We’re in a mood for summer. How are we doing?

Tetiana Shapka, koordynatorka projektu Re:Match rozmawia podczas Dnia Kultury Indyjskiej w SPA

The end of a month is an excellent opportunity for summaries. This time, in the spirit of our mission, we decided to give a platform to our very special Salam Lab teams. Let’s listen to the team leaders sharing their June accomplishments

News from the SPA

Solomiia Martyniuk, the co-manager of SPA’s social media, writes about what has happened in Space of Public Activities during the past month:

How did the first month of summer go at the Space of Public Activities? June in SPA was warm, pleasant and eventful. We have prepared a summary of the project activities from last month for you. Let’s go!

Solomiia Martyniuk during Indian Culture Day

So… let’s start with our accomplishments. In June, the SPA team managed to organise 166 events. It’s the highest number of events organised within a month during the lifetime of the project!

What’s going on with SPA’s social media? Our social media specialists, Sola and Lera, started promoting SPA on a new platform, namely on TikTok. We encourage you to visit our account there as soon as possible if you’re interested in seeing the behind-the-scenes of our project alongside other exciting content.

But that’s not all. We have other fantastic news! Our SPA workshops will now be available online! 🎉 The long wait is over! We’ve successfully carried out our first transmission of the discussion series titled QueerTalk on June 30. Follow us on our social media to keep yourself updated.

What’s more, our Instagram community now counts over 600 amazing people!

Back to the news from our SPA area. On June 17, we hosted Indian Culture Day, where we prepared Indian tea – chai, painted customary henna patterns on hands, as well as learned about traditions and facts about living in India from our guests. We’re happy to see our SPA being so multicultural.

If our vision is close to yours, support us! Join the unique community of our donors >>>

Also in June, we launched a new course on how to set up your own business with an entrepreneur and Public Relations expert – Nija Nikel. We’ve got two more meetings to go, so if you haven’t signed up yet, don’t delay, as Nija’s classes are very trendy!

Last month, the well known watercolour workshops were back. Classes with painter Alina attract many people, who create incredible works of art.

Let’s not forget about our excellent psychologists. Apart from individual therapies, Julia and Victoria run classes in our space both for people of all genders. We’re sure that everybody will be able to find something for themselves.

The hall in our space at 3 Dytmara Street awaits visitors to Indian Culture Days

We’ve also started a series of meetings surrounding the topic of the LGBTQ+ community for this year’s Pride Month. Together with TęczUJ, we organised workshops on inclusive language. And in partnership with the Multicultural Centre, we started the already mentioned remarkable series known as QueerTalk. Together, we’re happy to create a safe space for everybody.

Finally, we must mention some cool events we co-created with International Bund Poland and the Zustricz Foundation at our Open Area. Together we managed to organise outreach activities: trips around Krakow, during which participants got to know places in the city that are historically related to other cultures. The first meetings were dedicated to Ukrainian culture, and we will soon learn more about Jewish culture.

We also got under way with trainings and consultations regarding the labour market in Poland, how to prepare for a job interview, or how to write a good resume.

Keep in touch, 
Your SPA team ❤️

What’s going on in the Short-Term Accommodation Department?

Our Short-Term Accommodation Department ensures that no beneficiaries lose their shelter overnight. Its leader, Nataliya Nosonenko, reports on the team’s achievements:

Nataliya Nosonenko, coordinator of Short-Term Accommodation Department

In June we managed to provide short-term accommodation for a total of 60 families, i.e. 136 individuals. We accommodated 13 families (30 people) as part of our AirBnb collaboration and 38 families (95 people) as part of our Biedronka collaboration. The AirBnb programme has just ended. It has provided us with significant help, in some cases determining the fate of beneficiaries in difficult life situations. Thank you to AirBnb for your invaluable support! 

We’re continuing a partnership with the Biedronka Foundation, and hopefully, by the end of August, we will be able to provide more short-term accommodation for refugees in Cracow. We are in constant cooperation with the Long-Term Accommodation Department regarding accommodation for families leaving the Żyj w Krakowie (eng. Live in Cracow) programme.

