Educator volunteers in the Gülen movement

Educator volunteers in the Gülen movement

The Gülen Movement provides educational opportunities to youth, who otherwise could not attend higher educational institutions. What inspires them to eventually volunteer as educators themselves throughout the world?

Since they were raised within the movement and since they were extended hands during their education by the movement, many youth internalized Gulen’s teachings regarding human, society, and “right conduct” and shared his ideals. For the sake of their beliefs and nation, by pushing far beyond the borders of time and space, they became volunteers, in order to share with others what they learned. They have learned that, in order to do something for one’s nation, country, or ideals, voluntarism does not require having great titles or positions. According to Gulen, those who are not seriously involved with faith and the hereafter cannot understand these motives, but they can be excused for not understanding. Below are Mr. Gulen’s own words about these educators:

These people, without knowing anyone, went to strange countries. They have gone to Malaysia and Indonesia; they have gone to countries the names of which you are unaware of. They went to countries in Africa. They have said, “In our religion, migration is a very important factor. Our ancestors took advantage of this dynamic as well.” They went with this thought. One went, another took him as a role model, learned a lesson, he/ she also went. Another and another went. But wherever they went, they were able to find only one address [of a familiar person] or perhaps none at all. I presented this at different occasions. …… I did not know the name Tuva. I did not know its place, either. If you told me to mark its place on the map, I couldn’t. We knew the Mongolians a little but I could not mark its place on the map.

It is understood from this statement that the people who come together with the responsibility of citizenshipderived lessons for their own life, society, and humanity. As a result of these lessons, they utilized the [service] opportunities that they were presented. They were convinced that what they did would increase the quality of life of others, and they were not stingy in extending a hand. They convinced Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and others in far away countries that the reason they were in their countries was only to develop a common culture of living and to contribute to world peace. When they saw that others believed in them and accepted them as one of themselves, they worked with extra diligence and passion. Their passion and their actions have generated an international circle of volunteers around the movement. The children that they raised and the youth that they educated expanded that circle and solidified and strengthened it. This resulted in the movement taking roots in many countries.

Source:  Summarized from “Ergil, Doğu. 2012. Fethullah Gülen & The Gulen Movement in 100 Questions. New York: Blue Dome Press. Pages 175-176.”

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