Best Buddies Turkey 2020-04-16T13:05:38+00:00


Best Buddies® is a non-profit organization that works to create opportunities for personal friendships, integrated employment, and leadership for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. It aims to establish a global volunteering movement.

Best Buddies® provides services for individuals suffering from Down’s syndrome, autism, fragile X syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain damage, and other mental or developmental disabilities that have not been diagnosed, while not limited to these communities.



Project Objectives

Best Buddies® envisions a world where those with intellectual or developmental disabilities are fully integrated into social life, education, professional life and their communities.

Project Activities

Best Buddies® Friendship Programs:

Buddy programs represent the three basic missions of the project. These programs help build friendships between intellectually or developmentally disabled people and those who do not have disabilities. They also improve the engagement and life quality of those who have been isolated and experienced exclusion. Those with intellectual or developmental disabilities attend the buddy programs and build meaningful bonds with their peers, gain self-confidence and individuality, and share their experiences as they spend time together.

– Middle School (Secondary/Junior High)
– High School
– Undergraduate

  • Citizenship: A buddy program for corporations and adults (For ages 18 and above)
  • e-Buddies: Online buddy platform. This program is run by the States, but one can apply for a membership if based in Turkey.
  • Assistant School: The schools that wish to acquaint themselves with the project can assist the schools that are already involved in the project for the duration of a semester.

Best Buddies® Employment Scheme:

The Employment Scheme is one of the three main missions of the projects and represents the ‘Integrated Employment’. This program enables those with intellectual or developmental disabilities to be employed and earn income, pay taxes, and continuously support themselves as independent individuals. Best Buddies focuses on the employment of the disabled people in white-collar jobs as receptionists, office assistants or retail partners.

Best Buddies® Leadership Development Program:
Leadership Development programs represent one of the main three missions of our project. The programs train those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in public speaking and leadership.

  • Inspirational Talks
  • Buddy Ambassadors: This program supports the youth in starting new Best Buddies programs and organizes special events to raise awareness about the rights of those with disabilities.

A Brief History and An Overview of Our Solutions to Social Issues

Best Buddies®, was founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver in 1989 as a non-profit organization. It is the first national integrated social and recreational program for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the US. As of 2017, the project of 28 years has been implemented in 54 countries across the globe and in 50 states in USA.

Best Buddies® Turkey, was founded in 2011 by Alternative Life Association (AYDER) after the accreditation process and after the acquisition of the accreditation rights, Turkey has become the 50. country to have implemented the project.

Best Buddies® is dedicated to ending the social, the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The programs in the project support those in our communities to form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve their public speaking skills along with self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.


Best Buddies® works on the principle of volunteering and values the impact of the volunteers. There are many ways to volunteer. Our three missions will help you find the most suitable way of volunteering for you.
You can be friends with people with disabilities, improving their level of inclusion, employ them and support their inclusion in professional life and empower their leadership skills and help discover their leadership potentials.

Those volunteering for the one-to-one friendship program;

  • accept to keep in touch once a week via phone calls, emails, text messaging, letters and/or social media with their buddies for one academic year in the school program, and for one year in the Citizenship program;
  • they also agree to meet in person twice a month either outside or somewhere they both agree to meet and talk about hobbies and interests they have in common.

Those who meet the project commitments are given the internationally recognized Best Buddies® International certificate.

How Can I Apply?
For all programs, both individual and corporate volunteering applications can be made via turkey@bestbuddies.org


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