When we started this journey, we knew we wanted to create a social impact in everything we do. Along our path, we met a lot of people with the same vision – to make a difference and benefit society. They helped us to develop the ‘Heartful Volunteer System’ [Gönülbaz Volunteers].
Although volunteering is a method usually seen in non-governmental organizations, we as a social establishment believe strongly in voluntary power. Each year in May. we open a volunteer call and select volunteers by evaluating applications in three stages. Our only criteria to be a volunteer is motivation. We do not set requirements such as age, education, city, etc. Everyone from every part of the world can join us after passing the required steps.
What do volunteers do?
The Heartful Volunteers included in our volunteer system take part in gaming events conducted all over Turkey. They participate in our trainings and projects, conduct research, help establish business connections, and carry out activities that will impact their own communities and communities around in Turkey. We support designed and proposed volunteer projects, make decisions together as a team, and continue to grow as a family together throughout the year.
Gamification in the Volunteer System:
As a family that loves games, we’ve also gamified our volunteering system. Volunteers earn seeds from activities they do, ideas they propose, volunteer meetings formed, their cooperation. Over time, these seeds can be cashed in for a free book, coffee, training, game and other various prizes and opportunities.
Our gamification system is based on 3 principles:
- Equity and Transparency: The entire team is informed of the activities and those are available and chose to will participate in the activity. Everyone knows who will join in the event and how the selection process works.
- Participation: The activities are not just for those living in Istanbul, but for everyone! In addition to game activities, there are also activities in areas such as research and cooperation. Volunteers can organize teams together, even across different cities. Volunteers themselves can also develop and propose their own activities.
- Appreciation: All work accomplished is greatly valued and appreciated by Learning Designs. That’s why we hold a “Thanking Ceremony” after every activity with a group photo and display it on our social media sites.
Our volunteer system is in its third year. We have 150 volunteers aged between 19 – 55 with a wide variety of experiences and knowledge. We have volunteers from countries such as Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Germany as well as many provinces of Turkey. Additionally, any volunteer can request a reference letter for their professional work.
Twice a year, three of our experienced volunteers can apply for part-time or full-time internships with Learning Designs. This opportunity pays these volunteers a short stipend for travel costs and other costs to expand their training and game application work within their communities and around the country.