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Community center for children

The Ocalenie Foundation labors toward the wellbeing of  children and youth that have refugee and migration experience. We aim to provide them with safe conditions to learn, play and develop. As part of the Help Center for Foreigners, we offer psychological help to the youngest. In 2022 children have benefited from our help.

Ocalenie Foundation runs day care centers for all children and their families with migration, including refugee experience. We aim to counteract social exclusion by creating a friendly and safe space for them. We try to level their opportunities by providing them with daily learning support and helping them integrate.

Our community centers in Warsaw are open from Monday to Friday in the afternoon. They are attended by children aged 6-12 years. At the center they can play, develop their skills and interests, get help in preparing for classes, and participate in Polish language classes. In 2023, more than 200 children participated in activities organized in 4 Warsaw day care centers. They were looked after by 9 caregivers, as well as by 6 volunteers who supported the children in their studies. The day care centers are staffed by people with appropriate pedagogical and psychological qualifications.

The center is open to every child with migration, including refugee experience. The child’s stay in the facility is voluntary and free of charge, based on the child’s and parent’s application. We do not accept children for holiday period only – enrollment is conducted only for the long-term.

If you would like to enroll your child in our day care center, please write to us at [email protected]

We will contact you and tell you how to do it.

“Wiedza do potęgi” is a tutoring program with a goal to support the education of foreign youth, primarily those who face difficulties in learning and are at risk of discontinuing their education. Program participants receive assistance in their studies, including individual meetings with a tutor, tutoring sessions, workshops, group meetings, and cultural outings. Program staff members are also in constant contact with the families of the participants, offering them necessary support.

During the school year 2023/2024, 100 children have received support from the program among which some are from Chechnya, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Yemen, and Venezuela.

The program is dedicated for individuals who meet the specified criteria:

Legally reside in the territory of Poland ( within Mazovia Voivodeship).
Are between 9 and 17 years old.
Voluntarily expressed their desire to participate in the program.
Attend elementary or secondary school.
Do not receive similar educational assistance from subjects other than schools, such as other non-governmental organizations.
Have a sufficient command of the Polish language to utilize the support provided within the program.
Are not engaged in paid employment to an extent that hinders their education and compliance with compulsory schooling and learning obligations as per the prevailing law.
Priority for participation in the program is given to individuals residing in Poland based on refugee status, subsidiary protection, consent for tolerated stay, consent for humanitarian reasons, temporary protection, humanitarian visa, temporary stay permit granted for other specific circumstances as defined in Article 186(1)(9) of the Act on Foreigners, as well as individuals in the process of applying for international protection in Poland.
During the selection the participants we prioritize those with refugee status, subsidiary protection, tolerated status, consent for humanitarian reasons, temporary protection, humanitarian visa, temporary stay permit granted for other specific circumstances as defined in Article 186(1)(9) of the Act on Foreigners, as well as those children that are in the process of applying for international protection in Poland.

Form of support

Each child participating in the program receives assistance from a volunteer and on the top of that an ongoing academic support.
Participants can take up tutoring classes in subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology.
Students in 8th grade and high school can participate in group classes for Polish, mathematics, and English, which prepare them for exams.
Participants are under the care of program staff members who support their families and monitor the child’s progress.
Each participant can participate in group meetings and recreational and cultural outings.
Individuals in need receive psychological or psychotherapeutic support.

Scholarship

Each of the individuals participating in the program can apply for a scholarship for the duration of the school year. The scholarship covers the educational needs of the student as well as school fees (parent council fees, insurance, lunches, field trips, and textbooks). Since 2018, a total of 78 scholarships have been awarded.

In the school year 2023/24, 36 individuals are receiving scholarships.

CPC can offer you psychological and psychotherapeutic assistance after the first consultation at our headquarters.  We provide support for adults, children and adolescents in the following languages: Polish, English, Arabic, Ukrainian, Russian, French, Farsi, Dari and Tajic. We are able to organize consultations in other languages with the support of a trained translator.

