TEGV Impact Analysis Research

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TEGV Impact Analysis Research

  1. 1. TEGV IMPACT ANALYSIS RESEARCH
  2. 2. TEGVIMPACT ANALYSIS RESEARCH
  3. 3. TEGV Impact Analysis Research has been conducted by Infakto Rese-arch Workshop. In addition to Infakto Research Workshop team, theproject team established at TEGV and Prof. Dr. Sami Gülgöz, Dean ofthe College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Koç University andMember of TEGV Educational Advisory Board have contributed to theformation and execution of the study design.ISBN 978-975-7125-89-1Project TeamInfakto Research WorkshopGüçlü AtılganGeneral ManagerDr. Emre ErdoğanProject ManagerEbru IşıklıProject ManagerTEGVEla HasanoğluField Organisation Management Department ManagerSuat ÖzçağdaşEducation and Volunteers Department ManagerYaprak Kaymak ÖzgürMeasurement and Evaluation CoordinatorÖzgen PekcanField CoordinatorMerve TahmisoğluField Coordinator
  4. 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 9 FOREWORD 11 1. SUMMARY FINDINGS 13 1.1. TEGV Impact on Children 14 1.2. TEGV Impact on Volunteers 17 2. CHILDREN 20 2.1.1. The Purpose of the Research Study 20 2.1.2. The Sample of the Research Study 20 2.1.3. Who are TEGV Children? Some Demographic and Socioeconomic Data 22 2.2. Research Findings 23 2.2.1. Attitudes, Grades and Behaviour 23 2.2.1.1 Happiness: Every Child’s Right 23 2.2.1.2 Academic Achievement: What about Your Grades? 24 2.2.1.3 Conduct of the Children 26 2.2.2. Opinions and Perceptions 27 2.2.3 Study Habits 29 2.2.4 Values 31 2.2.5 Experiences and Perceptions 32 2.2.6 The Determinants of TEGV Impact: Multivariate Analyses 36 3. VOLUNTEERS 46 3.1. Youth, Volunteering and Social Capital (2008) 46 3.1.1 Volunteering Activity and Perceptions 47 3.1.2 Volunteering Activity, Psychological States and Perceptions 50 3.2. Volunteering and Outcomes (2009) 53 3.2.1 The Impacts of Volunteering: Changes and Outcomes 56
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION TEGV started its journey 15 years ago on 23 January 1995 claiming that “the prerequisite for seeingbrighter faces in the future of Turkey is to provide children with the best educational opportunities today.”For 15 years, TEGV has made significant contributions with its unique model in order to enable children tohave a happy childhood, to be well equipped for the future and look ahead always with hope and confidence.This model can be identified as the communication of educational programs which are developed by expertacademicians to children by volunteer elder brothers and sisters at child-friendly TEGV sites. All of these programs are going through measurement and evaluation processes, with a constantly in-creasing activity. After seeing that some of these programs are more or relatively less effective than someothers, we made the necessary revisions or cancelled the insufficient ones and produced programs that aremore effectual. And yet we carried on our path always measuring what we have done in the past. Taking into consideration that each program has a considerable contribution to children, we always gavemore importance to overall impact above all as a principle. We had a first-hand experience of what kind ofdifference being a “TEGV Child” could create; we felt it in our hearts. However, we knew that this was notenough, that we had to measure the impact TEGV had on children in a concrete manner, and yet that themeasuring process was definitely what every non-governmental organisation dreamed of and a very diffi-cult task to realize… On the other hand, throughout these 15 years, we worked with nearly 50.000 young volunteers, the ma-jority of them being university students and we continue to do so. We have also witnessed the transforma-tion that the volunteers went through thanks to the training they received, the close brother-sister relation-ship they formed with children and their intensive communication with one another. Over the years we haveobserved how productive, sharing and generous the youth are, when given full trust and provided with thenecessary equipment and a free environment. In our 15th year, we took our first step, believing that it was time to measure TEGV’s impact. TEGV’s im-pact on volunteers had already come into focus in the relative sections of the two research studies carriedout in 2008 and 2009. But were TEGV children different from their counterparts who shared the same socio-economic characteristics and yet who did not participate in TEGV’s programs? And if that were the case,what was the nature of this difference? The result is in the booklet in your hand. Combining this study, which constitutes the first step of a pro-spective measurement process that will continue in the forthcoming years, and other studies that measurethe impact of TEGV on volunteers, we wanted to share TEGV Impact Analysis Research with you in TEGV’s15th year. We would like to express our most sincere thanks to Dr. Emre Erdoğan and Infakto research team, TEGVproject team members who managed an extremely hard organisation and to Prof. Dr. Sami Gülgöz, whomade valuable contributions to this research study. Nurdan Şahin General Manager Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey 9
  6. 6. FOREWORD It is hard to measure the impact of education; it is even harder to show that this impact actually exists. When the research studies regarding the impacts of the educational programs implemented in variouscountries of the world are examined, one finds that the situation is deplorable. A great number of high-costeducational programs designed for children, adults or families cannot be demonstrated as having an impacton participants in relevant educational research studies. Although the people who receive education spendlong hours during this process, the programs do not suffice in producing an outcome. On the other hand, the fundamental expectation of the public institutions, non-governmental organisa-tions, international organisations and sponsor companies which allocate funds to these programs is toproduce significant outcomes in return for their financial support. The programs investigated in these research studies are generally orientated towards producing a de-velopment which includes very distinctive objectives generally in a restricted age group. Even in cases wheneducation is quite effective in these programs, there are numerous factors that prevent the impact fromcome out in the open. Particularly in the programs where participation is voluntary, participant-related fac-tors such as low or high level of participation, on part of the students, leaving the program before comple-tion and motivational differences during participation encumber a clear view of the impact. When instruc-tors with different levels of knowledge and skills work with participants who differ in characteristics, highlyvaried levels of development emerge as a result, which also blurs the view. Other factors that either crystal-lise or blur this view are decisions as to what knowledge or skills are being measured, what methods areutilised in this measurement process and how soon measurement takes place after the completion of edu-cation. When the situation is this complex in the educational programs which attempt to reach a significantparticipant population, it is conspicuously a much more difficult task to measure the impact of TEGV, anorganisation which realises numerous development objectives with different age groups at various loca-tions. What measurement method can be sufficient to measure the impact of TEGV, which aims to developchildren’s mental skills, creativity, imagination, sports skills, awareness towards one another and differ-ences, co-existence skills, respect for their bodies, others’ values and opinions