TAU for Community project is addressed to Third Age Universities which will strengthen leadership competence of their students through the series of training sessions. They will also get support in building groups of volunteers willing to act not only for their neighborhood and local communities but also for development of their TAU. The support will be offered for the period of one year.
Financing the projects
1. Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” covers the cost of three TAU representatives participation in a series of four compulsory workshop meetings if the workshops are held in Warsaw (cost of travelling, accommodation and food during the workshops) and the costs of a coach care over groups of volunteers activities. It also offers a possibility to get a micro grant for implementation of a pilot activity of such groups.
2. The maximum amount of grant a group of volunteers can be awarded under the Project is PLN 1,800.
3. A group of volunteers may apply for a grant covering up to 100% of the total cost of their project provided that it is no more than PLN 1,800 (there is no requirement of own contribution).
4. The grant awarded for a project can finance:
- regular classes offered only to members or users of an organization,
- Regular courses, sports or recreational activities, computer classes, etc.,
- Emergency actions such as medical, care-taking, or material assistance,
- One-time events such as conferences, participation in a festival, a tourist trip or a training session (if such activities are essential for the project),
- Activities aimed at meeting political or religious objectives,
- Renovations, investments, purchase of fixed assets.
Academy of Volunteering and support by experienced coaches
The organizers will select three-person teams in 10 TAUs. Support for universities will include workshops conducted by experienced coaches, experience sharing with participants of previous rounds of the program, individualized support from tutors and a micro grant for activities of volunteers.
In the forthcoming round the organizers are prepared to hold workshops and consultations online. Since COVID-19 epidemic started they have supported TAUs’ community activities in hybrid reality, with emphasis on planning activities that are secure for seniors.
TAUs can implement their author projects or use one of three proven good and well-described ideas: create a kindness hotline for lonely people, set up a portable garden, carry out a project based on local history. They will be offered individualized coach support in building a group, planning, and implementing a social activity.
Over 200 people in 70 TAUs all over Poland have already been trained under the project. ‘We have had enough opportunities to test various solutions step by step. Our TAU TAU For Local Communities. How To Build A Group Of Volunteers And Act Socially publication sums up six rounds of the project and shows tried out mode of operating. We would like to encourage you to learn that worked-out model and implement your own volunteering projects. We offer you our support,’ Marta Białek-Graczyk, president of the Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” says. ‘Third Age University volunteering means intergenerational meetings, strengthening seniors’ ability to act. It’s the time for bonds,’ Anna Jurkiewicz, TAU for Communities project coordinator adds.
Strength in seniors
TAU for Local Communities project is financed by Polish-American Freedom Foundation that has been cooperating with TAU environment for 15 years. ‘Since the very inception we’ve seen in TAU students the leaders of activation movement for a growing group of seniors. Activation that not only has positive impact on those interested but also serves common good and leads to civil engagement,’ Katarzyna Świątkiewicz, Program Officer at Polish-American Freedom Foundation says. ‘Our many-year experience in cooperation with people 60+ shows that volunteering allows to turn one’s hobbies and passions into something that positively changes reality, neighborhood, and just helps other people,’ she adds.
Implementation of own ideas gives people sense of satisfaction and ability to act effectively. We managed to establish relationships, overcome the age barriers and build real intergenerational integration,’ Halina Echaust of TAU in Sieraków says. And Helena Kurza of TAU in Białymstok tells us about advantages brought by participation in a project: ‘We have learned to cooperate as a group, listen to each other, take into account comments of those more experienced than we.’ In turn Elżbieta Powroziewicz of TAU in Błonie sums up experiences of kindness hotline authors as follows: ‘We’ve learned to be tolerant and patient to each other, and to replace each other in emergency situations. But first of all, we’ve learned to enjoy what we do.
Implementation of this year’s round of TAU TAU For Local Communities is planned for the period from November 2020 to October 2021. Deadline for applications to the project is on November 8, 2020.
Detailed information, application form and electronic version of How To Build A Group Of Volunteers And Act Socially publication are available on: www.utwdlaspolecznosci.pl.
The project is a part of “Third Age Universities” Program of Polish-American Freedom Foundation managed by the Association of Creative Initiatives “ę”.