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Green Crescent Addiction Prevention Practitioner Training Program was held for Country Green Crescents!

The International Federation of Green Crescent hosted an online training session regarding the Green Crescent Addiction Prevention Practitioner Training Program for Country Green Crescents from July 24-26. Expert volunteers from 19 countries, including Austria, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Palestine, Gambia, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, TRNC, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Tanzania, Greece and Zimbabwe, participated in the training program. By the end of the program, 50 participants earned certification as Green Crescent Addiction Prevention Training Program practitioners.

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A volunteer is an individual who freely offers their time, knowledge and effort for the benefit of society without expecting monetary compensation, driven by their own free will.

Volunteering entails activities performed by an individual, driven by non-monetary motivation and their own free will, for the benefit of individuals and/or other living beings beyond their family or immediate circle. It is also a form of behavior aimed at creating positive change in society. Volunteers not only find opportunities to make a positive impact in their communities but also experience personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Additionally, volunteering offers opportunities for learning new skills, gaining experience, building social connections and interacting with people, while strengthening solidarity and mutual assistance in society.

Social responsibility projects and support activities allow volunteers to develop their talents in various fields and discover themselves. This process enables individuals to meet their learning needs and contribute to their personal development. Moreover, volunteering strengthens social bonds and solidarity in the community. Volunteers have the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and develop collaborations. Overall, volunteering enhances social interaction and contributes to positive changes in society, fostering a sense of solidarity and mutual support.

As the International Federation of Green Crescent (IFGC), we actively support countries' volunteer efforts to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the international volunteer network of Country Green Crescents. Some areas of support include organizing training and activities to raise awareness in society and sustain efforts in addiction prevention, as well as implementing comprehensive projects for these purposes. In this context, we contribute to our goal of creating positive change in society by providing a supportive environment for volunteers to develop their skills, acquire new abilities and play a more effective role in addiction prevention. Additionally, periodic regional meetings bring Country Green Crescents together to contribute to the expansion of the volunteer network. Thus, the goal of developing international collaborations in various fields to empower communities in preventing addiction is achieved. 

Benefits of Being a Volunteer:
In addition to social gains, volunteering also brings individual benefits. These include increased self-confidence, expanding and diversifying social circles, acquiring new talents and skills, enhancing teamwork and sense of responsibility, offering different career opportunities, spiritual fulfillment and a sense of belonging to society. On the social level, increased solidarity, enhanced social participation, interaction between different groups and communities, the development of empathy in society and increased social development can be counted as gains.

The Role of Participation in Volunteer Activities in Addiction Prevention:
Participating in volunteer activities has positive effects on steering individuals away from addiction. People involved in volunteer activities gain a new social network that helps them distance themselves from addiction, engage in constructive activities and find opportunities to help others. This process can provide significant support in overcoming addiction and help individuals regain their self-confidence.

1.    Social Networks and Support: Individuals participating in volunteer activities have the opportunity to develop closer relationships with each other through the contributions of serving a common purpose within the community. This process strengthens the sense of belonging to the community for volunteers, reinforcing social support networks with the satisfaction of being together and working together.

2.    Constructive Activities and Goals: Volunteer activities provide individuals with constructive pursuits and help them utilize their time positively.

3.    Taking Responsibility and Contributing to Society: Volunteer activities enable individuals to take responsibility and develop skills to help others. Volunteers also have the opportunity to educate others about addiction-related issues. Volunteer activities allow individuals to contribute to society. Sharing their experiences and helping others makes individuals feel valuable and important.

4.    Self-Worth and Self-Confidence: Participating in volunteer activities increases individuals' self-confidence and helps them see their own worth. While helping others, people discover their potentials and feel valuable.

5.    Developing New Interests and Skills: Volunteer work provides individuals with the opportunity to discover new interests and talents. Developing themselves in different fields can help set goals as an alternative to addiction.

6.    Regular and Meaningful Activity: Participating in volunteer activities provides a regular activity and a meaningful purpose.

Volunteering Worldwide:

Volunteering rates vary significantly from country to country worldwide. These rates depend on a country's social, cultural and economic factors, as well as on the promotion and support of volunteering in society. According to the United Nations 2018 Volunteering Report: European countries have 29 million volunteers, Asia-Pacific countries have 29.8 million and Arab countries have 8.9 million volunteers.

Below are some general insights into volunteering rates in certain countries:
•    United States of America: United States has a highly active community when it comes to volunteering. According to the National Volunteering Survey, approximately 39% of Americans participate in volunteer activities. Volunteering is widespread in various areas such as community service, civil society organizations, churches and schools.

•    Canada: Canada is an active country in terms of volunteering. According to Statistics Canada, about 44% of Canadians participate in volunteer activities. Volunteering is popular in areas such as public health, education, environmental protection and cultural events.

•    Australia: Australia also has an active community when it comes to volunteering. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately 40% of Australians engage in volunteer activities. Volunteering is common in areas such as emergency assistance, sports clubs, environmental protection and community centers.

Turkish Green Crescent Society Volunteering Model

The volunteering model of the Turkish Green Crescent Society can be defined as the active involvement of Green Crescent volunteers in achieving goals such as increasing awareness of addiction prevention, preventing the harms associated with addiction and creating awareness in addiction prevention. Volunteers can participate in Green Crescent's awareness campaigns, take part in events, provide support in training programs or engage in social media and communication activities. Additionally, Green Crescent organizes regular training and events for volunteers to inform them about addiction-related issues. Green Crescent accepts applications from individuals who wish to volunteer and assigns tasks to volunteer candidates based on their skills, interests and suitability.