and many more aspects inprograms such as drama, painting, mathematics, computer literacy, health, professions, human rights andscience? When one adds the objective of measuring the outcomes of young people who take up the volun-tary instructor role in these educational programs, apart from TEGV children, it becomes even harder tomeasure this highly complex and intensive social contribution. The booklet in your hand proudly declares that “TEGV Impact exists” against all odds. It is clearly ob-served that TEGV, which has been developed by a devoted community of volunteers, benefactors, employ-ees, executives and program coordinators, has already begun to prepare the children of our country for abetter future in the 15th anniversary of its establishment. In fact, “TEGV Impact” is not limited to participant children. What this research study demonstrates isthat TEGV volunteers have also made positive progress thanks to their relationship with this organisation.As a person who takes pride in having worked with TEGV for more than ten years, I firmly claim that thisimpact, if measured, could be observed in all TEGV employees, executives and other people who have hadto chance to work with TEGV. TEGV is an organisation that turns everything it touches into something valuable. We already had thisfeeling; this research study has provided a basis for expressing what we feel with confidence. Prof. Dr. Sami Gülgöz Member of TEGV Educational Advisory Board 11
  7. 7. What could be the impact of a non-governmental organisation? In financial terms, we can measure the impact of a non-governmental organisation by looking at its turnover. Or we can talk about its operational power; how many people it brings into action and how many people it can reach. Another way of measuring it would be recognisability. We can mention in this respect its coverage in the media, recognition by its affiliates or reputation in public opinion.1. SUMMARY FINDINGS What could be the impact of a non-governmental organisation? Infinancial terms, we can measure the impact of a non-governmentalorganisation by looking at its turnover. Or we can talk about its opera-tional power; how many people it brings into action and how manypeople it can reach. Another way of measuring it would be recognis-ability. We can mention in this respect its coverage in the media, rec-ognition by its affiliates or reputation in public opinion. Each one ofthese measurements is as valid and legitimate as the others. Apartfrom these visible criteria, we may also focus on unseen criteria andmeasure the impact by considering the traces it has left wherever ithas touched upon. And this must be the hardest one of all. It would be much easier for us to measure criteria such as financialindicators, number of employees, number of volunteers, mediacoverage, recognisability and reputation than measuring the impactthat we personally observe, and believe or hope to be real. While anorganisation’s balance sheet, employee records, media follow-up re-ports, annual reports or reputation researches are near at hand; thetraces that we think we have left behind are substantially in ourminds. Turning the impressions that our experiences or observationscreate in our minds into tangible, visible and measurable traces, andholding ourselves in readiness for disappointments caused by unmetexpectations are two most important handicaps of trying to measurethe impact in this way. The main objective of TEGV Impact Analysis Research, which wasbrought to completion as a result of an intensive working period inthe 15th year of Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV),was to make an attempt to measure TEGV’s impact following the trac-es it left behind. The personal experiences and observations of TEGVemployees and volunteers revealed that TEGV left an impact on peo-ple it reached as a part of its mission, namely children and volunteers,and caused a lot of changes in their lives. Therefore, the purpose ofthe research study was to measure this impact as far as possible. Ithas been a very long time since the information theory with which wecould claim to measure everything that happened in the social worldexactly and objectively was left behind.. Now, when we are measur-ing a phenomenon, we know that our probability of making a mistakeor acting subjectively is higher and every measurement attempt hasits limits. Even though TEGV Impact Analysis study may have beenopen to various methodological errors in this respect, it enabled us toobserve and demonstrate the traces that TEGV left in children, par-ents and volunteers. 13
  8. 8. As a result of the field study 1.1. TEGV Impact on Children Since TEGV’s primary target group is TEGV children, the pri- carried out during May 2010, mary target group of the study is also TEGV children. As re- we conducted face-to-face quired by methodological precautions, we have made face-to- interviews with 256 TEGV face meetings with this target group which can be defined as “children who have attended TEGV’s activities at least for two children, 256 TEGV parents, semesters” through the agency of our pollsters. The assump- 183 equivalent children and tion that we can observe TEGV impact in a measurable way 183 equivalent parents and determined our secondary target group: children who have the same socioeconomic and demographic characteristics as 100 TEGV graduates at TEGV children yet did not participate in TEGV’s activities. We 10 TEGV activity locations called this group of children the “Control group.” We were able and in the surrounding to reach these children through the random sample chosen among the children living in the neighbourhoods around TEGV neighbourhoods. activity locations. Although we do not expect TEGV to have a direct impact, the parents of TEGV children –and in parallelism, the parents of the equivalent children- constituted one of the target groups of the research. We conducted face-to-face meetings with the parents of TEGV children and the parents of the children in the control group. Not surprisingly, we found out that the parents of TEGV children were not considerably different from other parents, and this was one comforting aspect regarding the methodological validity of our study. On the other hand, we have accessed plenty of reliable information about what kind of family environments TEGV children grew up in. Lastly, we included “graduate” young people who had previously partici- pated in TEGV’s activities so that we could understand wheth- er TEGV’s impact would be observed in the long run. As a result of the field study carried out during May 2010, we conducted face-to-face interviews with 256 TEGV children, 256 TEGV parents, 183 equivalent children and 183 equivalent parents and 100 TEGV graduates at 10 TEGV activity locations and in the surrounding neighbourhoods. You will be reviewing the results of this comprehensive research study in the follow- ing pages of this booklet. However, we would like to summa- rise to you some of our basic findings:14