In August 2022, the Ocalenie Foundation launched the “Schools’ Support” programme. The aim of this programme is to assist the integration and adaptation of children and their parents with migrant/refugee experience. The programme also supports schools in creating a welcoming multicultural environment for children with migrant/refugee experience and their parents by organizing trainings, workshops and webinars.  

As part of the Schools Support programme, we have a range of activities aimed at integrating children with migration experience and their parents in Polish schools. 

Support in the form of Intercultural Assistants (IAs) in two primary schools in Warsaw. 

The presence of assistants in schools helps pupils to better understand their new educational environment, facilitates communication and integration. Intercultural Assistants:

  • translate language, Polish culture and customs both in and out of class;
  • cooperate with the school pedagogue and class teachers, stay in touch with parents/guardians/carers of children with migration/refugee experience;
  • support children and adolescents with migrant experience during lessons, breaks and extracurricular activities according to the schedule agreed upon with the school management, including, but not limited to: translate the teacher’s instructions, assist with learning on school grounds (e.g., help prepare for classes, exams, help improve grades);
  • build a relationship between the school and foreign students, support in the process of resolving conflicts related to cultural differences, national origin, ethnicity, religion; (between students, parents and students, Polish and Ukrainian parents, etc.);
  • conduct additional activities, classes/workshops on multiculturalism (developing interests, integration).

Assistance in the form of educational materials in the mother tongue of children with migration experience (books in Ukrainian and Russian)

The aim of this action: 

  • to provide access to children’s literature in the so-called first language for children from Ukraine which will give them the opportunity to assimilate the content of the readings with full understanding and will translate into the possibility of fuller participation in Polish language classes, and in the long term will also contribute to preserving their own linguistic/cultural identity, which plays a very important role in the integration process and prevents the occurrence of assimilation;
  • co-creation of an open and inclusive library space with equal access to the various library collections (also in Ukrainian and Russian), which will contribute to the creation of an inclusive and equal space;
  • addressing the needs of schools to equip libraries for new Ukrainian students, which will facilitate the work of Polish language teachers and support the Polish language learning process for Ukrainian students.

Training for schools (school administration, teachers and other school staff who work on a daily basis with children with migration/refugee experience and their parents. 

As part of this activity, we share our expertise with the teaching staff, built on many years of experience of working directly with children and families with migration and refugee experience, including those from Chechnya, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Afghanistan, Tajikistan. The training scenarios have been developed by Kinga Białek, psychologist and intercultural trainer, together with Tahmina Rajabova, education specialist for children with migration/refugee experience, Schools Support programme manager at the Ocalenie Foundation.

Our training offer covers the areas of:

  1. Creating a child-friendly school for children with migration and refugee experience.
  2. First integration: how to support children with migration and refugee experience and their parents/guardians in a Polish school.
  3. Methods of work in the multicultural classes.
  4. Stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination.
  5. Refugees/migrants

Each thematic training session lasts 3 hours in online or offline format.

Assistance in the form of an Education Package for parents/guardians, students with migration experience. 

As part of the activities we prepared an Educational package for parents/guardians, students with migration experience in 3 language versions (Polish, Ukrainian and Russian). 

From the educational package you will learn:

  • what the Polish education system is like,
  • how Polish school works, how to enroll in school (primary and secondary school),
  • how the school should support children and parents with the experience of migration, so that they find their way in the new school environment as soon as possible.

The package also contains practical information, e.g. how to use Librus, a glossary of school terms, sample school forms so that parents know how to write an excuse for their child. 

The package helps children and parents with migration experience to feel better and safer in Polish school. It helps children learn and develop even though their knowledge of Polish is at a beginner’s level or not at all.

Integration activities – Classes/workshops for children in Warsaw schools on multicultural issues 

The aim of our classes is to show children that the world is diverse, inhabited by people of many cultures, traditions and religions, but that in this diversity there is no better or worse – we are all equally human and all deserve respect.

NEWS

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