VOLUNTEERING – LOCAL LEVEL

From the beginning of its existence, the foundation supports volunteering in Poland and abroad.

Young people and adults are invited to support our projects. As part of volunteering projects in Krakow, mainly people who are mentors of our foreign volunteers cooperate with us. We also involve people interested in administrative assistance in our offices.

Volunteers also support projects implemented in our office in Tychy, which are directed to seniors. Every year, around 15 volunteers work at the Platyna Senior Club, who conduct classes, provide assistance or help in administrative work.

Moreover with the help of our foreign volunteers, we promote the idea of social commitment and solidarity. Our foundation organizes every year the celebration of the International Volunteer Day (December 5th).

VOLUNTEERING – INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

Internationaler Bund Polska has been carrying out European Voluntary Service projects since 2008 (initially in the Youth in Action program, then in Erasmus +, currently in European Solidarity Corps). The accreditation of the coordinating and sending organization was granted in 2008 first, and then prolonged in 2011, 2014, 2017 as well as extended to include the role of host volunteers. Thanks to the Foundation’s experience in coordinating EVS projects, an effective way of skilfully conducting activities was developed, with an emphasis on development personal volunteers and increasing intercultural aspects of volunteering.

From European Voluntary Service to European Solidarity Corps projects

In the years 2008-2018, our organization hosted a total of over 175 volunteers from both program and partner countries. During this period, together with partner organizations, we have completed (some projects are still underway) over 25 Volunteering projects.

As a coordinating organization, Internationaler Bund Polska takes care of contacts with both local and foreign partner organizations. By implementing volunteering projects in several partner organizations at the same time, the Foundation provides volunteers with the opportunity to exchange experiences and cooperation between organizations, so that volunteers can acquire an even wider range of experiences.

Project coordinators  remain in contact with the volunteers throughout the whole project to properly monitor the learning process. Coordinators are experienced youth workers, involved in EVS/ESC and other Erasmus plus programs for at least a few years. IB Polska EVS coordinators constantly improve their qualifications while being active in different fields as well f.e interreligion dialogue, ecology, they also attend training and workshops organised by National Agency in Poland as well as local organisations in Krakow.

Map of volunteers – How EVS changes life:

Volunteers’ Map (places to visit in Krakow):

Interviews with our previous volunteers:

 

FOR FUTURE CANDIDATES:

  • Current calls: check out our Facebook or contact us: evs-ib-polska@ib.de

ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT

As coordinating organization IB Polska is responsible for fullfilling administrative aspects of the volunteers during the stay in Cracow (i.e. opening bank account, providing local transport, supporting  the process for permission to stay/visa). Furthermore, IB Polska is providing Polish classes. The insurance is organized by the Sending organization, but we help you to use it. We are responsible for renting volunteers flat and to transfer pocket money+food money and to reimburse the travel costs for coming to Poland and for return ticket.

 

PERSONAL SUPPORT

Besides the organizational matters, the personal support of the volunteers is an important part of our work with youngsters.

We are responsible for communication and information exchange between all partners in the project. We supervise the project and organize regulary evaluation meetings, in order to see the progress, solve problems and to help doing reflection. According to that, we prepare volunteers to write the YOUTHPASS.  Furthermore, own initiatives are welcomed and will be supported by us.

OUR PARTNERS

hosting organisations in Krakow, Waganowice and Giebułtów

Autism Center

The autism centre is an educational centre comprising a kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and vocational centre for people aged between 4 and 25 with autism. During your volunteering activity here, you will have the opportunity to work in different classes, with different age groups, different stages of autism and different activities. There are 4 pupils per class to ensure a personal approach to each pupil. Your tasks will be to assist the teachers and children during their classes, which could be an art workshop, language development class, music, animal therapy, physical education, going to the swimming pool,… Additionally, you will also assist teachers during the mealtime and with the personal hygiene of the pupils. Among other skills, you will certainly have the opportunity to develop your (alternative) communication skills as this is a very important aspect of your work at the Centre.

Testimony from Reyna (Spain) 2018/2019 :

I have been helping the Autism Centre for almost 10 months.  It is a wonderful time and a great opportunity to develop your own ideas because the teachers are totally open to your suggestions. You also learn that at the beginning, there are no communicative barriers, even if you don’t know the language, children feel curious about you and It will be necessary to use a universal method: gestures. At the end you will be the best in this way of communicating. In the Autism Centre almost every day is different because the teachers organize many parties or special days for the children in which you will also participate. In general it is a great experience to learn about the different methodologies used in special schools like autism centres. It is not easy work but at the end you will enjoy and for sure you will become addicted.

