The objective of the program is to support activities of Polish non-governmental organizations carried out in cooperation with their partners in Ukraine, as well as operations conducted in Poland to the benefit of refugees from Ukraine. Funding is also available for coordinating Polish NGOs’ activities for Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees (also in cooperation with other institutions and/or communities).
Priority is given to those NGOs that have well-established cooperation with their partners in Ukraine, as well as those operating in Polish villages and small towns where Ukrainian war escapees are arriving and staying.
Under open grant competitions, “Support for Ukraine” provides funding for projects which, among others, provide Ukrainian children and youth with education and care during their stay in Poland, and support those staying in Ukraine; deliver legal, civic, professional, psychological aid to Ukrainian refugees in Poland, along with assistance in accessing public services; prevent any potential acts of discrimination and hostility against Ukrainian refugees in Poland, counteract disinformation, and provide reliable information about the Ukrainian refugee community in Poland and the situation in Ukraine.
„Support for Ukraine” builds on a special initiative launched as part of “Region in Transition” (RITA), a PAFF program that the Education for Democracy Foundation has managed for more than two decades. In the first days of March 2022, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the immediate aid efforts of Polish NGOs, “RITA” opened an ad-hoc “Ukrainian pathway” in its grant competition. All organizational and financial “RITA” resources available at the time were redirected to the new path. Once “Support for Ukraine” was established, the “Ukrainian path” became part of the newly created, separate program. In March 2022, 422 NGOs presented their initiatives in the competition for grants for the intervention projects. On the basis of assessment by independent experts and the decision made by the Grant Committee, grants were awarded to 59 projects; 44 implemented in 14 Polish provinces, and 15 in Ukraine. The intervention projects were aimed at protecting the life and health of the civilian population in Ukraine, i.a. evacuation within Ukraine and to other countries, supplying medical and personal protection items, supporting medical staff, humanitarian aid workers, and journalists; equipping and adapting locations that help civilians function under the conditions of war (e.g. buying camp beds, blankets, telecommunication equipment, generators, etc.), as well as supporting Ukrainian refugees in Poland, among others providing them with accommodation, means of subsistence, food, transport, as well as psychological, legal and informational aid.
The second intervention grant competition, announced in the fall of 2022, was addressed to Polish NGOs that carry out activities improving access of Ukrainian children and young people–both those staying in Poland and those living in Ukraine–to school and non-school education. A total of 96 submissions were filed, and 24 projects received funding. These are aimed at, among others, organizing support in the areas of psychology, teaching and upbringing; hiring intercultural assistants at schools; giving learners the possibility of studying their mother language (Ukrainian language, literature, history, etc.) in the Polish educational system, holding remedial classes, and assisting IDPs from south-western Ukraine (two projects in Ukraine).
The second program pathway focuses on supporting long-term projects. In June 2022, 246 projects were submitted to the competition for long-term actions. The Grant Committee selected 33 projects, which are currently being implemented in 14 Polish voivodeships, whilst eight projects are being run in Ukraine. Project actions will continue until July 2023 and will cover, among others, Polish language teaching, psychological aid for refugees staying in Poland and IDPs in Ukraine, career support for disabled IDPs, and preparing intercultural assistants at Polish schools.
Two open calls have been scheduled for 2023. The results of the first competition, which attracted 215 applications, were announced in April. The Grant Committee awarded funding to 29 projects. 19 projects are being run in Poland, and 10 in Ukraine. The selected projects aim to support war refugees from Ukraine staying in Poland by providing them with legal and public service advisory, psychological aid, as well as assisting Ukrainian children and youth in acquiring formal and non-formal education, and supporting local communities in Ukraine, especially those which accepted high numbers of IDPs. The purpose of several projects is to counteract potential acts of discrimination and hostility that refugees from Ukraine may be exposed to in Poland. One project seeks to combat disinformation and deliver reliable information about the community of Ukrainian refugees in Poland and the situation in Ukraine. Project activities will continue until December 2023.
The next call for projects will be announced in September 2023.
The Foundation has disbursed $2,349,254, including $1,334,630 for the current edition of the program.