PAFF launched this special grant program in response to the war in Ukraine. Support for Ukraine aims to assist NGOs which provide aid to civilians in Ukraine, as well as refugees who had fled to Poland from the war. Education for Democracy Foundation serves as Program Manager. To date, the Polish-American Freedom Foundation has earmarked PLN 5 million for the “Support for Ukraine” undertaking.
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 support activities of non-governmental organizations in Poland that are aimed at taking care 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 environments).
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 people who are escaping the war are arriving and staying.
Under open grant competitions, “Support for Ukraine” will provide funding for projects in such areas as: providing Ukrainian children and youth with education and care during their stay in Poland, and aiding those staying in Ukraine; delivering legal, civic, professional, psychological aid to Ukrainian refugees in Poland, along with assistance in accessing public services; counteracting any acts of discrimination and hostility against Ukrainian refugees in Poland, fighting disinformation, and providing reliable information about the Ukrainian refugee community in Poland and the situation in Ukraine.
„Support Ukraine” builds on a special initiative launched as part of “Region in Transition” (RITA), a PAFF program managed by Education for Democracy Foundation for more than two decades. In the first days of March 2022, in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the immediate aid efforts of Polish NGOs, “RITA” opened an ad-hoc “Ukrainian path” in its grant competition. All organizational and financial “RITA” resources available at the time were redirected to the new path. In line with earlier announcements, the “Ukrainian path” became part of a newly created, separate “Support for Ukraine” program.
In March 2022, 422 NGOs submitted applications to participate 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 applicants; 44 in 14 Polish provinces, and 15 in Ukraine. The intervention projects were aimed at securing 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 allow people to stay in them under the conditions of war (e.g. buying camp beds, blankets, telecommunications 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 June 2022 grant competition for long-term projects attracted 246 applications. The Competition Committee chose 33 projects, which are being implemented in 14 Polish provinces, and 8 in Ukraine. Among others, these projects provide Polish language courses, psychological assistance to refugees in Poland and IDPs in Ukraine, professional support for disabled IDPs, and preparing intercultural assistants at Polish schools.
The ad-hoc grant competition, announced in the fall of 2022, was addressed to Polish NGOs that carry out activities increasing access of Ukrainian children and young people to school and non-school education staying in Poland and in Ukraine. 96 submissions were filed, and 24 projects received funding.
The Foundation has disbursed $1,615,529, including $843,555 for the current edition.