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.
The second grant competition held in 2021 focused on education-related issues. It helped implement many currently pending, important projects. These vary in terms of intervention type and subject matter. They engage children, youth, teachers, caretakers, and parents. Half of the projects has been directed to communities living in localities with populations of up to 50,000 residents, while others involved helping social groups based in larger urban centers. Those included a peer volunteering initiative titled “Older Brother, Older Sister” that provided comprehensive support to children of imprisoned parents as well as psychological assistance to wards of socio-therapeutic centers. The project also led to the establishment of the “School for Parents” initiative, and the drafting of a report on the situation of Roma children in Cracow schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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. Therefore, the main objective of the program’s new round, for the years 2022-2023, is to support civic initiatives in the following areas: counteracting and minimizing learning losses, improving effectiveness of teaching and learning in the pandemic, ensuring security and improving mental and physical health of children and young people as well as counteracting their social isolation.
The second edition of the program, launched in 2022, consists of two rounds of open grant competitions and a competition for projects that improve and implement good education practices developed in the first edition of the program. This will include holding webinars with experts in children’s and young people’s problems, workshops, and meetings enabling the networking of organizations. It is also planned to create a forum for organizations to share the knowledge they have gained and establish cooperation among these NGOs.
The Foundation has disbursed $1,850,240.