A New Centre for Volunteers

Project location: POLAND, Krakow
Project start date: July 2003 - Project end date: January 2004
Project number: 2003-02
Beneficiary: Horizons Institute

Numerous communities in Poland and Lithuania live in extreme poverty and are afflicted by immoral conditions, alcoholism, abuse, and other social problems.
The Horizons Institute of Poland and its leader Magda Figiel have 10- 15 years of experience working with adolescents in Europe and America. For five years now, Horizons has been established in Poland and has organized numerous social projects to better the conditions of adolescents in the Post-Soviet era.
The Horizons Institute organizes humanitarian envoys to these communities, working with families and young people to help them find meaning in their lives, and to keep their families together as well. The key tactic of its social action is to train and empower young adults to become the artisans of their own self-improvement. The young adults become the team leaders for hundreds of other adolescents, channeling their energy toward social activities with the needy.
In its five years in Poland, the Horizons Institute has brought teams of young people to Lithuania, Slovakia and poor areas of Poland itself such as Wola Filipowska. In those areas, 20-team leaders and 250 young volunteers from diverse schools in Krakow have brought material aid and a renewed sense of hope to the communities stricken with poverty and despair.
Another example of its social action is the program called "Kilo" (short for "kilogram") which involves massive collections of food donations from supermarkets in the Krakow area that is later distributed by the adolescents themselves to Poland's most needy families.
In order to expand the reach of its social action, the Horizons Institute desperately needed a new training center in the heart of Krakow where team leaders and young people could gather to plan projects and launch new initiatives.
As described above, the Horizons Institute is already enjoying great success in its efforts to better the lives of Poland's poor through the energy and enthusiasm of adolescents. The objective is an increased awareness and commitment in young people toward solidarity projects designed to help resolve current problems in Polish and Lithuanian societies.
Horizon's current base of activities is a small apartment in Krakow. However, due to an ever-growing number of Krakovian youth who are interested in Horizon's solidarity projects, there was no longer sufficient space, and many who would-be team leaders and co-workers were being turned away for lack of space.
This project involves the purchase of a new center (an apartment of 180 sqm, which is divided into six rooms where different projects can be carried out) furniture and accessories necessary for the formation and organization of team leaders and participants in Horizons Humanitarian Missions.
The results to be reached are:
1. An improved base of logistics for humanitarian work;
2. An immediate 30% - 40% increase in the numbers of team leaders that the Horizons Institute can train for humanitarian actions in Poland / Lithuania in the 2003-04 school year;
3. A 30% increase in recruitment of young volunteers for future humanitarian work in the 2003-4 school year due to the prime location of the new training center.

Horizons Institute
Ul Marie Curie Sklodowskiej 12-3
31-025 Krakow, Poland

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