  9. 9. The impact of TEGV on children’s happiness is not unidimensional. TEGV children also score higher than other children in various dimensions of happiness such as cheerfulness – self-contentment and sociability. TEGV Children are Happier At the end of the research study, we have found out that chil-dren who have participated in TEGV’s activities are happier thanother children. Children’s “wellbeing” is one important issuewhich has always been pursued by TEGV in its activities and it isalso acknowledged by organisations such as UNICEF. It is ex-tremely pleasing to see TEGV making contributions in this re-spect. The impact of TEGV on children’s happiness is not unidimen-sional. TEGV children also score higher than other children in var-ious dimensions of happiness such as cheerfulness – self-content-ment and sociability. TEGV Children Have Better Grades Although academic achievement is not at the top of TEGV’sprimary objectives, at the end of the research we have found outthat TEGV children have a “higher” academic achievement thanthe children in the control group. While the grade point averages of TEGV children are approxi-mately 0,4 (out of 5 points) higher than other children, this differ-ence rises to 0,5 in Mathematics grade point averages. There isno remarkable difference in their Physical Education and Turkishgrade point averages. On the other hand, we see that TEGV children have a differentself-perception in terms of subjective achievement as well. Theproportion of TEGV children who regard themselves above theclass average is 17 points higher than other children: 55 percent. TEGV Children are More Self-conscious Among TEGV children, the proportion of knowing one’s height-weight, renewing one’s toothbrush, brushing one’s teeth everyday and having breakfast each morning is higher than other chil-dren. We may interpret this as pointing to the fact that TEGV chil-dren are more conscious about self-care. TEGV Children are More Self-confident According to the research study, TEGV children are more self-confident than other children. This self-confidence clearly mani-fests itself in feeling less embarrassment when meeting new peo-ple, answering questions easily, volunteering to participate ingames and other activities, and being worried less about whethertheir actions are appreciated or not. 15
  10. 10. Children who are more self-confident than the others are happier and have higher grade point averages. Similarly, children with higher learning capacity are both happier and have higher grade point averages. TEGV Children are More Tolerant and More Open to Team Play In addition to being self-confident, TEGV children also have a high level of tolerance towards their friends. They express in higher levels that they can learn many things from other chil- dren, change their own opinions and that they are open to new ideas. As TEGV children show less insistence in making people do what they want and wanting other people to support their own ideas than other children, they are also more open to team play as a consequence of this attitude. TEGV Children Have Higher Learning Skills and Responsibility TEGV children are keener on solving problems and puzzles. They always finish what they have started, do their homework by themselves and are more likely to put their duties in order. When viewed from this aspect, we can say that TEGV children have higher learning skills. TEGV Children Attach More Importance to Friendship and Less Importance to Wealth Another aspect in which we expected to observe TEGV im- pact were the values adopted by children. Values are phenom- ena that individuals acquire from their parents and social envi- ronments and that become particularly stronger mainly during upbringing. Therefore, we do not expect TEGV’s activities to transform these values with a single touch. Nevertheless, TEGV children attach more importance to friendship and hon- esty, and less importance to wealth compared with other chil- dren, although both children come from families that have more or less the same sets of values. Confidence-Extroversion and Learning Capacity Influence Happiness and Achievement in Grades The analysis of the data acquired in the research study by means of advanced statistical methods demonstrated that chil- dren’s levels of self-confidence and extroversion have an im- pact on their happiness and achievement in grades. Children who are more self-confident than the others are happier and have higher grade point averages. Similarly, children with high- er learning capacity are both happier and have higher grade point averages.16
  11. 11. As people volunteer, they begin to understand others better and become happier, feeling that they are serving a purpose. They learn lots of new things from their fellow collaborators in the volunteering process and they become more open to different ideas and ways of life. The Factors That Increase Happiness and Achievement inGrades Are Stronger in TEGV Children When we compare TEGV children with other children, wesee that TEGV children have a higher average level of satisfac-tion and higher achievement in their grades. We have observedthat these factors increase even more since their learning ca-pacity and confidence/extroversion levels are higher. 1.2. TEGV Impact on Volunteers We believe that the other area in which TEGV’s impact canbe observed is the volunteer group, which has been identifiedby TEGV as the secondary target group in the recent years. Op-erating with its nearly 10.000 volunteers each year TEGV ac-knowledge the concept of volunteering as one of its main areasof activity.. Volunteering” field studies carried out by TEGVevery year to be released to the public on International Volun-teer Day enable us to know TEGV volunteers better and derivesignificant lessons on behalf of non-governmental organisa-tions. Both our intuitions and observations tell us that volunteer-ing is a process that brings about change. As people volunteer,they begin to understand others better and become happier,feeling that they are serving a purpose. They learn lots of newthings from their fellow collaborators in the volunteering proc-ess and they become more open to different ideas and ways oflife. Volunteering makes life multidimensional and brings ameaning to it. We think that the impacts TEGV has on volunteers are bothproducing the outcomes of volunteering and increasing theseoutcomes in connection with TEGV’s unique qualifications. Thefield researches we conducted in 2008 and 2009 also supportthis view. “Youth, Volunteering and Social Capital” research studycarried out in 2008 included both young people in 18-35 agerange living in the urban residential areas of Turkey and TEGVvolunteers. This study demonstrated striking facts as to theviews of young people in Turkey on the concept of “volunteer-ing”, their volunteering activities and tendencies. The secondresearch study carried out in 2009 was titled “Volunteeringand Outcomes” and the target group of the research was TEGVvolunteers. 17
  12. 12. TEGV volunteers have more positive self-perceptions and their self-esteem levels are higher than other young people. This research provided significant information as to the identifi- cation of the steps to be taken towards discovering the elements which motivate the limited number of young people who volunteer in Turkey, and their expectations from the organisation, under- standing their personal perceptions of change and outcomes, and lastly towards prolonging their volunteering periods. Both research studies enabled us to access a significant amount of data. We may discuss certain results of these research studies as an impact of vol- unteering in general and as the impact of volunteering at TEGV in particular. First of all, we need to remember that volunteering is not com- mon among the youth in Turkey: The ratio of young people working for the good of others within the last year is only 5 percent, and Turkey brings up the rear among 55 countries with this ratio. When we ask young people why they do not take part in volunteering ac- tivities, they say that they do not have enough time or money. How- ever, we know that weekly average time allocated for volunteering activities is only 2 hours, and that volunteering requires no financial resources. More comprehensible reasons are young people’s lack of knowledge or distrustfulness towards non-governmental organi- sations. TEGV Volunteers are Happier As is the case with TEGV children, we find out that self-content- ment is also higher in TEGV volunteers compared with other young people. TEGV volunteers have more positive self-perceptions and their self-esteem levels are higher than other young people. TEGV Volunteers Have a Lower Feeling of Anomie Anomie, which is by definition an individual’s lack of knowledge about how to be happy and successful in life, is a concept devel- oped by Durkheim for the 19th century Europe. However, anomie is also one of the most crucial problems faced by Turkey. Research studies show that 20 percent of Turkey population have a high feel- ing of anomie, whereas this ratio rises to 40 percent among the youth. The proportion of individuals with high anomie levels among TEGV volunteers is only 13 percent. Therefore, our prediction that the positive environment created by volunteering activities dimin- ishes the feeling of anomie is not wrong. TEGV Volunteers Have a Higher Sense of Generalised Trust One of the issues that our country stands out with in compara- tive statistics is generalised trust. In terms of generalised trust, a18
