Our partner’s hosting organisations in Krakow, Waganowice and Giebułtów
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 No. 92 is located in two buildings. Children who attended the 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 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 openness to new initiatives. Every school year it is being involved in various educational projects and programs.
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!