The ''Strong Girls'' program founded by Defne, a high school student living in Switzerland, opened the doors of the world to young girls in Turkey. The interest in the program, which brings together those who want to improve their English-speaking skills with volunteers from all around the world, online and free of charge,is growing every day.
The "Strong Girls" program, implemented by Defne, a high school student living in Switzerland, opened the doors of the world to young girls in Turkey. Interest in the program, which brings together those who want to improve their English speaking skills with volunteer trainers from all over the world, online and free of charge, is growing day by day.
Pınar TAHİRLER- Defne Tangülü is a 17-year-old high school student. He continues his education in Switzerland. Believing that women should stand on their own feet, Tangülü launched the 'Strong Girls' project in 2019, based on the idea that speaking English is especially important for success in business life. As part of the program, volunteers from all over the world offer free English speaking lessons. Its students are young girls and women in Turkey. Defne Tangu answered our questions about the program.
How did the story "Strong Girls" begin?
In many parts of the world, women are not equipped to live an independent life. They do not always have the same educational opportunities as men. Based on this, I started the Strong Girls charity program in May 2019. It was originally a small website. With our development of the mobile application, it has become a great aid program. To date, 200 volunteers have given lessons to 1000 young girls and women.
How did you dare to implement such a project when you were 14-15 years old?
To be honest, I never expected it to grow this big. But in this process, I did not hesitate to ask for help in matters that I did not know.
What did they say when you told your parents about the project?
They were very happy. They always stood behind me. I got a lot of help from my brother, my parents.
What was the reaction of your environment?
I guess they didn't take it seriously at first. Later, when they understood the purpose of the program, they also supported. They said, 'Good luck'. I get a lot of appreciation for being so sensitive at this age and for dedicating time to this project.
You live abroad. How is the English speaking level of the young girls there?
They start teaching English from an early age in schools in Northern, Western and Central European countries. Weekly lessons are too long. The education is given by teachers who speak English like a mother tongue.
Why is it important for young girls to be able to speak English?
I think that knowledge of English is necessary for success, especially in business life. When I moved from Turkey to Switzerland, I realized that speaking was the hardest part, even though I didn't know English. When young girls speak English, they can follow the world, study abroad, and communicate when they go abroad.
How is the participant profile? Who is interested in the program?
There are participants of all ages, but the majority are university students or recent graduates. Average age; 25. Istanbul, Balikesir, Urfa, Gaziantep, Giresun and Elazig... There are participants from many cities.
Who can teach?
Men and women who speak good English from many countries such as Turkey, USA, England, Germany. They don't have to be teachers. Ages between 20-60. There are also teachers and students among them, business people, engineers, artists...
Students' English level may be different. Are the lessons shaped accordingly?
Lessons are planned according to the speaking level of the student. In the mobile application, a course is 10 lessons, but anyone can continue.
How do students or volunteers participate in the program?
Matching takes place via the 'Strong Girls' app.
THOSE TAKING COURSE TELL
‘I DETECTED MY DEFECTS MORE EASY WITH THE SUPPORT OF MY VOLUNTEER TEACHER’
I am a final year civil engineering student. Thanks to the 'Strong Girls' application, I met my volunteer teacher. He encouraged me to speak English. Thanks to his feedback, I identified my shortcomings more easily and supported me in grammar issues that I was lacking. (A.U., Izmir)
'I MEET STRONG, INTELLIGENT GIRLS FROM ALL OVER TURKEY'
I meet strong, smart girls from all over Turkey. On the one hand, getting to know them and on the other
It is a great pleasure to be able to leave a positive impact on their lives while learning something. (A.A., New York, USA)
It is a pleasure to support an educated young girl who has high capacity and self-belief, even though she does not have enough opportunities, and tries to do her best. (N.B., Doha, Qatar)
During class, we talk about my students' future plans. They also want to learn about my life journey and find tips to reach their goals. (Z.D., London, England)