  13. 13. The communication among the volunteers has a multiplier effect on outcomes and change perceptions.concept which attempts to find out to what extent individuals trust thepeople whom they do not know, and defines the level of “Social Capital”within a society best, Turkey ranks next to last among 55 countries. Ac-cording to research studies, the level of generalised trust in Turkey is about6 percent. The same level is true for young people as well, whereas thegeneralised trust level is more than thrice as much for TEGV volunteers: 20percent. The Outcome of Volunteering for TEGV Volunteers is Both Environ-mental and Intrapersonal When we question the outcomes of volunteering, TEGV volunteersmention “environmental” outcomes such as being respected and getting apositive impact in professional life, and “intrapersonal” outcomes such as“serving a purpose” and “always learning new things.” TEGV Volunteers are Happy to Volunteer at TEGV According to our 2009 research, among TEGV volunteers the ratio ofthose who are satisfied with their experiences in TEGV is quite high. More-over, volunteers at TEGV are also corporate ambassadors of the organisa-tion. Perception of Change and Outcome Improves with Increasing Com-munication The research study indicated that volunteers’ perceptions of changeand outcome improve in every aspect as their level of communication withother volunteers increases. In other words, the communication among thevolunteers has a multiplier effect on outcomes and change perceptions. As the volunteers’ perceptions about outcomes and change increase,their levels of satisfaction with volunteering at TEGV increase and so dothe number of corporate ambassadors. Satisfaction with Volunteering Influences Attitudes Again, the results of the research show that volunteers’ negative self-perceptions diminish, their positive self-perceptions increase and overallhappiness levels rise as their satisfaction with volunteering at TEGV in-creases. As the feeling of anomie increases, the volunteers’ negative self-per-ceptions increase and positive self-perceptions decrease. Social responsi-bility and empathy have just the opposite impacts: Both increase positiveperceptions and decrease negative perceptions. As the volunteers’ satisfaction with volunteering at TEGV increases,anomie decreases and their empathy and social responsibility increase. 19
  14. 14. Even though it is not sufficient to measure in quantitative terms whether it compensates the effort and time spared, questions as to what “TEGV Difference” is, in which matters it meets the expectations and in which matters the desired difference has not been observed are extremely important in order to evaluate the studies carried out so far and shape the future. The basic motivation of this impact analysis project carried out in TEGV’s 15th year was to answer this crucial question, albeit partially. 2. CHILDREN 2.1.1. The Purpose of the Research Study The impact TEGV has on the children who are targeted through the activities comes before us as an important re- search question. Even though it is not sufficient to measure in quantitative terms whether it compensates the effort and time spared, questions as to what “TEGV Difference” is, in which matters it meets the expectations and in which matters the desired difference has not been observed are extremely important in order to evaluate the studies carried out so far and shape the future. The basic motivation of this impact anal- ysis project carried out in TEGV’s 15th year was to answer this crucial question, albeit partially. The biggest challenge we had to face in designing the study in winter 2010 was to try to measure the impact or difference of an organisation like TEGV with quantitative expressions. It is not easy for an organisation whose area of activity is affili- ated with people to measure its own impact with basic quan- titative expressions since measuring people’s experiences ac- curately in quantitative terms constitutes a different field of research in its own right. The team which carried out the study worked on the best method to measure TEGV’s Impact and developed the most accurate measurement method possible. Firstly, specific areas that TEGV could have an impact on in a child were specified. A number of dimensions were devel- oped to identify these areas, which will also be described and discussed in detail in the following sections of this research study. Dimensions, which were developed by taking into con- sideration that the majority of the interviewed people were children, were tested and enhanced with pilot studies con- ducted by project team members. Afterwards, the question- naire form was completed for field application. 2.1.2. The Sample of the Research Study While figuring out how TEGV Impact can be measured, op- erations continued in the meantime for meeting and measur- ing the interviewees. The primary target group of the study was definitely children, however parents were also thought to be very helpful in giving us essential information about TEGV’s impact. In addition, “graduate children” who previously par- ticipated in TEGV’s activities were also integrated into the tar- get group of the research.20
  15. 15. Children were selected by means of random sampling method from each sampling unit among the children who had attended TEGV’s activities for at least two activity semesters and their parents were also invited to the units for the interview. As we have defined the primary hypothesis of the ImpactAnalysis as “Children who have taken part in TEGV’s activities aredifferent from children who have not taken part in TEGV’s activi-ties in some respects,” it was a conspicuous necessity for the re-search sample to consist both of TEGV children and the otherchildren who share the same socioeconomic and demographiccharacteristics yet who have not participated in TEGV’s activities.We named this secondary group control group. Since the plansincluded meetings with parents, they also became one of the tar-get groups of the study. It was decided that the primary sampling units of the researchshould be TEGV activity locations, namely the education parksand learning units. While the parks that had higher physical ca-pacity were accepted as a separate cluster, units were gradedaccording to the Physical Performance Criteria and were gath-ered in three clusters based on these grades. At least two unitsfrom each almost equally sized cluster were included within theframework of the sample and three more TEGV parks in specificprovinces were added to the study. Children were selected by means of random sampling methodfrom each sampling unit among the children who had attendedTEGV’s activities for at least two activity semesters and their par-ents were also invited to the units for the interview. The fact thatnearly all of the students within the sample and their parentshave attended the interviews and the short span of time coveredduring the interviewing process can be interpreted as a signifi-cant sign indicating the soundness of the method.Figure 1. Provinces/TEGV Locations within the Scope of theSample Education Parks (12) Learning Units (53) Firefly Mobile Learning Units (20) 21
