#NewsFromSalamLab: Flourish with Salam Lab this Spring

Zespół Społecznej Przestrzeni Aktywnej (SPA). Fot. Andrzej Rafael.


April, as for April, intertwined: workshops with meetings, pieces of training with conferences. Have a read on how we grew this month!

What’s up in the Education Department?

On the 1st. of April, we held our flagship training for teachers and educators, “Empathy and Multiculturalism”, at the National Museum in Gdansk. The same course was held in Krakow on April 15th. Both events were conducted as part of the EMPATHY project. We are planning further course editions in June in Krakow and Warsaw. Stay updated with our website to learn about upcoming training in the “Empathy and Multiculturalism” series! Trainings are conducted in Polish.

We have conducted a series of anti-discrimination workshops at yet another school. This time, we worked with a group from the Intercultural Elementary School “Open World” in Cracow. For now, we have two meetings behind us. In April, we also visited the Elementary School in Siercza, where we conducted an integrative intercultural workshop for the 6th-grade students. Additionally, we were invited to the XV High School in Cracow, where we had an opportunity to organise an anti-discrimination workshop for 3rd grade students.

To operate as broadly as before, we need your support. In April, we launched two fundraisers. One for the Association’s general objectives and one for the families covered by the “Live in Krakow” program. If you want to donate in euros or dollars, we encourage you to use PayPal.

Every zloty motivates us to work further. Thank you!

April – the month of expanding our work scope

SPA is growing! What does it mean? You can attend your favourite integration classes, such as watercolour painting, yoga or Pilates, not only at the Open Place at 19 Życzkowskiego Street in Krakow but also in our new location, located at 3/U2 Dytmara Street.

What is SPA? Learn about this project here! >>>

Warsztaty z akwareli w ramach SPA. Fot. Andrzej Rafael.

We celebrated the opening of the SPA’s new venue with Roma Culture Days pompously. On April 20-22, we invited everyone to a three-day series of workshops and events revolving around Romani people’s heritage. We didn’t lack history lessons, film screenings, exciting discussions, and conversations about Roma culture, music and delicacies. Two Roma families, whom we had helped, were involved in organising the event.

Roma Culture Days at SPA, 3 Dytmara St. in Kraków. cc Andrzej Rafael.

News from the “Live in Krakow” project team

In April, the team coordinating the “Live in Krakow” long-term support program for refugee families had their hands full of work. At the beginning of the month, project coordinators Iuliia Norytsia and Kaja Pogorzelska organised a training session, “Annual PIT return for 2022”. We invited employees of the Tax Office Krakow – Stare Miasto. During the meeting, they provided our beneficiaries with information about such topics as income taxes in Poland and various types of tax relief and explained how to file a tax return in an accessible way.

In addition, Safia Rabati-Roczniak and Iuliia Norytsia participated in the seminar “Mentoring and mentoring activities – good practices”. The Association for Legal Intervention in Warsaw organised and funded the seminar. During the meeting, our team members had the opportunity to learn about various mentoring activities in NGOs in the context of working with people with migration experience. We also exchanged experiences with members of other organisations involved in supporting refugees.

If you care about the welfare of refugee families, please support us financially!

Justyna Lichoń and Safia Rabati-Roczniak participated in a diagnostic workshop the Marshal’s Office organised. The meetings covered the challenges of integrating economic migrants and displaced people from third-world countries in Małopolska. The series of ongoing diagnostic workshops, directed at those working with people with migration experience, is intended to create a policy document that provides a framework for integrating migrants in our province.

Finally, at the end of the month, Nataliya Nosonenko with Safia Rabati-Roczniak participated in a diagnostic workshop on the challenges of housing, social assistance and other public services in the context of integrating people with migration experience.

What’s new at the Media Department?

Salam Lab editors are boasting about the success of their work in making the editorial board more professional. One of the April news stories, covering the Wielkopolska Police Department’s anti-terrorism exercises, was particularly popular. Poznan’s branch of “Gazeta Wyborcza” cited the Salam Lab article. Julia Parkot, Salam Lab’s editor-in-chief, commented on Islamophobia in Poland for Noizz. This is just the beginning of the changes and development of our editorial team! 

