This was a time of changes in the world, in Poland and in our Foundation. Next to our usual programmes we faced many challenges, especially since the beginning of the war in Ukraine and the current humanitarian crisis on the Polish-Belarussian boarder.
The Russian agression on Ukraine changed lives of millions of people dramatically. Poles did a lot of good together, and us in the Foundation of course tried to chip in our part. In a freeshop located in Siostry Plotą on pl. Hallera we gave out food, clothes and different urgently needed products for the first months of the war for around 2500 people. In April we created a support point for families: 68 women attended our polish lessons, orientation courses, workshops and support groups. In the end of summer, thanks to a UNHCR innitiative we created a BLUE DOT “Plich-o-plich” that we co-run with Polish Migration Forum (Polskie Forum Migracyjne) and Foundation Our Choice (Fundacja Nasz Wybór). There, we created a space for developement and play for small children – 146 preeschoolers found a safe space there.
In the autumn we started working intensly with refugee youth currently living in Humanitarian Aid Centre Modlińska 6D in Warsaw. Since October 57 boys and girls train football and volleyball, get to know Warsaw, it’s attractions and meet with polish youth. The programme is finansed by USAID.
In the shadow of the war in Ukraine the division between “good” and “bad” refugees continues. That’s why we keep growing our network of volunteers who help those crossing the Belarussian border. Last year it was 120 refugees in closed and open facilities. We also provide aid to different people without a polish passport, who ended up in Warsaw and need clothes, shoes, translators, basic emotional support, legal aid, sudden medical help and support in a search for a job.
This was another year of intense work in the local foreigner community in special centers. In the spring, CitiBank volunteers renovated our recreation room. In the summer in Dębak one of the buildings was closed completely and most residents were moved to a center in Linin. We followed them there and soon opened another recreation room, hence now we run two. Around 80 small refugees participated in our activities during 598 hours (150 days) and 12 full-day trips. Besides that, we included 60 families into our aid programme: 226 hours of individual work, 192 hours of a cultural assistant’s work and 6 hours of workshops for adults. One of the most joyful days was an integrational event in Podkowa Leśna. The programme was financed by Foundation Drzewo i Jutro, EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, Americares and IKEA.
Workshops in schools
For a couple of years now our intercultural workshops for elementary schools are getting more interest in our city. In 2022 we visited 21 schools, in which we conducted 56 four-hour workshops for 1122 students. In a separate cycle we trained educators and teachers. The project was finansed by the funds of city of Warsaw.
Last year we held two regular editions of Etnoliga, in which nearly half a thousand people from several dozen countries participated. We organised two charity tournaments for Ukraine and Colombia. Our sport community was joined by refugees from behind the easter boarder and young people from all around the world. Besides, we started our partnership with Hegemon Rugby club from Mysłowice and we prepared 12 sports workshops for children and youth participating in Summer in the city programme. Etnoliga was finansed from private contributions, DEAR programme (in collaboration with Centre of Citizen Education/Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej), Leopold Kronenberg’s Citi Handlowy Foundation, Humanity Now Foundation and adidas Football Collective.
Women’s* Football as a Means of Change
Towards the end of the year a brochure titled “Jak pisać i mówić o kobietach i osobach LGBT+ w sporcie”/“How to write and talk about women and LGBT+ people in sports” was released. That marked the end of our project finansed by EEA – Active Citizens Fund, but we continue our partnership with KAP Family and KS Chrząszczyki.
Witaj w Klubie
Together with PZPN we started a project about crosscultural education in football clubs all across Poland. Last year we prepared a concept of a textbook and trainings for trainers and managers, that we’ll start in 2023. This is a big challenge, but also a huge source of happiness for us, since our competentions were appreciated and we’ll be able to share our experiences with people in charge of football, also outside of the capital.
After big shifts due to COVID-19 pandemic, we started working again with the youth in Zacisze. Teenagers discovered their strong sides, improved their skills and worked as voluntees. Movement workshops, rock-climbing, cycle trips, flower planting – every week they had loads of physical activities and important conversations. Towards the end of the year we expanded our work to Ukrainian youth from Humanitarian Aid Center and one of varsovian high schools.
Our team was joined by two Ukrainians, but also Poles and Belarussians. Now there’s over 20 of us – two times more than last year! It’s trainers, educators and guardians – all with loads of experience in work with the youth. Part of them are refugees. Out of necessity we expanded our administrative and human resources sections. We changed our accountant company and enrolled a person responsible for our social media.