• Turkey
    • Istanbul
1 to 4 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Year Round
Apartment Hotel Lodge
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
1. SHARED (same gender) Standard hostel accommodation
2. Airport Pickup and drop-off
3. One Touristic tour & One trip to Touristic attraction in Istanbul
4. Two meals per day
5. Volunteering Program & location orientation
6. 24/7 in-country local Happiness Volunteers crew support
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Equipment Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Sep 25, 2023
Jan 05, 2024
14 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

There is an urgent need to teach and practise English in the orphanage located in the Istanbul, Fatih or Nilfuer/Bursa. Due to the civil war happening in Syria, these orphans lost their dads and some both of their parents. Istanbul has been a shelter for them where some goes to school while others don’t. Teaching them English would be their chance for a better future wither to go abroad or work in future in the tourism industry “one of the biggest industries in Turkey”.
Volunteers are playing a vital sustainable role in the orphan’s lives. Volunteers work solo to teach or practice English communication with the children. These sessions is to improve the pronunciation and conversational skills of the orphans, we are not playing the “School” role here. Volunteers are welcome to bring in their own ideas to the table always.

Consider your impact: Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding experience for both volunteers and local communities, and at Go Overseas, we believe all volunteers should have the resources to make informed decisions about the type of volunteer project they want to partake in. However, despite best intentions, some organizations offering placements in orphanages may unknowingly place children in danger. You can read about the potential dangers of orphanage volunteering here.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Affordable fees from $825 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Help orphans improve their English language skills
  • Explore the first capital for the ottoman empire in the world

Program Impact

Making sure our programs sustainable with a green print. We make sure to place more than 200 volunteers every year. We maintain a consistent level of progress in our programs. There is a cap number of volunteers of every program too to make sure that the program is functional and sustainable.
Happiness Volunteers acknowledge our duty of care towards children and vulnerable adults. We recognize our responsibilities to keep both of them safe and happy while engaged in our programs and activities.
Happiness volunteers programs are funded by the volunteers themselves while we make sure that we can make sure the fees are optimal. Therefore, we are not creating any financial burden on the destination we volunteer at.
At our accommodations, we take proper measures to effectively use energy and water consumption. Also, we reduce the usage of non-environmental friendly products in cleaning around the accommodation.

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Program Reviews

4.82 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 5 rating 81.82%
  • 4 rating 18.18%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.85
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.65
  • Value 4.85
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 11 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Turkey

Volunteering with Happiness Volunteers in Turkey was a deeply fulfilling experience, focused on teaching computer science basics and English to Syrian orphans. The program's emphasis on education as empowerment resonated with the belief in the transformative power of knowledge. Teaching computer skills opened doors for the children, providing not just technical know-how but also fostering confidence and curiosity. English classes became a bridge for communication, breaking down language barriers and creating connections. The cultural exchange enriched the experience, exposing volunteers to the resilience and hope of the orphans. The journey highlighted the importance of adaptability and resilience in the face of challenges. The collective effort of the volunteer group created a support system, reinforcing the belief that positive change is possible even in challenging circumstances. Overall, the experience was a reciprocal journey of growth, emphasizing the profound impact of compassion and education on lives facing adversity.

What was your funniest moment?
he funniest moment was definitively when the kids were talking in arabic thinking that I'm american and how american people are and then I surprise them by telling them I'm Tunisian.
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Happiness Volunteers

This program allowed me to work face to face with refugees from Syria, and it allowed me to grow as a person. You will gain a greater appreciation for the blessings you have once you hear some of the stories of the refugees. I feel I have a greater perspective on the refugee crisis, and I feel more motivated to help solve the problem, now that I have completed the program. Overall, a great program and definitely cost effective. The program coordinator was very flexible to my needs and helped me with recommendations.

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was when the refugees confused me for a Syrian and my friend Yassine
  • Great kids
  • Good location
  • Cost effective
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Happiness Volunteers experience

Volunteering with Happiness Volunteers in Turkey to teach computer science basics and English to Syrian orphans has been a profoundly rewarding experience. The program's emphasis on education as a means of empowerment aligns with my belief in the transformative power of knowledge.

Teaching these resilient young minds computer science basics opened a gateway to a world of possibilities. Witnessing their eagerness to learn and adapt to the digital realm was truly inspiring. In a world increasingly shaped by technology, providing them with these fundamental skills not only equips them for future opportunities but also instills a sense of confidence and curiosity.

English classes became a bridge, connecting hearts and minds across language barriers. The orphans' enthusiasm to grasp a new language mirrored their determination to overcome adversity. Communication became more than just words; it became a tool for fostering understanding and unity. Through language, we shared stories, exchanged ideas, and built a sense of belonging.

