Volunteerism and Working with Volunteers
Defining VolunteerismMurat Şentürk, Büşra Turan Tüylüoğlu
Volunteerism is a concept that has been heard more frequently in recent years but one that everyone has difficulty defining. The potential volunteerism has for improving social life and for a sustainable world requires it to be better understood and universalized. This is because problems in today’s world, such as opportunity inequalities, hunger and poverty, violations of human and animal rights, wars and famines, ecological imbalance, disasters, and epidemics are growing and threatening both our planet as well as our bright lives and social order. Volunteering unites people around common problems, and has the potential to produce alternative solutions to these problems and build a better and more sustainable future. This chapter, which is based on this potential, examines different types of volunteerism and its areas of application and seeks answers to questions such as: “What is volunteerism?,” “Who are volunteers?,” and “Why are volunteers and volunteering important?” This section additionally addresses volunteers’ social background, their psychological characteristics and reasons for volunteering, religious and social values in volunteerism, the importance volunteerism has in daily life, obstacles to volunteering, and similar issues.