The objective of the program, launched in March 2020, is to support initiatives of non-governmental organizations aimed at mitigating and/or counteracting the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and offering aid to organizations in difficult situations resulting from the pandemic.
The program was addressed to organizations involved in the implementation of PAFF’s programs (e.g. Act Locally Centers) as well as those that haven’t cooperated with the Foundation before but whose activities match its mission.
Under the first round, carried out from April 2020 to the end of 2021, grants of over PLN 5 million went to 158 organizations, including 15 acting as PAFF Program Managers, 36 PAFF Regional Partners (Act Locally Centers and organizations involved in the “Study Tours to Poland” program) as well as 83 other foundations and associations that submitted their applications in two open competitions. Grants awarded under the “Relief Fund” helped adjust the program beneficiaries’ activities to the pandemic situation; first of all to implement new projects, often of an intervention nature, addressed to people who need assistance the most. Organizations also received institutional support in the form of donations to cover administrative and payroll costs.
As PAFF, its partners and other NGOs’ experiences revealed, the pandemic and resulting social isolation have had an especially negative impact on the education of children and young people, primarily those living in villages and small towns, and from environments at risk of social exclusion. The main objective of the competitions held in 2021 and under the program’s new edition running since January 2022 is thus to support civic initiatives in the following areas: minimizing learning losses, ensuring security and improving mental and physical health of children and young people, as well as counteracting their social isolation.
In 2022, the program launched two rounds of open call for grants. A total of PLN 3 mln was channeled to 81 projects. Actions, taken mainly by local NGOs, directly engaged children and young people living in areas with populations under 20,000 residents, including disabled and migrant children, and children from families coping with economic stress.
In 2022, the program provided support also to eight projects where previous edition participants developed particularly valuable methods of levelling the playing field in education for children affected by the pandemic.
The Foundation has disbursed $2,581,160, including $717,647 for the current edition.