the wonderful country of Turkey should sign up for this important program today. Sadly, as is the case in many places, farmers in Turkey are being forced to move from their land and traditional villages to find work in the city. Economic conditions in rural areas are tough, with people living on the basics, often below the poverty line. Families are broken apart as people migrate to the cities, separated from their social networks and support groups. Not only does this negatively impact the rural families and villages, it also decreases food production for the country as less people work the land. The aim of this fantastic program is to keep these communities and families together in their villages and help them to earn a decent living through farming. Based in the rural outskirts of Istanbul, volunteers on this initiative will have a ‘best of both worlds’ – with the ability to explore this exotic and extremely ancient and beautiful city (think the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, and the Bosphorus) while working to help families stay on their traditional land.
Goals of this Project:
- Help to keep rural families and villages together
- Increase food production
- Teach locals new ideas and farming methods
- Expose volunteers and locals alike to different people and cultures
How You Can Help
The mission of this amazing program is to keep rural families and villages together. Volunteers will assist the villagers to combat the tough economic conditions, keeping their rural existence and livelihoods. Volunteers will be expected to work in the organic fields and live like local farmers and their families. Participants will find they will be busy working in organic fields, growing flowers and food crops. They will also be working with farm animals. Volunteers will gain valuable experience learning animal husbandry and farming methods in Turkey, while those with farming experience can transfer knowledge and skills to their Turkish hosts. Those volunteers who can bring new ideas and farming methods to the villages can help greatly in an area where only basic farming methods are used. By supplying free labour, participants on this program are supporting these villagers – allowing farmers to increase production and earn enough money to support their families. This promises to be a wonderful experience for volunteers to learn about the real Turkey, working and living among its friendly villagers and absorbing its rich culture – all while helping to keep families together.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Work on farms growing flowers and crops
- Work with farm animals and carry out animal husbandry duties
- Support the village families with other duties as required
- Interact with the villagers and teach them about their own lives and where they live
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the creation and maintenance of sustainable farms in some of Turkey's most marginalized farming communities. This 'hands-on' project is best suited to those who have a passion for agriculture, sustainability, and/or environmental studies, or who simply wish to explore an interest in these fields. However, the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by your local project leader. All applicants must of course display a genuine willingness to help, be fit and active, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Vaccination Certificate
Love Volunteers have the enviable opportunity of working in and around the magical city of Istanbul. Situated on the Bosphorus, the strait that divides the European and Asian continents, this ancient city is a rich melting pot of people, religion and culture. Famed for its amazing cuisine, volunteers will experience an array of food choices, from coffee houses to market stalls and fine dining to street vendors. From World Heritage sites to the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar and so many sightseeing opportunities, there is never a dull moment in this bustling metropolis - the largest city in Turkey.
Among this hive of activity however is a city with a large percentage of its people in need. Many families are struggling to survive, experiencing severe hardship and marginalization. Education can be haphazard at best, with children falling behind and into generational poverty unless they receive the dedicated support they need. Added onto an already complex social and financial landscape came millions of Syrian refugees, fleeing their home country to neighboring Turkey to escape civil war and terror. With the majority flocking to Istanbul, the city is in dire need of programs to assist these Syrian refugees into a brighter future. For an experience like no other helping the inhabitants of Istanbul and its surrounds, Love Volunteers offers volunteering opportunities not to be missed.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round with arrivals every SATURDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 3 weeks. Longer stays on a single project cannot be accommodated, but volunteers are welcome to combine multiple projects in order to extend their stay in Istanbul (subject to availability and individual visa conditions).
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Istanbul, you will be collected at either of the airports noted below and delivered to your accommodation. Here you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SATURDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airports:
Sabiha Gökçen İnternational Airport (code: SAW) OR
Istanbul Airport (code IST).
Please note that return airport transfer is NOT included in the program fee. Travel time to the airport is roughly 1 hour and check-in is required for international flights 3 hours prior to scheduled departure. The local team can assist with return airport transfer and the cost of this (approximately US$50) can be paid direct to them in-country.
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this project are accommodated at a wonderful public hostel, which is perfectly located in a great area of central Istanbul and within a short commute from the project site/s and the many attractions of this magical city. The hostel is well managed and meticulously clean, and Love Volunteers are usually all placed together when possible.
All standard amenities are available in the hostel, including hot showers and modern bathrooms, laundry room with washing machine, air conditioning and there is even free Wi-Fi and computers! This is a perfect home away from home and a wonderful base for your stay in Turkey!
Volunteers are provided with a breakfast and dinner allowance every day (included in program fee). There are hundreds of local restaurants and cafes close by to choose from, and its a great way to experience the local cuisine and culture.
Private/double rooms are available on request (additional fees apply). Sorry, no home-stay options are available in this location.
Those wishing to arrange their own accommodation are welcome to do so. The program fee is reduced accordingly (excluding accommodation, meals and airport pick up).
1 week - US$165
2 weeks - US$330
3 weeks - US$495
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
COVID-19 entry requirements for Turkey:
Proof of vaccination is required to participate on this program.
- All international visitors must complete an online form within 72 hours of travel.
- All arrivals into Turkey, from countries other than those mentioned below, must have proof of either two Covid vaccinations or recent Covid recovery or a negative PCR test (within 72 hours of arrival).
- Passengers arriving from UK, Iran, Egypt or Singapore will require a negative PCR test taken within the 72 hours prior to arriving in Turkey.
- Passengers from Brazil, South Africa, Nepal and Sri Lanka are banned from entering Turkey until further notice
Sources: https://tr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/ (USA)