  16. 16. At the end of the field study of the research, interviews with 256 TEGV children, 256 TEGV parents, 183 equivalent children, 183 equivalent parents and additionally 100 TEGV graduates were completed throughout May at 10 locations. On the other hand, households were selected by means of ran- dom sampling method in the neighbourhoods around the primary sample activity locations in order to reach equivalent children and their parents. The control group was established after the inter- views were conducted with the children within the appropriate age group in these households, and their parents. In order to reach TEGV graduates, interviews were scheduled and conducted with graduate children at TEGV activity locations which have been included in the framework of the sample. Interviews were conducted by professional pollsters in order to ensure the reliability of the meetings and the collected informa- tion. The process was quality controlled at every stage in order to prevent methodological errors. At the end of the field study of the research, interviews with 256 TEGV children, 256 TEGV parents, 183 equivalent children, 183 equivalent parents and additionally 100 TEGV graduates were completed throughout May at 10 locations. When we come to the most important question encountered in representative sample studies, specifically whether we can de- duce a generalisation out of the answers given by the interviewed children and parents, we may definitely give an affirmative answer as the project team. With a larger sample, the results could bear a higher representational value; however, the labour and time spared for this purpose would not be worth the difference. 2.1.3. Who are TEGV Children? Some Demographic and Socioeconomic Data Before passing on to the findings of the study, we believe that it will be helpful to mention certain socioeconomic and demo- graphic data regarding TEGV children in the light of the informa- tion collected during the field research process. Starting from the answers given by children and their parents, we may summarise the socioeconomic characteristics of TEGV children as follows: » 24 percent of TEGV children do not have their own beds, 20 percent of them do not have a separate bookcase; » 57 percent of TEGV children do not have internet connection in their homes; » The families of nearly 60 percent of TEGV children have a monthly household income below 1200 TL; » The educational attainment of nearly 50 percent of the parents is at elementary school level or below; » An average of 4-5 people reside in each house and 40 percent of the households include at least 2 children.22
  17. 17. 2.2 Research Findings Knowing that happy children can become good 2.2.1 Attitudes, Grades and Behaviour 2.2.1.1 Happiness: Every Child’s Right parents and citizens in the One of most important issues in which TEGV wants to create future, TEGV expends a greata difference is the happiness of children. Children’s “wellbeing” deal of effort to make surehas been acknowledged by many foundations, particularlyUNICEF, and this subject has been investigated in countless re- that children are happy.search studies. Not only children’s academic achievement, butalso their health and happiness began to be regarded as the pri-ority objectives of societies, as it is the case with gross nationalhappiness which is gradually replacing gross national product. TEGV is an organisation which cares about the happinessand comfort of the children attending its activities. Knowingthat happy children can become good parents and citizens inthe future, TEGV expends a great deal of effort to make surethat children are happy.Figure 2. Perception of Happiness in Children TEGV Very Satisfied Children SatisfiedEquivalent Very Children Satisfied Satisfied 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% The figures obtained at the end of the research study gen-erally demonstrate that the majority of the children who havebeen interviewed feel happy. The total number of the “satis-fied” and “very satisfied” responses to our question consti-tutes over 85 percent of the answers given by both TEGV chil-dren and other children. However, we had better point out thefact that TEGV children who have responded to this questionwith these two answers is nearly 10 points more than otherchildren and remember that almost all TEGV children inter-viewed in this study describe themselves as happy. 23
  18. 18. Besides, the ratio of the children who generally have a feeling of loneliness among the equivalent children is 44 percent, while this ratio is only 31 percent among TEGV children. As a matter of fact, it would not be wrong to draw a conclusion from these figures that loneliness is common among the children and that TEGV alleviates children’s sense of loneliness. Figure 3. Happiness Criteria in Children 92,3% I am generally cheerful 96,9% 91,8% I am generally happy 97,7% I generally feel lonely 44,3% 31,3% Generally speaking, I am 92,3% satisfied with my situation 96,9% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Equivalent Children TEGV Children We know that happiness is a multidimensional emotion and every person expresses his/her own sense of happiness by using different words. When we asked the children who participated in the research study questions about the differ- ent states of happiness, we found striking clues regarding chil- dren’s conception of happiness. Almost all of the children that we interviewed stated that they were cheerful, happy and sat- isfied with themselves; however, the results show that ratios referring to these aforementioned states are 4 to 7 points higher among TEGV children. Besides, the ratio of the children who generally have a feeling of loneliness among the equiva- lent children is 44 percent, while this ratio is only 31 percent among TEGV children. As a matter of fact, it would not be wrong to draw a conclusion from these figures that loneliness is common among the children and that TEGV alleviates chil- dren’s sense of loneliness. 2.2.1.2 Academic Achievement: What about Your Grades? We know that parents’ primary concern about their children is their school grades. In Turkey, education is regarded as one of the most important steps of success in life. The extent of the impact that TEGV had on children’s academic achievement was a key issue of concern especially in an environment where chil- dren’s games or hobbies were only approved of unless they “in- terfered with their lessons.”24
  19. 19. The ratio of the children who consider themselves below average in comparison with other children is 6 percent among TEGV children, whereas this ratio is 12 percent, twice as much, among the equivalent children.Figure 4. Subjective Perception of Achievement: Class Rank TEGV 6% 40% 55% Children Equivalent Children 12% 50% 38% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Below average Average Above average We started examining children’s academic achievement byasking them to what extent they felt that they were successfulcomparing themselves with the other children in their classes. 40percent of TEGV children and 50 percent of the equivalent chil-dren consider themselves average students with respect to theirgrades. The ratio of the children who consider themselves belowaverage in comparison with other children is 6 percent amongTEGV children, whereas this ratio is 12 percent, twice as much,among the equivalent children. On the other hand, the ratio ofthe children who rate themselves above average among TEGVchildren is 55 percent, while the same ratio among other childrenis as low as 38 percent and the difference between the two ratiosis nearly 20 points. Therefore, it is possible to say at least thatTEGV creates a difference in children’s self-perceptions. 25
