They focus on a specific field of science, subject, or a selected scope of activity; these can be visual art classes, artistic classes, sport activities, IT classes, theatrical or language classes. The program encourages pupils to develop their skills by promoting positive role models and, at the same time, it shapes university students’ sense of social responsibility and solidarity while providing them with an attractive way to discover and fulfil their passions and interests.
Since 2003 more than 40,000 educational projects have been organized across Poland, more than 2,800 schools with 14,700 volunteer students involving more than 430,000 pupils.
The program gained support from two former Prime Ministers: Professor Jerzy Buzek and Professor Marek Belka, who during the 2007 summer holidays took on the role of volunteers and taught classes for school pupils in several rural communes. In 2012, in cooperation with the Chancellery of Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, the Modern Patriotism project was carried out as part of the program where Chancellery Ministers and Advisors visited schools in small localities. The project was designed to stimulate discussion about patriotism, shaping citizen attitudes in young people, introducing them to national symbols and local traditions, as well as promoting respect and tolerance.
Since 2011 the projects carried out by volunteer students as part of the program have been regularly monitored and evaluated. This is meant to both evaluate direct results of the entire program, and to observe its long-term influence. The biggest benefits mentioned by student-volunteers include opportunities to acquire new, practical experience, develop communication skills, meet people, and the opportunity for their social activity to be seen and appreciated by their alma maters. And, most importantly, the benefits of taking part in the “PROJECTOR” are emphasized by schools which mention: expanding the educational offer, increasing school attractiveness, and positive reception of the program by parents.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in 2020 the program was dominated by online activities. As part of the “Make the Cut to Online Knowledge” campaign, “PROJECTOR” volunteers prepared inspiring multimedia educational materials that were used by pupils, teachers, and parents. The initiative attracted great interest across social media. In total, it reached 450,000 people. Another campaign aimed to share student volunteers’ practical experiences in studying, consisted of 12 webinars attended by more than 2,600 high school graduates from all over Poland.
Between 2005 and 2010, the program was carried out by the Polish Association of Pedagogues and Animators “Klanza”. Later, until 2017, the program was implemented by the Foundation for the Development of Voluntary Service.
The Foundation has disbursed $7,634,670 including $159,640 for the current edition of the program.