Gönüllü Olmanın Kazanımları

Gönüllülüğün toplumsal kazanımlarının yanında bireysel kazanımları da bulunmaktadır. Öz güven artışı, sosyal çevrenin genişlemesi ve çeşitlenmesi, yeni yetenek ve beceriler kazandırması, takım çalışması ve sorumluluk alma duygusunu artırması, farklı kariyer olanakları sunması, manevi doygunluk, toplumsal aidiyet hissi bireysel kazanımlar olarak sayılabilirken; dayanışmanın artırılması, toplumsal katılımın artması, farklı gruplar ve toplulukların birbirleriyle tanışması, toplumdaki empati duygusunun gelişmesi ve toplumsal kalkınmayı arttırması toplumsal kazanımlar olarak sayılabilir.

Gönüllü Faaliyetlere Katılımın Bağımlılıklarla Mücadeledeki Rolü

Gönüllü faaliyetlere katılmanın insanları bağımlılıktan uzaklaştırma konusunda olumlu etkileri bulunmaktadır. Gönüllü faaliyetlere katılan insanlar, bağımlılıktan uzaklaşmalarına yardımcı olan yeni bir sosyal ağ edinir, yapıcı aktivitelerle meşgul olur ve başkalarına yardım etme fırsatı bulurlar. Bu süreç, bağımlılıktan kurtulma yolunda önemli bir destek sağlayabilir ve bireylerin kendilerine olan güvenlerini yeniden kazanmalarına yardımcı olabilir.

1) Toplumsal Bağlantılar ve Destek: Gönüllü faaliyetlere katılan bireyler, bir topluluğun parçası olduklarını hissederler.

2) Yapıcı Aktiviteler ve Hedefler: Gönüllü faaliyetler, insanlara yapıcı birer uğraş sunar ve zamanlarını olumlu bir şekilde değerlendirmelerine yardımcı olur.

3) Sorumluluk Alma ve Topluma Katkı Sağlama: Gönüllü faaliyetler, bireylerin sorumluluk almasını ve başkalarına yardım etme becerilerini geliştirmelerini sağlar. Gönüllü faaliyetlerde diğer insanlara bağımlılıkla ilgili bilinçlendirme yapma fırsatı da bulurlar. Gönüllü faaliyetler, bireylerin topluma katkıda bulunmalarını sağlar. Kendi deneyimlerini paylaşmak ve başkalarına yardım etmek, bireylerin kendilerini değerli ve önemli hissetmelerini sağlar.

4) Kendine Değer ve Öz Güven: Gönüllü faaliyetlerde yer almak, insanların kendilerine olan güvenlerini artırır ve kendi değerlerini görmelerine yardımcı olur. Başkalarına yardım ederken, insanlar kendi potansiyellerini keşfeder ve değerli olduklarını hissederler.

5) Yeni İlgi ve Yeteneklerin Geliştirilmesi: Gönüllü çalışmalar, bireylere yeni ilgi alanları ve yetenekler keşfetme fırsatı sunar. Kendilerini farklı bir alanda geliştirmek, bağımlılığa yönelik bir alternatif olarak hedefler belirlemelerine yardımcı olabilir.

6) Düzenli ve Anlamlı Bir Aktivite: Gönüllü faaliyetlere katılmak, düzenli bir aktivite ve yapıcı bir amaç sağlar.

Dünyada Gönüllülük

Dünya genelinde gönüllülük oranları ülkeden ülkeye büyük farklılıklar göstermektedir. Bu oranlar, bir ülkenin sosyal, kültürel ve ekonomik faktörlerine, toplumda gönüllülüğün teşvik edilmesi ve desteklenmesine bağlı olarak değişebilmektedir. Birleşmiş Milletler 2018 Gönüllülük Raporu’na göre: Avrupa ülkeleri 29 milyon, Asya Pasifik ülkeleri 29.8 Milyon, Arap ülkeleri ise 8.9 milyon gönüllüye sahiptir.

Aşağıda bazı ülkelerde gönüllülük oranları hakkında genel bilgiler bulunmaktadır:

1) Amerika Birleşik Devletleri: Amerika Birleşik Devletleri, gönüllülük konusunda oldukça aktif bir topluma sahiptir. Ulusal Gönüllülük Anketi'ne göre, Amerikalıların yaklaşık %39'u gönüllü faaliyetlere katılmaktadır. Toplum hizmeti, sivil toplum kuruluşları, kiliseler ve okullar gibi çeşitli alanlarda gönüllülük yaygındır.

2) Kanada: Kanada, gönüllülük açısından aktif bir ülkedir. Kanada İstatistik Enstitüsü'ne göre, Kanadalıların yaklaşık %44'ü gönüllü faaliyetlere katılmaktadır. Halk sağlığı, eğitim, çevre koruma ve kültürel etkinlikler gibi çeşitli alanlarda gönüllülük popülerdir.

3) Avustralya: Avustralya, gönüllülük konusunda da aktif bir topluma sahiptir. Avustralya İstatistik Bürosu'nun verilerine göre, Avustralyalıların yaklaşık %40'ı gönüllü faaliyetlere katılmaktadır. Acil durum yardımı, spor kulüpleri, çevre koruma ve toplum merkezleri gibi alanlarda gönüllülük yaygındır.

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