Part of the Salam Lab’s editorial staff had the great pleasure of being hosted at an iftar, a Ramadan dinner to break the fast. Iftar dinner was hosted at the Dunai – The Institute of Dialogue in Warsaw by a long-time friend of our Association, Huseyin Celik, a journalist specialising in Turkish affairs.

It was a fascinating meeting that included interreligious dialogue over traditional Ramadan delicacies from Turkey and Turkish music playing in the background.

Salam Lab editors at iftar in the Dunai – The Institute of Dialogue in Warsaw

As usual, we also prepared a live conversation. The editorial supervisor, Anna Mikulska hosted a live discussion with Marta Górczyńska. Anna Mikulska’s guest is a lawyer involved in legal and monitoring activities on the Polish-Belarusian border. The expert recently returned from the US where she investigated the human rights situation on the US-Mexico border. You can’t miss it! We encourage you to watch the recording on our Facebook page (in Polish).

We also encourage you to listen to other live streams on our YouTube channel and Spotify.

Humanitarian work

By now, you must have heard about our relocation program for refugees Re: Match. Our German relocation project partners have just paid us a visit. During this time, we had dozens of interviews with beneficiaries seeking to relocate to Germany. Thank you to Tatiana Shapka for the excellent coordination!

If you’ve been following our work for a long time, you’ve undoubtedly heard about our Help Point at Radziwillowska 3 in Krakow or “R3”. On the spot, we provide essential information to people with refugee experience, psychological support, and help to get around Poland. We are proud to continue our cooperation with Action Menstruation. We provide sanitary pads and tampons to menstruating people at the Help Point. Thanks to the partnership with Mercy Corps, we are creating a proper procedure to make this process as effective as possible.

We would like to inform you that starting in May, our Help Desk will be closed on weekends. We will certainly get back to you with feedback on how the support users at R3 react to this change. 

SPA team. cc Andrzej Rafael.

We are also slowly terminating our “Cash” money support program, coordinated by Nikita Kuznetsov. The programme provided financial assistance to 22 refugees from Afghanistan, Cameroon and Sierra Leone.

We were pleased to participate in the “Mapuj Pomoc” information campaign. “Mapuj Pomoc” is a portal where you can find various forms of support and essential information, as well as advice and guidance for refugees from Ukraine. In the spot, you will see a familiar face. Whose? Watch the footage below to find out!

We are learning new skills!

Spring is the time of expanding our knowledge and acquiring new skills.

Our psychologist Yuliya Prihotska is working on an assertiveness workshop for the whole team.

On April 24-25, people from several departments participated in a course on working with people suffering from war trauma. The course was organised by our strategic partner, Americares. The knowledge acquired during the course is extremely important in working with our beneficiaries and beneficiaries. In addition, on April 27th, The Voice Foundation organised a workshop for us on “Public Speaking and Stress-Free Presentations.” Many people benefited from it, including Solomiia Martyniuk from the Media Department. She told us she learned a lot during the workshop.

Solomiia Martyniuk from Salam Lab’s editorial board. cc Andrzej Rafael.

Speaking of workshops, the Board members Zuzanna Tamas and Przemysław Trepka have started working with Dr Simon Western. Western is a founder of the Eco-Leadership Institute. What does this mean for Salam Lab? Development, better management, better work organisation.

We look forward to the results of our meetings with Simon and working with the leadership team and our organisation! Zuzanna Tamas was also a guest on Simon’s podcast. You can listen to it below.

Additionally, Zuzanna and Przemysław participated in a conference on group dynamics (Group Dynamics, The Art of Repair). In addition, Dialogue Perspectives also writes about Salam Lab and Zuzanna Tamas’ seminar held at R3 for a group of students. 

What are our plans for May?

As usual, ambitious! We can reveal that we will appear at a rainbow event next month. If you want to know more – follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You certainly won’t miss out on any information.

Prepared by Katarzyna Makarowicz. Translated by Anna Trela.

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