Youth Space

Project Summary
Grantee : Community Volunteers Foundation
Purpose : Establishing a youth center model that is participative and responsive to the needs of the youth while also integrating disabled youth
Location : Samsun, Istanbul
Grant Amount : 284.322 TL
Project Partner : 19th May Municipality, Atakum Municipality
Period : 1 June 2009 - 30 December 2010
Status : Completed
Project Year : 2009


There is a lack of space for youth to express, to participate and learn for active citizenship in Turkey. There is a need for new models, models that will also integrate disabled youth into mainstream youth programs and centers. (Community Volunteers Foundation, 2009)

Project Goals

  • In Istanbul and Samsun at 3 youth service centers
    • Youth Service Centers (where youth volunteer for the community) will be transformed to Youth Centers with programs targeting youth specifically.
    • Youth center buildings will be physically accessible for disabled persons and encourage youth with disabilities to attend.
    • A “peer-to-peer” learning model will be disseminated and a culture of engagement and civic participation will be supported.
    • The project will reach 1.500 young people directly and 15.000 indirectly through youth empowering activities under three main fields of work:“Access to Information”, Fight Against Discrimination and Prejudice”and “Defending Youth Rights and Needs”
    • A best-practice youth center model will be developed and the model will be disseminated to government-run youth centers.

Project Results

  • Each youth center has created its own websites.
  • The Young Space project has reached 1370 young people directly and 7240 more indirectly through youth empowering activities.
  • To share the experience of the project, a book called"Youth Space: Youth-Centered Change at Youth Centers" was published and 500 copies of it has been distributed to other stakeholders.
  • Community Volunteers Foundation hired a visually disabled consultant to determine its strategy in reaching youth with disabilities.
  • To mainstream the Youth Space Model, a "Youth Center Structure Proposal" was presented to the Governmental Department of Youth and Sports.
  • A seminar for municipalities was conducted to introduce the Youth Space Model to the government-led agencies.
  • An international visit with the municipality officials helped the Foundation to examine the youth-centered models and initiate collaboration with the municipalities to disperse youth-centered work.
  • At the end of the Youth Space project, Community Volunteers Foundation determined to play an active role in creating experience-sharing platforms among diverse youth centers/agencies and work collaboratively with the municipalities.


’“It was an easy task for us to say ’’Youth needs information’’ sitting at our desks, without going to the field and asking them what they need. … At this project we have defined a youth center that is responsive to the needs of the youth using the rights methods. We have developed the same approach in helping youth access the information they need. Only this way, we thought we can make a difference in the lives of the youth’’

Youth Worker

’’Advocacy work at youth centers help kids learn claim rights and therefore have a tremendous impact on them and the future they would pursue.”

Project Consultant

’’The most important thing is that I experienced joy and explored new things’’

Workshop Participant

’’Fanzine is a great way to express myself, share my thoughts with others, it is an opportunity to work collaboratively.’’ Workshop Participant

’’’I always thought of myself as reserved, unsocial, and a person with low self-esteem. But after I attended the youth center activities, all these negative thoughts of me have changed. My thoughts about others have changed as well. I learned to read people with no prejudice and the harms of prejudice and discrimination to one, others and the whole society.’’

Youth Center Participant


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