We’re happy to hear a lot of positive feedback about our small, but multilingual and dynamic team.

Re:Match programme bears fruit!

On a side note, it’s worth mentioning our Re:Match relocation project, coordinated by Tetiana Shapka. This programme deals with the relocation of people seeking refuge from the war in Ukraine to municipalities in Germany that are prepared to receive them by matching the individual needs of the people with the needs of the municipalities.

Tetiana Shapka, Re:Match programme coordinator

This pilot project is based on an individual approach and is tailored to the needs of the Ukrainian refugees.

Last week, another group of beneficiaries arrived in Germany. A total number of relocated people stands at 26. We’re currently preparing for a new recruitment of beneficiaries to the programme.

What’s new in the Education Department?

Blanka Błaszczak-Rozenbaum, our educator, brings news from our Education Department:

June is the ending month of the school year, and because of that we had our hands full. The last workshops for students were held. We ended a series of multicultural study groups for high school students of Szkoła w Chmurze (eng. “School in the Cloud”) and primary school students of the Open World primary school in Cracow. We also conducted integration classes for the oldest classes of the Primary School in Gaj, near Cracow, in answer to the invitation from its Headmistress.

Blanka Błaszczak-Rozenbaum, Salam Lab’s edukator

We managed to organise as many as three Empathy and Multiculturalism trainings for teachers and educators. Two in Warsaw – one open to everybody in the Jesuit Social Centre W Akcji (eng. In Action), and one closed for the workers of the National Museum in Warsaw. One more was held in our SPA premises in Cracow at 3 Dytmara Street. All the courses were inspiring with many participants sharing that they found them to be very valuable.

As part of the Department of Education events organized, Marina Lobanova inaugurated a new series of meetings at R3 – a reading discussion club. Participants discussed the Russian novel Bobo by Linor Goralik during two June meetings. The meetings are to be continued also in the upcoming months!

If our vision is close to yours, support us! Join the unique community of our donors >>>

The last week of June turned out to be as intense as the whole month – we carried out three more workshops as part of Promigracyjne Sojusze (eng. Promigration Alliances). One in Cracow, for teenagers from Szkoła w Chmurze (eng. School in the Cloud) and two for institutions: the Volunteer Centre Po Sąsiedzku (eng. Next-Door) in Chrzanów, and the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace in Wilanów.

The educational department was co-responsible for preparing and running the booth at Strefa Społeczna (eng. Social Zone) in Gdansk. It’s a big event attended by representatives of non-governmental organisations from all over Poland. At our stand, visitors were able to take part in exercises, usually part of our workshops, play the game Humans, which we received as a result of the cooperation with the Division of Games of Kozminski University, and try their hand at a multicultural quiz.

Finally, some statistics: 13 events on multiculturalism, migration, and anti-discrimination measures organised by the educational department, attended by as many as 145 people (not counting the guests of the Social Zone!) We have succeeded in reaching all those people with our message.

Joy in the Live in Cracow project 

The long-term Żyj w Krakowie [eng. Live in Cracow] project is part of the Salam Lab’s programme, during which 20 families receive support for 12 months. Justyna Lichoń, family assistant in the project, informs us about exceptional events that took place in June:

At the end of May, our youngest beneficiary was born! Congratulations to the young mom who welcomed her daughter into the world. Thanks to cooperation with the Single Mothers’ House at 39 Przybyszewskiego Street in Cracow, we managed to organise a couple of kilograms of items for newborns (hygiene products, clothes), which we delivered to the new mother. We wish all the best to the whole family.

Speaking of children and cooperation, a couple of our young beneficiaries from Afghanistan have just started classes at one of the SIEMACHA Association’s facilities. The children can benefit from a variety of educational, integrative, and developmental activities. We hope that the children will enjoy attending classes and building new relations with their peers.

The SPA team and Małgorzata Trzcińska, who organises training, is responsible for recruitment and supports the management in preparing measures to improve our wellbeing at work, relax on our terrace at 3 Dytmara Street in Kraków

June also marked the beginning of a new adventure for two of our beneficiaries who started full-time employment. One of them has received a permanent contract, while the other’s has been extended for one year after an initial trial period. Congratulations to both of the ladies!

