About the Program
Our programs in Istanbul are now open for vaccinated volunteers. See the additional info. section for COVID-19 requirements.
Volunteers with a passion for the creative arts and a love for travel to far flung and exotic locations should look no further than this exciting program in the ancient city of Istanbul. Here volunteers will spend their time supporting disadvantaged children from 7 to 13 years old while soaking up all that this fascinating and diverse city has to offer. This program’s aim is to encourage local children’s creativity, something these impoverished children have little chance to explore given the conditions in which they live. The program also teaches children social responsibility, entrepreneurship and volunteerism, skills the program believes are important for children to learn to become responsible and compassionate adults. Situated in the heart of Istanbul’s disadvantaged communities, the initiative ensures those with greatest need receive the support to help them learn and thrive. Volunteers will have time to immerse themselves in the culture and explore this bustling city. From visiting World Heritage sites to sampling the famous cuisine, Istanbul is a truly remarkable city to spend time in while helping to shape the lives of impoverished children.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide free creative arts lessons to children to expose them to artistic forms
- Expose non-English speakers to native English speakers in order to improve pronunciation and conversational skills
- Create a love for learning new things among the children
- Expose volunteers and locals alike to different people and cultures
How You Can Help
The mission of this wonderful program is to enhance children’s natural creativity, boost confidence levels and happiness and improve their English language and motor learning skills. Coming from disadvantaged backgrounds with few opportunities, these children need the support this essential program provides. Volunteers can help with a huge array of creative classes such as painting, music, dance, theatre, creative writing, short film, photography, sports, creative drama, stage and performing arts, invention and jewellery design. Through fun and interactive classes, volunteers will aid children to think creatively and how to connect with their imagination, resulting in happier, calmer children who can express their emotions. Creative arts programs can improve children’s physical development by encouraging greater coordination, exercise, learned patience and rhythm. Volunteers on this program are helping to set the foundation for children to learn and grow physically and mentally into confident and happy individuals. Participants will also be helping improve the students English language skills as creative arts is one the best ways to develop confidence in conversational English.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Teach the creative arts to children
- Improve the English language skills of children through their teaching methods
- Play games and run activities with children
- Teach students about their own lives and where they live
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the ongoing support and development of marginalized and at-risk children of Turkey. This highly interactive and varied project does not require participants to have a background in the field of childcare and education, as there are many ways you can assist. However, volunteers with suitable qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, 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
- Police check
- 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 and programs start (arrival day) 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)