Non-governmental organizations play an important role in counteracting the effects of the pandemic, however at the same time they themselves feel its effects and are facing financial problems which force them to reduce the scope and scale of their activities. The “2020 Relief Fund for NGOs and Civic Initiatives” offers support to organizations, especially these that have undertaken activities in response to the crisis situation. The budget of the Fund is $1 million. Support for organizations carrying out programs of the Foundation at the national level was launched in May and presently the second stage, addressed to regional and local organizations involved in implementation of PAFF programs, is ongoing. It will be offered primarily to the network of Act Locally Centers and organizations engaged in the “Study Tours to Poland” Program.
Act Locally Centers are NGOs that act as key partners in the “Act Locally” Program – they carry out grant competitions in 650 municipalities and rural communes all over Poland supporting grassroots initiatives that meet local residents’ needs. The Centers cooperate with other NGOs, informal groups of citizens, schools, cultural institutions, libraries, as well as local governments and businesses. Thanks to the cooperation of PAFF and the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland with the network of Act Locally Centers, over the last twenty years it was possible to finance 11,500 projects worth almost PLN 47 million and involving 220,000 volunteers.
The “Study Tours to Poland” Program, managed by the Leaders of Change Foundation, involves NGOs from all over Poland. The task is to organize study tours for the best university students as well as professionals from Eastern Europe and other post-communist countries. The objective of those tours is the sharing of Polish experiences in transformation started in 1989, and at the same time supporting participants in their efforts to introduce changes in their own countries. The Polish host organizations acquaint them with the principles of a democratic state of law institution building and functioning, civil society, free market economy, and European integration. They do it through organizing seminars, lectures, as well as meetings with representatives of the academic community, NGOs, the business community and media. Since 2004 over 10,000 people from a dozen of East European, Central Asia and South Caucasus countries have participated in the “Study Tours to Poland” Program.
Thanks to the financial support under the “Relief Fund” some 30 organizations that cooperate with PAFF will receive grants of up to PLN 15,000. The grants will go toward institutional assistance but also to certain activities addressed to communities or individual recipients of the initiatives.
It is planned that another stage of the “2020 Relief Fund for NGOs and Civic Initiatives” will be launched in July. It will be addressed to other organizations whose activities are convergent with PAFF’s mission and which are active in the following areas: the quality of education and equal educational opportunities for children and young people, including inter-generational projects; local communities’ development and activation; as well as sharing the Polish experiences with partners from the East.
The “2020 Relief Fund for NGOs and Civic Initiatives” is managed by the Education for Democracy Foundation which for many years has been the PAFF’s partner in operating the “Region in Transition” (RITA) Program.
For more information please contact:
Martyna Bogaczyk, President, Education for Democracy Foundation
tel. 601 458 653
Marianna Hajdukiewicz, Program Director, Polish-American Freedom Foundation
tel. 22 550 28 00