Kindergarten 92

Kindergarten No. 92 is located in two buildings. Children attended to institution are aged 3-6, from families with different social and economic backgrounds. As a volunteer, you will mainly assist the pupils and teachers in their daily activities. Additionally, there will be room for you to develop activities to promote an international environment and your own culture. These activities could include teaching them a dance or song from your country, doing a specific art project, teaching the toddlers about your own traditions.

Testimony from Anna (Russia) 2018/2019 :

I think this kind of work will be great for people who are interested in childcare, child development. For sure, you will have a lot of fun, joy and excitement. Sometimes you can lead activities for children. This work also helps you to improve your Polish really fast. If you have already had a long experience with childcare, maybe, it could make you feel bored at times because of a lack of responsibilities but you can use your imagination and improve these hours to make the most out of it!

Integrational School Waganowice

The Integrational School in Waganowice (on primary and secondary level) is located about 20 km away from Krakow. It is integrational because it has students with and students without a disability. The size of the classes and activities of the classes vary according to the present disabilities. As a volunteer, you will assist the teachers and educators with their classes. Expect to cook a lot of traditional Polish dishes but also to teach how to cook your own traditional dishes, as well as to make lots of crafts such as Easter baskets and mother day gifts. Physical therapy, physical education and English classes are only a few examples of other classes you could assist in. The schedule is flexible and will be drawn up with you according to your preferences. This volunteering activity is a great opportunity to work with students from different age groups and different (dis)abilities.

Testimony from Samet (Turkey) 2018/2019 :

Before coming here I was thinking I would have many problem especially with communication because of the language barrier. But after I met with the kids and environment, I realized that we don’t have to know each other languages cause language of the heart is pretty enough to communicate 😊. and after all, thanks to my voluntary experience I have learnt how to be patient and how to be empathic to understand other people’s situation.

Special School Complex nr 11

Special School No 11 is a leading institution in Poland which offers education and therapy for around 120 students with multiple disabilities, aged 3-25. Almost all of our students are physically disabled and use wheelchairs to get around. Most of them do not speak and use different forms of alternative communication. They need support while eating, getting dressed as well as in the bathroom. Currently our school occupies two buildings: one for the younger, the other for the older students.

Our mission is to improve the quality of life of our students by best available education, therapy and as many as possible positive experiences of all sorts, especially positive contacts and relationships with other people. This seems to be one of the crucial aspects where European volunteers can significantly support our efforts.

Testimony from Sarah (France) 2019

When I arrived in the special school 11 I was a little stressed and curious, curious about how the school is working, and about the students. Finally, it was one of the best experience of my life, so I will share some tips from my experience in this special school.

Do not be afraid to ask questions, to tell the teachers when you don’t feel comfortable etc. You will need a little time to adapt if you do not have the habit to work with disabled people, and it is normal. The teachers and the helpers are very human people, so if something is wrong, go to them and have a conversation. They will help you for everything.

I learnt a lot, everyday. About others, about myself, about how to communicate without speaking. I appreciated every moment of daily life (dance contest, cooking class, conversation class, taking a walk to chill in the park next to the school, on just go to get ice cream together) and so on. So be yourself, do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it, and enjoy your time at Zespol Szkol nr 11

 

School and Pre-school complex nr 11

Zespół Szkolno- Przedszkolny nr 11 is a public educational centre in Nowy Bieżanów district of Cracow. It consists of the Primary School no. 24 and the Kindergarten no.37.There are about 900 students aged from 3 to 15 years old in our school. The school is open from 7 a.m to 5 p.m. The youngest students have their classes in a school`s branch 100 metres from the main facility. In the district of Nowy Bieżanów the school cooperates with: the kindergartens, the police office and the fire brigade (Cracovian Fire Brigade is the patron of the primary school), the local newspaper and the local government called Rada Dzielnicy XII. The school is known for the involvement and openess to new initiatives. Every school year it is being involved in various educational projects and programms.

Testimony from Julieta (Spain) 2018/2019:

Being a volunteer in school complex no 11 feels like being part of a big family, you can develop yourself and use your creativity and any skills you may have while you learn about school life and different methods of teaching. You’ll see that this is not a common school, it’s so much active! there’s always events and student exchanges and things going on that it makes it difficult to get bored of the routine!  

FOR OUR FUTURE VOLUNTEERS:

  • info pack / welcome pack
  • useful information