About the pilot in Cracow, Poland

“U Siemachy” Association helps young people who have found themselves in life’s dire straits by providing them with material, psychological, and educational support. For the people in its care, the association provides opportunities for rebuilding and developing personal potential by supporting the development of effective and efficient relationships with other people and becoming valuable citizens. Thanks to a network of specialised centres, we have built a compact system for working with young people and their families. We operate in the Daily Mode (daytime socio-therapy centres), in 24/7 Mode (family children’s homes, self - sufficiency groups), through consultancy and therapy, and within a variety of specific projects.

The “U Siemachy” Association is currently finishing the preparations for the Polish pilot. As it is a very creative process, people involved in the INCLUSO project (both staff and youngsters) keep coming up with new ideas. However, the outline of the pilot has now been finalised.

The plans are as follows:

  • The pilot will be a combination of real-life and online activities. Around 40 young people from daytime care institutions will be involved in the organisation of thematic youth events, addressing the local communities of Krakow and Chorzow. The events will be developed and organised by the young people themselves. Ideas so far have included a concert; a culinary art festival; and an eco-day. The events will be organised face to face, but discussions, arrangements and the planning process will take place over the internet. Promotion and advertisement will also be internet-based.
  • The participants of the pilot will be using a variety of social software tools in their work. First and foremost ‘Gadu-Gadu’, which is the most popular instant messaging tool in Poland. It plays a major role in day-to- day communication between young people from different institutions. The next tool is ‘Nasza Klasa’, a rather new networking portal which gathers classmates together. It will be used for sending invitations and trailers of the events to numerous users. Nasza Klasa and Gadu-Gadu are definitely the most frequently used social software tools in Poland. Nevertheless “U Siemachy” will have to deal with the fact that they are not the answer to everything. According to the INCLUSO research, Nasza Klasa as well as Gadu-Gadu, provide an opportunity for developing virtual networks but do not necessarily enhance active participation and communication within groups of young people. Therefore the participants will also use hobby-centered networks and tools that offer more potential for inclusion. We also plan for young people to use Google platforms (for project management purposes), Wikis (for research) and YouTube (for video). As far as we know, in our target group there are lots of young photographers and movie makers, who have undiscovered talent, and we expect YouTube to be very popular.

Considering the large target group, the number of different social software tools, and the massive amount of work required for the organisation of youth events in two cities, there is no doubt that the pilot will be challenging. As we say in Poland, 'The world belongs to the brave', therefore we are looking forward to starting the pilot and we have high hopes for its success.