The Matter of Education Foundation
Project’s aim is raising civic awareness and mobilising activism of 60 secondary school students in 2 small towns in the North of Poland, Rumia & Reda.It offers workshops, youth fundraising, participation of youth in voluntary actions,cooperation of schools, social care units, NGOs, local business.Volunteers will renovate houses of persons experiencing poverty on the grounds of senior age and disability.Model of strengthening local democracy will be developed and disseminated for replication.
2 small towns Rumia & Reda >50k inhabitants near Tricity (Gdynia, Gdańsk, Sopot) in North Poland
In Rumia&Reda we found a serious deficit of social participation of youth. None of local NGOs or secondary schools offers education of young volunteers or regular volunteer program neither locally, nor internationally. And the demand for volunteer workforce in the region is high - a large group of elderly and disabled people need assistance - senior age and health problems are the main factors of poverty. Simultaneously, there are many passive young adults - NEETs (not in employment, education, living with parents). There is a correlation between insufficient efforts to engage the youth for the community and the passivity of this group afterwards when they join NEETs (source of data: our research; Social Revitalization Program for the Municipality of Rumia & Reda, 2017-2030).
To improve participation of the youth in life of community in North Poland we’ll organise civic workshops for 60-80 young volunteers (age of 16-18) and min. 20 full day volunteer actions in renovating houses of people in need. The project will activate youths, improve their social competences, reveals their initiative and management skills.
The project will connect various members of the community: schools, teachers, volunteers, NGOs, local government units (social care), local business - around one social goal: in order to improve housing condition of inhabitants experiencing poverty because of old age and disability.
We’ll offer a chance to join the project to 60 students of high schools in Rumia&Reda, small towns near Tricity.The target group will be attracted by promotion in social media, films and presentations about volunteering displayed at schools at recruitment sessions; the youth will be surveyed on problems of local community to check their willingness to help people in need. The convinced students submit a written declaration to join the project.
The project will be implemented in cooperation with teaching staff of 3 high schools (at least 6 teachers and headmasters), at least 3 local NGOs and social care units with whom we establish cooperation.Local partners will help us to contact people in difficult housing situation for the sake of whom volunteering actions will be organized.
1. Civic education workshop for youths:
●analysis of actual situation of people whom volunteers would help - people with disabilities, the elderly in Rumia and Reda; skills developed during volunteering, benefits, motivations; how to involve in NGOs mission; how to volunteer abroad;
●Fundraising for youth: attracting donors, charity events, crowdfunding.
2. Volunteer actions:
min. 20 days of renovations (4x 5-day actions) in housing premises, adapting them to the needs of residents e.g.bathroom adapted to a disabled person’s, renovating kitchen for an elderly person; young volunteers get insurance, transport, meals, OHS training, technical supervision, evaluation.
3. Disseminating a local democracy model based on youth volunteering and community cooperation (social media, webinars).
Changes and results to be achieved:
●60 school students -passive before the project - activated after civic workshops and series of volunteering experiences
●3 housing premises renovated by youth as volunteers for people in need
●3 School Volunteer Clubs set up by young leaders during the project to be run afterwards
●model of local cooperation based on youth volunteerism-tested and disseminated beyond Rumia&Reda for replication (e-publication report, films on renovation actions,social media) passive social attitude of youths changed; satisfaction, measurable effects of youth’s voluntary activity and the sense of being a good citizen felt by young volunteers; positive project experience preserved in memory of youths and increased willingness for solidarity in future locally or globally
Shortage of civic initiative among young people in Poland is confirmed by EU reports (e.g. Eurobarometer) and in other EU countries. Only 15%-20% of young Poles are involved in civic society. Young Poles at the age of 15–24 declare the lowest interest in politics among other age groups and the lowest % of voter turnout (sources: http://mlodzi2018.pl; https://www.europarl.europa.eu/).
The proposed civic education model based on youth volunteering contributes to strengthening democracy in Europe through fostering key competence of young generation providing youth with awareness and skills needed for local and cross-country solidarity; preparing youths for participation in local and international volunteer and youth exchange programs e.g. European Solidarity Corps, Erasmus, Youth in Action.
Our foundation was created against discrimination and for civic education of youth.We believe all young people- in small or big agglomerations- should have equal chances for education, satisfactory relationships and good future.To achieve this a young person should be active, with initiative, open for others in a community, ready to give support, generate ideas and enforce them, integrate with peers in Europe, have opportunity to fight for an important cause. As civic education of the youth in Poland is neglected by schools and parents we feel motivated to provide youth with regular volunteer program to increase their social participation, initiative, communication skills, readiness to show solidarity locally and internationally - to shape key competence of young Poles as European citizens
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Civic education trainers 7200 EUR
Promotion (website, films, prints) 2900 EUR
Teachers & specialist activating volunteers 2600 EUR
Civic Education Model (e-publication) 500 EUR
Local travels 500 EUR
Insurance of volunteers 100 EUR
Lunch and drinks for workshops and 20-day voluntary actions 1800 EUR
Voluntary actions' cost (construction materials, equipment) 12400 EUR
Technical supervision 4100 EUR
Management cost -project coordination, accounting 9200 EUR
Project Summary Gala 1000 EUR
-methods of recruiting and motivating young volunteers
-fundraising strategies for sustainability of our mission
- promoting volunteering among the youth
-joining a network of international partners interested in our model of civic education in order to replicate it beyond Poland