The cultural exchange inherent in volunteering added another layer to the experience. Immersed in the rich tapestry of Turkish and Syrian cultures, I learned as much from the orphans as they did from me. Their resilience in the face of hardship and their unwavering hope for a brighter future left an indelible mark on my perspective.

The smiles on the children's faces as they grasped new concepts and formed sentences in English were priceless. It reflected not only their academic progress but also the joy that comes from empowering others. Volunteering became a reciprocal journey of growth, where each lesson taught was met with gratitude and a hunger for more knowledge.

The sense of community fostered within the volunteer group and with the local communities added depth to the experience. Sharing challenges and triumphs with fellow volunteers created a support system that extended beyond the classroom. Together, we became a collective force for positive change, working towards a common goal of making a lasting impact on these young lives.

The volunteer experience in Turkey also highlighted the importance of adaptability and resilience. Working in a dynamic environment with limited resources necessitated creativity and flexibility. Overcoming these challenges not only strengthened our commitment to the cause but also reinforced the idea that positive change can happen even in the face of adversity.

In conclusion, volunteering with Happiness Volunteers in Turkey to teach computer science and English to Syrian orphans was an enriching journey of education, cultural exchange, and personal growth. It emphasized the transformative power of knowledge and the profound impact that compassion and education can have on the lives of those facing adversity. As I reflect on this experience, I carry with me the smiles of the children, the bonds formed, and the belief that, through collective efforts, we can contribute to a brighter future for all.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Turkish pizza
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Experience!

As an experienced English teacher, it meant a lot to me that Happiness Volunteers encouraged me to apply my knowledge and creativity with a team in creating and teaching a 10 day English workshop for the young refugees. The other teachers and management staff spoke English, Turkish and Arabic (I only speak English!) and together we stayed focused on our goal of supporting the refugees through English instruction- which can make such a difference in their future! Good staff communication and a class of 20 motivated students made teaching fun and rewarding to me and the students. Including lesson preparation time, the project took about 3-5 hours per day. A great and unexpected benefit of volunteering was the cultural and travel activities that Aya organized for us after the work was done- we visited mosques and museums, took boat rides on the Bosphorus Straight, and ate Turkish, Yemenese, Iraqi and Syrian cuisine!

  • Motivated students
  • Supportive staff
  • Creative and meaningful team lesson planning
31 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Mustafa ahmed hama
Yes, I recommend this program


Volunteering with the orphans organization was an incredibly enriching experience. I learned so much and had the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of the children. The sense of fulfillment and personal growth I gained from this experience is truly invaluable.

One of the most cherished memories from my time volunteering with the orphans organization was witnessing the genuine happiness and joy on the faces of the children. It's heartwarming to know that even a small effort can bring so much happiness to their lives.

  • How to teach
  • Joy
  • Open mind
  • No
  • No
  • No
29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


experience with the orphan volunteering program. The opportunity to contribute to the lives of these children while also finding a sense of spirituality is truly remarkable. The program's focus on making a meaningful impact on the lives of orphans demonstrates
the world. Overall, your experience sounds like an enriching and rewarding journey that speaks volumes about the program's effectiveness and the value it brings to both volunteers and the children involved.Thanks to the leader of the volunteering team hopefully we will other programs in the future.

  • Friendly people
  • Meaningful experience
  • Safe
  • Nothing really to mention
29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I am looking into my next visit

The last six weeks changed my life - I have learned so much about who I was, made some friends for life and a culture that is founded on love and care. Chios is so beautiful, with many hidden beaches and rich history, weekends were never dull. The teachers on my programme welcomed me like family, the children give you their attention and admiration so freely, and i just can’t wait to go somewhere with Happiness Volunteers again! The team were absolutely excellent! They responded to all my messages in extremely short time with great recommendations for food and travel. They checked in on us regularly and were extremely kind! The team in the kindergarten were so welcoming, kind, and made me an integral part of their team. The teachers were so willing and excited to be able to practice their English, as well as let me pass that knowledge onto the kids. The kids were so welcoming, and by the end they were teaching me so much more than I could ever teach them! I wish I could go back as by the time I left I felt like family, and was treated as such. I cried as I left and I look forward to going on another project with Happiness Volunteers ASAP!!

56 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Can't wait for my next visit

My favorite moments from this volunteer experience was talking to children and their dreams for the future. I got really attached to these kids, my last day I wished I could stay with them. These kids have motivated me to figure out what I want to do with my future, I used to be between a career in social matters or in the medical field but now being with them and seeing the struggles that many children go through has given me a million reasons what I want to do. If you're still hesitant about volunteering, just do it, and you will gain so much experience. It's an opportunity that many don't have and need to be at peace with themselves. Volunteering has a huge impact on you and it's for the best.

49 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers