The program’s 18 editions resulted in the implementation of over 3,000 projects involving approximately 144,000 participants (indirectly nearly 460,000 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 realistically set and independently achieve 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 2018, a total of 137 projects were financed under the All-Poland Grant Competition and the Regional Grant Competitions. They cover a variety of subjects, including projects aimed at creating conditions for young people to act for their local communities, to learn about local traditions and history, as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle.
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 training offer for coordinators also covers such subjects as the use of ICT in educational projects’ management and ICT popularization.
In 2018, as in the past, another round of summer school for the most active participants of projects was organized. The objective of the school is to improve skills required for implementing social initiatives benefiting the local environment and to develop leadership competencies. Summer school graduates have the opportunity to receive a grant for short-term projects benefiting their local communities. Last year 24 people attended the summer school classes.
An important component of the “Equal Opportunities” Program is its Local Forums held by organizations participating in the program. The Forum is 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 obstacles limiting the development opportunities for young people living in small towns.
Last year 13 local forums were held, participated in by over 350 users.
The program’s eighteen editions resulted in the implementation of over 3,000 projects involving approximately 144,000 participants (indirectly nearly 460,000 people have been involved), plus stimulation as well as integration of local communities around activities benefiting children and youth.
29 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 seventh edition of the “Young Explorer Clubs” Forum was held which gathered 240 people. The forum is a platform of contacts and exchange of experiences, also serving to promote the “Young Explorer Clubs”. The “Young Explorer Clubs” network comprises almost 450 clubs, including several dozen established in Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Georgia.
The Foundation has disbursed $15,862,990, including $502,530 for the current edition of the program.