The “Relief Fund for NGOs and Civic Initiatives” is a program of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation run in cooperation with the Education for Democracy Foundation. Its objective is to support organizations in particularly difficult situation resulting from COVID-19 pandemic and counteract the social impact of pandemic.
Several months after the pandemic started PAFF and the Education for Democracy Foundation (the Program Manager), decided that children and youth education under the conditions of social isolation and distance learning is the main problem and activities aimed at improving that situation shall be given priority. Therefore a special grant path was launched in the beginning of 2021 aimed at supporting initiatives focused on teaching, educating and social development of children and young people in villages and small towns as well as in environments disadvantaged at the time of pandemic and the following period of gradual easing of restrictions in social life.
477 organizations seated all over Poland applied to the competition announced in February 2021. Initially the fund earmarked for grants was PLN 1 m but in the light of huge number of organizations which presented very important problems in their applications and offered high quality actions aimed at counteracting the effects of pandemic diagnosed by them, PAFF has decided to increase the competition’s budget. That allowed to award 46 grants worth a total of nearly PLN 1.8 m.
The awarded projects will be implemented from June to November 2021. They will include such activities as:
- preparing the coaches to run an innovative preventive and psycho-educational program for young people in villages and small towns,
- a series of workshops combining social skills training and Lego robotics for children from 7 to 9 years old,
- peer volunteering for children of refugee or foreign families to help them adjust to new life,
- comprehensive educational and psychological support for children with imprisoned parents.
The organizations can also use a part of the grant for their own institutional development and improvement of their staff’s and volunteers’ competences necessary for operating in the new post-pandemic situation.
The “Relief Fund for NGOs and Civic Initiatives” was launched in 2020 and initially its objective was to offer aid to organizations in very difficult situation resulting from COVID-19 pandemic as well as support their activities aimed at counteracting social effects of pandemic in their local communities. To date, almost 150 organizations were awarded grants in a total amount of almost PLN 5 m. That allowed the organizations to adjust their program operations to the pandemic situation, and to start new projects, often of intervention nature, addressed to people who are particularly in need of help. The organizations also got institutional support – their administrative and wage and salary costs were subsidized.