Help Center for Foreigners in Warsaw - Centrum Pomocy Cudzoziemcom w Warszawie (Unofficial translation)
Type of Information
- Case studies
Fundacja Ocalenie - Salvation Foundation
Piotr Bystrianin (Login to send email)
Contact Person Function
The aim of the Centre is to help foreigners to function in Poland. The support is provided not only by Poles, but also by foreigners working as cultural mediators. They help foreigners in dealing with matters of everyday life as well as in learning the Polish language.
Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption
The aim of the Centre is to help foreigners to function in Poland. The support is provided not only by Poles (employees and volunteers), but also by foreigners working as cultural mediators (people who used to have similar problems in the past, but now are rooted in Polish culture and know how to cope with such problems). They help foreigners in dealing with matters of everyday life as well as in learning the Polish language.
How does it work
The Help Center for Foreigners is providing support in particular in:
- looking for apartments for rent,
- seeking for a job,
- formal and legal cases,
- contact with Polish offices and departments: PESEL, NIP, registration in employment agency,
- contact with medical service (doctor, hospital),
- contact with kindergartens, schools and colleges,
- the area of understanding cross-cultural differences,
- difficult situations and emargencies,
- cases connected with bringing up children and in difficult personal and family situations.
The support is provided by lawyers, an employment counselor, a psychologist, cultural mediators and integration assistants. It is free of charge and is available in several languages: English, Arabic, Chechen, French, Georgian, Polish, Russian. An important area of activity of the Foundation is organising Polish language courses, conducted by people who know the languages used by migrants.
The results of the project for the period May 2011 - April 2014:
- Number of beneficiaries: 900 people
- Number of countries of origin of the beneficiaries: 60
- Number of consultations: 2,000
- Number of hours of Polish language lessons: 1,800
- Number of course participants: more than 300 people, 500 hours of workshops attended by approximately 2,200 people
The project "Help Center for Foreigners" was awarded the Grand Prix prize in the contest "S3CTOR" for the best Warsaw non-governmental initiative in 2011 and the prize in category "Social Assistance". Evaluation is performed on an ad-hoc basis through talks and informal discussions with beneficiaries of the project as well as employees and volunteers working at the Centre.
Examples of results of such consultations: the number of groups for foreigners studying Polish language was increased; more volunteers with knowledge of languages used by foreigners were recruited; volunteers working as Polish language teachers were provided with the multicultural training.
Who will benefit?
Support is provided to:
- asylum seekers, refugees and people with subsidiary protection status,
- Polish citizens who have contact with foreigners,
- intercultural marriages, couples and families,
- Polish organisations, institutions and offices that have contact with foreigners.
Source of funding and Resources used
The project is co-financed by the European Fund for Integration of Third Country Nationals (EIF), the European Refugee Fund (ERF), the state budget and the budget of the City of Warsaw. Number and type of workers: 2 lawyers, 1 psychologist, 1 employment counselor, 4 cultural mediators (foreigners, 2 men and 2 women), 2 integration assistants (Poles), volunteers (23 in 2013, including 6 volunteers who worked longer than 6 months).