Main sector of activity: Offering participation in youth-led events and youth participation activities
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EIG
Avrupa Entegrasyon Derneği (European Integration Group, EIG in short) is a non-profit organization that works with Turkish and international youth groups in Turkey. The main goal of the organization is to succeed in the integration of young individuals, start- up companies, institutions, NGOs and as well corporate companies to European values and digitalizing world. EIG mainly focuses on the topics:
Sport & Health,
Tackling Violence & Conflict Management
Since its creation, EIG has been actively involved in both local and international (youth) projects. The organization has already successfully implemented a fewKA105 mobilities of its own, and more than 90 as a partner. As a result of positive feedbacks from its partners in projects coordinated by EIG, EIG has developed a broad partnership network across Europe. EIG is also a member of the Active Youth Partner Network (an international network for youth NGOs). We follow our four core values in everything we do:
1) commitment – meaning we offer it our all;
2) transparency – we work with and for the public;
3) positivity – we see opportunities rather than problems; and
4) passion – we want to make the world a better place. It’s easy to write these principles down on paper, but it’s far more difficult to put them into practice. EIG knows how important non-formal education is and hence incorporates experienced trainers in it. We assure that professionals with relevant experience and a proven record (in youth work and/or the project’s topic) will be workingwith us as before. We also count on a large pool of volunteers (data is collected according to the LPPD in Turkey) and potential partners to ensure that:
the project is implemented smoothly
the dissemination activities meet the targeted groups
The projects EIG takes on, as a rule, focus on demanding and sensitive issues (e.g. inclusion of minorities and disadvantaged groups). Hence, we look forward to the challenges offered by the projects.
ACTIVITIES AND EXPERIENCE
EIG has been actively involved in local and international (youth) projects since the very start of its existence. EIG has been partner in more than 65 KA105 projects and coordinated dissemination of each project successfully. Organization now has a lot of experience running youth programs. For example, EIG has variety of youth projects funded by the European Commission and EU Council, EIG has implemented aproject called “Rural Entrepreneurship Heroes” a KA105 project in 2017, also contracted for 2 other KA105 project ”Safety is NOT Automatic” in 2019 R2 and ”Capoeira Can do All!” in 2019 R3 however these have been waiting to be implemented. As well partnering currently with ”Transforming COVID-19 into anopportunity: new inclusive digital jobs and training for your people in the creative sector ” a KA227 project, ”Sport without Boundaries” a Erasmus+ Sport project. We’ve used it to coordinate further events to raise public consciousness about the current issues of hate speech, sexism, and discrimination. Aside from that, we had “Youth Talks” with international youth NGO volunteers once a month. We addressed various social issues with youth during “Youth Talks” and introduced Erasmus+ and ESC opportunities. We’ve been organising “Youth Talks” online since the pandemic. This knowledge will allow us to contribute to the goals of future Erasmus+ projects. Furthermore, EIG collaborates with other European NGOs and foreign organizations to guide and assist others in hosting youth initiatives in a variety of countries, foster cultural diversity, and contribute to positive social changes across Europe. We arecurrently assisting in the organizing of Erasmus+ youth initiatives in Poland, Malta, and Sweden on topics such as ecology, healthy lifestyles, social inclusion, rural cultures, diversity, ethnic minorities’ issues, and more. We are also educating local residents about the benefits of such initiatives as well as the importance of the problems that are being raised. By definition, our goal is to not only solve the problem, but also to educate local communities about
1) the benefits of such funds/project, and
2) the seriousness of the issues raised. As a result, EIG pays close attention to every detail and performs a wide range of tasks. From the initial stages of the research to the implementation and presentation of results. Such a mindset and set of skills are essential for any project.
KEY STAFF & PERSON
Our team members are young leaders and youth workers, who developed their skills during their studies & experiences in different countries. This has not only given them strong educational basis but has also taught them how to communicate with people coming from different cultural and social backgrounds.
Our team involves 25 people from different backgrounds with the same goal, to make our target groups qualified, sophisticated and multinational through universal education methods.