  20. 20. The answers reveal that Figure 5. Grade Point Averages (Out of 5) TEGV children are also more successful than the 4,8 Physical equivalent children in terms Education 4,9 of their grade point Turkish 3,9 averages. 4,3 Mathematics 3,5 4,0 February 4,1 School 4,5 Report 0,0 1,0 2,0 3,0 4,0 5,0 Equivalent Children TEGV Children In order to confirm TEGV’s difference in aforementioned subjective perception of achievement, we asked a series of questions regarding the first semester grades of the children that we interviewed. The answers reveal that TEGV children are also more successful than the equivalent children in terms of their grade point averages. We have observed that TEGV chil- dren have higher grades by 0,4 out of 5 points in grade point average. This difference rises up to 0,5 points in Mathematics grades. On the other hand, the fact that children from both groups have received almost the same grades in Physical Educa- tion, which is a field that TEGV is not expected to have an im- pact on, relieves us as to the equivalence of the two samples. From this point we come to a conclusion that we have con- structed our research on resembling groups. 2.2.1.3 Conduct of the Children It is a clear fact that children’s behaviour regarding specific issues is important for parents, although this is not one of TEGV’s priority objectives. Almost every parent wants his child to take care of his/her health and be well-informed about it. We also come across certain differences when we compare TEGV children and the equivalent children in this respect.26
  21. 21. Children participating in TEGV’s activities find an opportunity to make friends with the other children that they have met and also learn to trust one another by taking part in team play. To begin with, we see that the ratio of the children whoknow their blood types is almost the same in both groups. Sincewe do not expect a difference in this respect, this sameness isanother clue pointing to the fact that both groups share equiva-lent characteristics. Nevertheless, it is obvious that TEGV chil-dren demonstrate different behaviour compared with otherchildren. Among TEGV children, the ratio of those who knowtheir height-weight, brush their teeth every day, have breakfastevery morning before going to school and those who have re-newed their toothbrushes within the last 6 months is 5 to 9points higher than other children. We may interpret this situa-tion as a part of TEGV’s impact on children’s conduct.Figure 6. Self-care I know my height 77% and weight 82% I renewed my toothbrush within 72% the last 6 months 77% ... I had breakfast every morning 67% before going to 76% school ... I brushed my 49% teeth everyday 57% I know my blood 44% type 44% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Equivalent Children TEGV Children 2.2.2 Opinions and Perceptions One of the primary changes expected in children who par-ticipated in TEGV’s activities was the change in their percep-tions about the world and themselves. TEGV aims to have animpact on children with its activities so that they can have morepositive opinions of themselves, trust themselves and othersaround them, participate in team play and become more toler-ant. Children participating in TEGV’s activities find an opportu-nity to make friends with the other children that they have metand also learn to trust one another by taking part in team play. From this point of view, we expect TEGV to have created adifference in children’s opinions and perceptions in this respect.Research results also support our expectations. 27
  22. 22. TEGV children feel less embarrassed when they meet new people, overcome embarrassing situations more quickly, bear less anxiety about being regarded with disfavour and feel less embarrassed to answer questions in front of the class or volunteer to take part in games or other activities. Figure 7. Confidence When I get bored with something I talk to my friends and share my feelings with 87% them 90% I express my opinions easily 89% 89% I feel embarrassed when 69% I meet new people 65% Experiencing an embarrassing situation 68% makes me sad for a very long time 63% I feel anxious about being regarded with 69% disfavour 60% When the teacher asks a question I feel embarrassed to speak in front of the whole 69% class even though I know the answer 52% 46% I frequently imagine being someone else 48% I feel embarrassed when I am asked to volunteer 60% in games or other kind of activities 45% Everything goes wrong whenever 51% I try to do something 38% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Equivalent Children TEGV Children TEGV children who are included in the research study have more self-confidence compared with other children. TEGV chil- dren feel less embarrassed when they meet new people, over- come embarrassing situations more quickly, bear less anxiety about being regarded with disfavour and feel less embarrassed to answer questions in front of the class or volunteer to take part in games or other activities. Furthermore, they share the idea, “Eve- rything goes wrong whenever I try to do something” in a lesser ratio than the others. We have observed differences varying from 4 to 17 points regarding the situations mentioned above. It is also evident that TEGV children are more comfortable than other chil- dren in stepping forward particularly in crowded environments. On the other hand, children from both groups have nearly the same points in talking to their friends when they get bored with something and sharing their opinions. The ratio of those who wish they were someone else is about 50 percent in both groups. Figure 8. Tolerance I think there are many things that I can 84% learn from my peers and other children 94% When someone gets angry with me 84% I try to figure out the reason why 92% I can be convinced and change my 77% opinion after listening to the opinions of my friends 89% I do not like cooperating with other 77% people, I only prefer cooperating with the people I know/like 58% I generally want others to do as I say 70% 54% I get extremely upset if others do 71% not agree with me or support me 53% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Equivalent Children TEGV Children28
  23. 23. Some of the qualifications expected in children at the end of TEGV’s activities are improved learning skills, higher sense of responsibility and heightened creativity. In addition to their high self-confidence, TEGV children alsodisplay a high level of tolerance towards their friends. The impactof TEGV’s cooperation attitude conspicuously manifests itself inchildren’s answers. TEGV children substantially adopt the ideasthat they can learn many things from their peers and other chil-dren and that they are open to change their opinions after listen-ing to the opinions of their friends. TEGV children has expressedin lesser ratios that they get upset when others do not agree withthem. Moreover, they are also more willing to cooperate withother people, not only with the people they know. The ratio of those who think that they can learn many thingsfrom other children is 10 points higher among TEGV children. Ithas also been observed that the ratio of the children who try tofigure out the reason why when someone gets angry with themis similarly higher among TEGV children. All these taken into con-sideration, it would not be a wrong statement to claim thatTEGV’s activities lead to an outstanding increase in children’s tol-erance levels. The combined interpretation of the two figures given aboveindicates that TEGV children are more open to team play and thatthey can easily cooperate with the children they do not know. 2.2.3 Study Habits One of the primary objectives of TEGV’s activities is tochange children’s attitudes towards study habits. Some of thequalifications expected in children at the end of TEGV’s activi-ties are improved learning skills, higher sense of responsibilityand heightened creativity.Figure 9. Learning Skills and Responsibility I do my homework by myself I always finish what I have started I like solving problems and puzzles I put the things I have to do in an order in my mind 0 % 20 % 40 % 60 % 80 % 100 % 120 % Equivalent Children TEGV Children 29
