The program’s 17 editions resulted in the implementation of more than 2,800 projects involving approx. 142,000 participants (indirectly nearly 450,000 people have been involved) and stimulation as well as integration of local communities around activities benefiting children and youth.
Within the program, NGOs, community centers, libraries and informal groups apply for grants to finance projects stimulating the intellectual and creative aspirations of children and teenagers, developing their ability to achieve independently and realistically set goals, shaping active and open attitudes. Such projects also encourage efforts benefiting their communities and enable young people to participate in activities extending beyond the standard curricula offered by schools. In 2017, 124 projects were funded within the All-Poland Grant Competition and the Regional Grant Competition.
Rounding out the program are training sessions for project coordinators. The sessions deal with ways of conducting projects, particularly emphasizing the involvement of young people in the role of active creators, participants and direct implementers of an undertaking. The project coordinators can also take advantage of ICT training sessions.
Also in 2017, another edition of the summer school for 24 most active project participants took place. Its objective was to improve the skills of social initiatives implementation targeted at local environment and development of leadership skills. The summer school graduates have the opportunity to obtain a grant for carrying out short-term projects benefitting their local communities.
An important component of the “Equal Opportunities” Program are its Local Forums, held by organizations participating in the program. The Forums are a place for institutions and individuals involved in activities benefiting the youth in their communities to discuss the potential of the local environment as well as barriers limiting the development opportunities for young people living in small towns. In 2016, 10 forums were held with participation of 300 people.
The program’s seventeen editions resulted in the implementation of more than 2,800 projects involving approx. 142,000 participants (indirectly nearly 450,000 people have been involved) and stimulation as well as integration of local communities around activities benefiting children and youth. 27 publications have been issued, describing the methodology of selected model projects, which could be implemented in other parts of Poland.
The publications are available at the program’s website www.rownacszanse.pl. In addition, 150 local non-governmental organizations have been established and many projects are continued after the financial support provided by the program ceases.
Through the program the Foundation provides support to the “Young Explorer Clubs” initiative, which is an extension of the model project launched in 2002 by the Education Society of Kłodzko and currently implemented by the Copernicus Science Center. The goal of the “Young Explorer Clubs” is to promote interest in science among children and youth. The Clubs are based on learning through discovery and self-directed experiments with simple and easily accessible materials. Last year, the sixth edition of the “Young Explorer Clubs” Forum was held which gathered more than 300 people. The forum is the platform of contacts and exchange of experiences, serving also the promotion of Young Explorer Clubs. The “Young Explorer Clubs” network comprises almost 700 clubs, including those established in Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Georgia.
The Foundation has disbursed $13,521,555, including $73,351 for the current edition of the program.