Turgut Kaan Akkoca, the founder of the European Integration Association (EiG), Chairman of the Supervisory Board and the keynote speaker of the United Nations “Leaders of the Future”, works at Deko Elektrik as the Business Development Manager, a Turkish-Chinese Manufacturing and Trade company in the field of electrical materials. Focusing on project management in Civil Engineering and holding a bachelor’s degree with a thesis on innovation and entrepreneurship trends in the construction industry, Akkoca is also studying for a master’s degree in Financial Engineering at Istanbul Boğaziçi University. After working as an international business development manager in China for 1 year, he put his interest in World Trade and Financial markets at the service of Erasmus+ and his social entrepreneurship at the service of an NGO. Managing the activities of 1 factory and 1 trading company and leading a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Turkey with more than 500.000 Euro funds and more than 25 team members, Akkoca is also interested in Global politics and macro economy.
Uğur Keskin is the president of European Integration Group(EIG) and the district manager of Bosch Company Türkiye. He graduated from Yıldız Teknik University with a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering. Having specialised in digitalization, sustainability, and data analysis, he energises these roles within the organization throughout various projects and their implementation, practices and management. Recently, he initiated the Erasmus+ project called “Finish Your Plate!” raising awareness on food waste and sustainable actions that can be taken in food consumption. Possessing competence in communications and negotiation, he manages the social media and the social media team, creative team, human resources and volunteer recruitment, organisation and implementation of local projects, as well as managing the sending process for international projects from participant selection to dissemination activities. Currently he is creating and facilitating digital competence workshops for youth workers to digitalize youth work sector in Türkiye.
Pelin Berzah is the project manager of EIG. She first started her volunteer work as a high school senior after her exchange year in Germany with YFU in 2015. In 2021 she went to her first Erasmus+ project to Romania with EIG and in 2022 became a volunteer there. In 2022 she graduated from Hacettepe University, where she studied English Language and Literature, gained editorial experience as department magazine’s editor, wrote for IDEbiyat magazine, played flag football and rugby. Shortly after her graduation she became an ESC volunteer at Catfarm, an eco-community where a zero-waste, sustainable and vegan lifestyle is practised. Assisting in the hosting of two youth exchanges and managing the social media of Catfarm, she improved her soft skills regarding organisation and management. Currently she is implementing local and international projects about environment, sustainability and green habits.
Hasan Mert İnce is a youth worker and user experience designer. He started his career in the Erasmus+ world and volunteering in non-governmental organizations in 2016. He volunteered as the leading marketing designer and became a board member at EIG. Participating in 9 projects, 4 of which he assisted hosting, he has experience in both marketing design and youth exchange organisation. He started his professional career with the Italian Youth Radio “We Radio” in 2017. He also did other projects in Italy, France, Norway, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Georgia. In 2018, he received the 2nd best project of the year award in the Nantes Creative Generations competition with his project on Immigrant Rights. Currently he continues with his voluntary youth work and UX design career.
Gözde Nur Kaya is the Project Manager and the Head of the Law Department of European Integration Group (“EIG”). She is graduated from Marmara University and has completed a long-term Erasmus Exchange Programme in Political Sciences and Law in Portugal,2020. She works at NAZALI Tax and Legal Services as the Attorney at Law in the fields of Environmental Law, Sports Law and Commercial Law. She quarterly publishes written bulletins about sustainability and the circular economy. She is also one of the founding members of Istanbul chapter of a student-driven organization for sustainability in economics. Her first experience in international projects was thanks to EIG with “Make It Rural” project including rural entrepreneurship in 2019, Lithuania. In this project, she learned the elements of entrepreneurship and has been encouraged for start-up projects. She has participated as a team leader in another project named “Route to Understanding” that focuses on the refugee crisis in the Balkan Peninsula and migration all around the world in 2019, North Macedonia. She has developed leading and organisational skills in these projects. By realizing these skills, she started guiding Turkis youths about Erasmus+ projects and still goes on.
Bedrettin Bayaslan graduated from Beykent University Visual Communication Design. He established a student club for educational events and recreational activities. He met with Erasmus+ in 2017 when the project took place in Italy in 2018 which is called “We Radio”. Organizationally, he loves to develop strategies, find ideas and move forward. His technical skills related to social media, google advertising, digital media and technology. He is a digital strategist in EiG. Four years ago he applied the worldwide “Scorp” application used by people from Latin America to Spain. He is currently working as Social Media Manager at Brand The Bliss and Digital Media Manager at Nect Istanbul.
Turgut Kaan Akkoca