  24. 24. One of the areas in which One of the areas in which TEGV’s impact can be observed is children’s learning skills. The ratio of those who say that they are TEGV’s impact can be doing their homework by themselves among TEGV children is observed is children’s nearly 6 points higher compared with other children. Further- learning skills. The ratio of more, the ratio of those who finish what they have started with- out fail is 8 points higher and the ratio of those who like solving those who say that they are problems and puzzles is 11 points higher among TEGV children. doing their homework by Therefore, we can say that TEGV’s activities have a positive im- themselves among TEGV pact on children’s learning skills. Taking into consideration that the ratio of the children who put their duties in order is also children is nearly 6 points higher among TEGV children, TEGV’s activities can be said to higher compared with other have an impact on children’s sense of responsibility as well. children. Figure 10. Creativity In my leisure time I take pleasure in trying activities I have never tried %85 before %93 I can come up with fresh ideas %86 never thought of by somebody else before %85 I may not express my opinion if I do %67 not share the same point of view with the majority %66 %0 %20 %40 %60 %80 %100 Equivalent Children TEGV Children The children who have taken part in TEGV’s activities can be said to have a higher tendency for creativity in comparison with other children. In terms of trying new activities, TEGV children have a higher incidence of giving affirmative answers with a dif- ference of 8 points, whereas children from both groups believe that they can find new ideas never thought of before. According to the results of the research, two out of three children prefer not to disclose their opinions if their views are different from the rest. This is most probably caused by the culture in which children have grown up, and therefore TEGV does not have a statistically significant impact in this respect..30
  25. 25. The most striking point is that the ratio of those who state that being wealthy is one of the first three important values among the equivalent children is 16 percent, which is four times the related ratio (4 percent) among TEGV children. 2.2.4 Values: We already expected that the children who took part inTEGV’s activities would have different values from their peers.However, people’s values are directly associated with the envi-ronment they socialize in and this factor constraints optimismregarding TEGV’s pertinent impact. Since individuals are direct-ly influenced by their families, schools and other environmentsthey take part in, TEGV should be expected to have only a lim-ited impact on children’s already existing values.Figure 11. Children’s Values (Most Important Three Values) 77,0% Family 74,6% Honesty 45,9% 55,5% Intelligence 42,6% 39,1% Freedom 39,3% 34,8% 33,9% Friendship 43,0% 16,9% Ability 25,0% 16,4% Being wealthy, wealth 3,5% 12,6% Creativity 12,1% 5,5% Being famous 4,3% Beauty 2,7% 5,5% 0% 20 % 40 % 60 % 80 % 100 % Equivalent Children TEGV Children We can say that all children have resembling sets of values.Family is at the top among the three important values adoptedby children. Family is followed by honesty, intelligence and free-dom and we see that friendship is regarded as a higher valueamong TEGV children. Likewise, ability also appears to be ahigher value among TEGV children in comparison with otherchildren. The most striking point is that the ratio of those whostate that being wealthy is one of the first three important val-ues among the equivalent children is 16 percent, which is fourtimes the related ratio (4 percent) among TEGV children. In oth-er words, TEGV children attach more importance to ability andfriendship instead of wealth. 31
  26. 26. The most important values for parents are family, honesty and intelligence respectively. These values are followed by freedom, which is rated by TEGV parents in a higher ratio. Friendship, though highly valued by children, is rated in a lesser ratio among parents. Figure 12. Parents’ Values (Most Important Three Values) Family 73,2% 74,2% Honesty 66,1% 68,8% Intelligence 38,8% 39,5% Freedom 32,8% 41,0% 20,8% Ability 20,3% 18,6% Being wealthy, wealth 17,2% 17,5% Creativity 10,2% 15,3% Friendship 18,8% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Equivalent Parents TEGV Parents Parents have an unquestionable influence on their children. Therefore, it is quite normal for children to respond to the ques- tion, “What are the most important values a child should have?” with answers that largely intersect with the answers of their parents. As displayed in the figure above, the most important values for parents are family, honesty and intelligence respec- tively. These values are followed by freedom, which is rated by TEGV parents in a higher ratio. Friendship, though highly valued by children, is rated in a lesser ratio among parents. Putting the differences in freedom and creativity aside, we observe that TEGV parents and the equivalent parents demonstrate more or less the same structure of values. This high resemblance may be interpreted as a comforting element regarding the reliability of the research sample. 2.2.5 Experiences and Perceptions: Figure 13. Experiences with TEGV I did not have an unpleasant 94,6% experience about TEGV 93,4% 89,5% 96,7% I am satisfied with TEGV 96,9% 97,7% 95,7% The activities at TEGV were helpful 97,7% 99,6% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% TEGV Graduates TEGV Parents TEGV Children32
  27. 27. Almost all of the children, parents and graduates who took part in the research study expressed that they did not have any unpleasant experiences about TEGV, that they were satisfied with TEGV and its activities were very helpful. We have observed that children who have taken part inTEGV’s activities, their parents and TEGV graduates havestrongly positive perceptions about TEGV. Almost all of the chil-dren, parents and graduates who took part in the researchstudy expressed that they did not have any unpleasant experi-ences about TEGV, that they were satisfied with TEGV and itsactivities were very helpful.Figure 14. The Outcome of TEGV’s Activities 47,8% Increase in grade achievement 49,4% 68,8% 44,6%Enlargement of the circle of friends and 37,6% increase in socialisation 25,8% 12,0% Self-improvement 12,9% 28,5%Becoming more extroverted and active 8,7% 18,8% 5,5% Becoming more positive, cheerful and 2,2% happy 9,4% 9,8% 7,6% Increase in self-confidence 22,7% 8,6% 4,3% Improvement in communication 26,3% 8,2% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% TEGV Graduates TEGV Parents TEGV Children The most important outcome of participating in TEGV’s ac-tivities from the point of parents is the increase in their chil-dren’s grade achievement. This is followed by enlarging circle offriends/socialisation, improvement in communication and in-creased communication. For TEGV graduates, one of the mostimportant outcomes of TEGV’s activities is the enlargement ofthe circle of friends, along with the increasing achievement intheir grades. Two-thirds of TEGV children think that the mostimportant outcome is the increase in their grade achievement,however they also believe that self-improvement is also anoth-er significant outcome. 33
