The projects involve a specific field of knowledge, a subject or a selected area of activity, and consist of activities such as classes in fine arts, sports, information technology, theater, and linguistics. The program encourages pupils to develop their skills by promoting positive role models and shapes university students’ sense of social responsibility while providing them with an attractive way to discover and fulfill their passions and interests.
Since 2003, in all program editions, over 35,000 educational projects have been carried out all over Poland in 2,390 schools involving more than 13,000 student volunteers and 340,000 pupils.
The program was supported by two former prime ministers, professor Jerzy Buzek and professor Marek Belka, who in 2007 volunteered to conduct vacation activities for children in several rural communes. In 2012, the Foundation for the Development of Voluntary Service, in cooperation with the Chancellery of the President of Poland, carried out the “Modern Patriotism” project, in which Ministers and Advisors at the President’s Chancellery visited eight schools in small localities. The project under the honorary patronage of President Bronisław Komorowski was designed to popularize knowledge of patriotism, instill civic values among young people, teach local traditions and national symbols and foster tolerance and respect for other people.
Since 2011, the program has been monitored and projects carried out by student-volunteers have been evaluated on a regular basis. It serves both the direct measurement of the program results as well as recognition of its impact. Among the greatest advantages mentioned by student-volunteers are the opportunity to gain new, practical experiences, the development of communication skills, the possibility to establish new contacts, and the fact that schools of higher education acknowledge their civic activity. Educational institutions also find the program beneficial. It broadens their educational offer and improves school attractiveness making parents pleased that their children are part of the undertaking.
In 2017, 25 summer projects carried out by IT female students were implemented. Their objective was to increase schoolers’ interest in technology and formal sciences. The participants have learned basics of programming and robotics, as well as of 3D printing applications. The projects were implemented thanks to cooperation with Perspektywy Education Foundation which carried out the “IT for SHE” Program in Poland. A total of over 1,000 children from small towns and villages participated in these projects.
In the years 2005-2010 the Program was managed by the Polish Association of Pedagogues and Animators „Klanza”. Next, up until 2017, the program was managed by the Foundation for Development of Voluntary Service.
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education has assumed an honorary patronage over the program.
The Foundation has disbursed $6,214,367, including $102,407 for the current edition of the program.