I am here because you are here – mentoring scheme for children
empowerment of vulnerable groups
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-11-2021 - 28-02-2023
Project cost:
30 000,00 EUR
30 000,00 EUR
Types of activities:
Target groups:

The project addresses the problem of exclusion of children and young people from small towns in Podlasie, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, and the fewer opportunities for this group to develop their talents. The offer of extra-curricular activities is modest, aimed mainly at pre-school children and those in early childhood education, and its use is hampered by the lack of local transport between the place of residence and the school (CBOS, 2019). The material status of the family and lack of access to information about existing opportunities can also be obstacles to development. Inequalities were exacerbated by the pandemic, remote learning and the humanitarian crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border (Białowieża and Szudziałowo were in the exclusion zone).

The Project Promoter conducted a pilot mentoring project for primary and secondary school students from 5 towns in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. At the beginning of the project, 5 mentors were selected: a writer, a radio journalist, a visual artist, a historian and an activist involved in preserving the memory of Jewish culture. A series of 3 trainings on working in a challenging social environment was prepared for them. Then, in cooperation with schools, NGOs and cultural centres, young people were invited to participate in the project. The task of the mentors was to discover the talents of the young people and motivate them to develop. Mentoring consisted of individual and group work with young people and the development of literary, journalistic, artistic and historical skills and interests. There were also two integration meetings between young people and mentors; one of them was accompanied by a workshop on online safety.

The activities were attended by 17 students aged 12-17 from schools in Białowieża, Białystok, Szudziałowo, Supraśl and Śniadowo, at risk of social exclusion due to pandemics and life circumstances. The young people increased their knowledge of culture, art and science, developed interests and competences in these areas. They also received emotional support and were equipped with the skills to express their needs, became more open and confident.

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