If our vision is close to yours, support us! Join the unique community of our donors >>>

In order to provide additional support to our beneficiaries, especially those who will be leaving the project in the upcoming months, we are testing a new solution in the form of Work and Housing shifts. For 3 days a week, at previously scheduled times,beneficiaries can use the support of our employees in browsing job offers and contacting employers, as well as researching housing rental offers and talking to landlords. We will let you know soon what the interest in using such support by project participants looks like and how effective this tool is.

Finally, we are pleased to inform you that the second (out of three) batches of cleaning products have been almost completely delivered to the beneficiaries. The last round of distributing assistance in the form of soaps, washing liquids and powders, etc. is planned for July. This means that in the next 2-3 weeks we will probably finish the process of providing beneficiaries with about 800 kg of in-kind support. Such support is also vital!

What’s happening in our media?

For the month of June, we focused on personal development. We’ve been collaborating for several months now with journalist Anna Mikulska, who makes sure that the editors can test themselves in new genres. One of them is opinion writing, which we are currently practising. The result of this cooperation is Katarzyna Makarowicz’s text, which you can read below (in Polish).

We were also invited to become the media matronage of the 2nd Festival of Non-fiction Theatre in Wroclaw, organised by the Grotowski Institute. Katarzyna Makarowicz will participate as a panellist in the Minority Report debate on respect for human rights and attitudes towards minorities in the context of contemporary migrations. Paulina Pacuła, an OKO.Press journalist will lead the discussion. See you in Wroclaw!

And as proof of what an exciting team we work in, we would like to draw your attention to the discussion of our editor Ewelina Kaczmarczyk with Kaja Pogorzelska, an Iranianist and family assistant of the Live in Cracow programme (in Polish).

How is the IKEA internship project going?

Do you remember that we co-create an absolutely exceptional internship project for people with refugee experience?

At IKEA Cracow, such people have been able to undertake paid internships since March this year. They receive a Polish language course, support from the Salam Lab team, and can count on legal and psychological help from Internationaler Bund Polska. Let’s hear what its coordinator, Nina Wójtowicz, has to say about the ongoing project:

On June 12, the filming of the movie Skills count, promoting our unique project, took place in Warsaw. It featured interns and trainees but also other people involved in the undertaking from IKEA as well as prominent NGOs. The film primarily aims to encourage entrepreneurs to employ people with refugee experience. It will be available soon so stay tuned!

Nina Wójtowicz, coordinator of the project

The fourth month of a half-year internship is coming to an end and this is the moment when IKEA starts making decisions about who to offer a permanent job to. Many of our beneficiaries will be able to count on stable employment. We’re very pleased about this.

Interns are now working on a special task as part of the Polish language classes. They’re preparing 10-minute presentations on a chosen topic in order to share them in front of the whole group in the middle of July. It will be a great opportunity to practise longer speeches in the foreign language and strengthen group’s integration. 

We develop and strengthen alliances

Meetings have been happening lately. A lot of them. The visitation of Homo Faber, an organisation from Lublin, at our Aid Point at 3 Radziwiłłowska Street (R3) in Cracow turned out to be a great success. Members of the Aid Department showed our space to the guests and took part in the exchange of experiences. It’s very important that organisations working with refugees have the chance to learn something from each other.

On June 23, we appeared at the closing conference of the Promigration Alliances project, about cooperation in the work of NGOs. This is the fruit of a unique collaboration with the Better World Association.

At the beginning of June our R3 received a visit from the British Embassy. Zuzanna Tamas, the Financial Director, told our guests about the operation of Salam Lab, while Mariia Bondarenko, Tetiana Shapka, and Tetiana Yefremowa shared their stories of their refugee experience.

On that note we would also like to inform, that we are changing the opening hours of Aid Point. From July 1, R3 will be open Mon-Fri from 9am to 5pm.

If you want to keep up to date with news from Salam Lab, follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Also, visit our website and you will certainly not miss any information.

Prepared by Katarzyna Makarowicz.

The author of all photographs is Andrzej Rafael.

Najnowsze publikacje