  28. 28. According to the parents of TEGV children, the two most important changes that they observed in their children after their participation in TEGV’s activities was the increase in their self-confidence and the increased achievement in their grades. Figure 15. Parents’ Views (Most Important Three Changes) Becoming more self-confident 55,9% Higher grades 48,8% Making new friends 33,6% Getting along better with siblings and people close by 24,6% Finding new areas of interest and involvement in useful activities 15,6% Becoming more cheerful 12,1% Defending one’s own right 9,8% Loss of shyness 7,4% Better self-expression 6,6% Becoming more extroverted 5,5% Development in handicraft 3,9% Socialisation 3,9% Becoming more affable 3,9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% According to the parents of TEGV children, the two most im- portant changes that they observed in their children after their participation in TEGV’s activities was the increase in their self- confidence and the increased achievement in their grades. Making new friends and getting along with siblings/people close by were among the changes observed by the parents. Par- ents also stated their children found useful areas of interest, became more cheerful and showed more extrovert behaviour after participating in TEGV’s activities. Parents’ views show that the differences we have emphasised earlier are also perceived by the parents. Figure 16. Changes in Parents’ Lives The communication among children became more sympathetic 95,3% Communication at home became easier, more open and more 92,2% comfortable I began to think more about the communication and relations I had 83,3% with my children I came to worry less about my children 87,1% I became acquainted with new things 85,2% My child found opportunities that did 84,0% not push our financial situation I spared more time for myself and my 71,5% other duties I made friends with the families of 55,5% other TEGV children I participated in TEGV’s adult 21,5% education program 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%34
  29. 29. Children who have attended TEGV’s activities show a tendency to become TEGV’s volunteer ambassadors in the future. Almost all of the children express that they will volunteer, recommend TEGV to the children in their surroundings and encourage them to participate and keep informed about the foundation. It has been observed that parents’ communication with chil-dren and the communication among children are two changesthat have the highest incidence rate in parents’ lives after theirchildren have participated in TEGV’s activities. Almost all TEGVparents agree that their communication with their children hasbecome easier/more sympathetic and more open. Another re-sult of children’s participation in TEGV’s activities is that parentshave come to worry less about their children. Moreover, parentsthink that their children have found various/different opportuni-ties that do not push the financial situation of their families. Aschildren begin to participate in TEGV’s activities, parents alsofind the opportunity to make time for themselves or their duties,which can be considered one of TEGV’s advantages.Figure 17. Children and TEGV Ambassadorship I would volunteer, act like a brother/sister to the children 99,2% I would recommend TEGV to the children in my surroundings and 98,8% encourage them to participate I would follow the activities at TEGV 98,0% by asking people I know here I would make visits 96,9% I would make donations 96,5% I would work at TEGV 95,3% I would follow their activities from 90,2%television, newspapers or magazines 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Children who have attended TEGV’s activities show a ten-dency to become TEGV’s volunteer ambassadors in the future.Almost all of the children express that they will volunteer, rec-ommend TEGV to the children in their surroundings and en-courage them to participate and keep informed about the foun-dation. Again almost all TEGV children reflect that they willdonate to the foundation and even work there in the future. 35
  30. 30. TEGV parents are also acting like TEGV’s volunteer ambassadors. Almost all of them suggest to the children in their surroundings that they participate in TEGV’s activities, and encourage people to become volunteers. Figure 18. Parents and TEGV Ambassadorship I would recommend TEGV to the children in my surroundings and 98,8% encourage them to participate I would encourage the people 96,5% around me to become volunteers I would make visits 83,6% I would make donations 82,0% I would follow TEGV in the media 73,4% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% TEGV parents are also acting like TEGV’s volunteer ambas- sadors. Almost all of them suggest to the children in their sur- roundings that they participate in TEGV’s activities, and encour- age people to become volunteers. Parents also say that they will make visits to TEGV activity locations, make donations and follow TEGV in the media. 2.2.6 The Determinants of TEGV Impact: Multivariate Analyses Within a series of indicators developed with an aim to meas- uring TEGV’s impact on children, the differences between TEGV children and equivalent children were explained in detail in the previous sections. 29 indicators which were developed within the frame of the research study were actually used to assess 12 main change scales. Each one of these main change scales com- prises one or more indicators, and the statistical significance tests show that the indicators can assess the scales significantly. One can see the differences between TEGV children and equiv- alent children within the main change scales in the diagram be- low:36
  31. 31. The results of the research indicate that TEGV children are more open to team play, more inclined towards self-regulation and that they shoulder a higher level of responsibility compared with other children.Figure 19. Impact Dimensions Anger (-) 4,00 Creativity Team Play 3,00 Critical Thinking 2,00 Anxiety (-) 1,00 Happiness 0,00 Tolerance/ Empathy Learning Skills Confidence Responsibility Freedom Equivalent Self-regulation TEGV 12 main change scales, each varying between 0 and 4, havebeen estimated based on the indicators. As mentioned before,each one of these scales bears a statistical significance. The ar-eas in which the differences between children who have par-ticipated in TEGV’s activities and the other children becomeevident are as follows: • Mood related areas such as Anger and Anxiety: TEGV children are less angry and bear less anxiety compared with other children. • Areas related to children’s behaviour such as Team Play, Self-regulation and Responsibility: The results of the research indicate that TEGV children are more open to team play, more inclined towards self-regulation and that they shoulder a higher level of responsibility compared with other children. • Worldview related areas such as Tolerance/Empathy, Confidence and Freedom: We see at the end of the research that the tolerance/empathy levels of TEGV children are higher than other children. Moreover, the confidence average among TEGV children towards themselves and the others is higher, and TEGV children are also keener on their freedom. Happiness and creativity are the areas in which the differ-ences between TEGV children and the other children becomeless or equal. 37

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