In small towns in Podlasie, children and young people have considerably fewer opportunities to develop their talents. The range of extra-curriculum classes is meagre, intended primarily for children of up to primary school year IV, and the poor transport service between the place of residence and school hinders use (Youth 2018, CBOS, National Bureau for Drug Prevention, 2019). During a pandemic, after many months of lessons online, young people do not always get support and are at risk of depression due to isolation and an extreme sense of helplessness (J. Suchecka Thousands of children have disappeared from the system. Where can they be?).
We intend to prevent this, and help young people who face hardship to develop their talents and abilities.
We will organize training for mentors (a female writer, female journalist, sociologist, female multimedia teacher, history teacher) and project coordinator on recognizing special needs in young people in a difficult environment. Working with local institutions (school, social welfare centre, school student council) they will each recruit three people for self-help groups, and work with them both individually and in groups, so that when meeting individual needs other abilities will be developed as well: literary, journalism, artistic, and history skills. We envisage a meeting to integrate young people and mentors, combined with a media communication workshop and an artistic event, and digital publication of recommendations for future programs.
Fifteen talented pupils (12- 17) from schools in Białowieża, Białystok, Szudziałowo, Supraśl and Jedwabno, vulnerable due to the pandemic and events in their lives, will participate.
The young people participating will improve their knowledge of culture, art, and science, receive emotional support, and be able to present the importance of their needs. Six people will receive mentoring training.