Volunteers from the Tri-City branch of Sii Polska carried out cleaning and renovation works in the garden of the “Dom na Skraju” Association in Gdańsk, which serves the charges of this institution – children from families in difficult life situations. The originator and leader of the project was Ela Pawelczyk, Senior Test and Analysis Engineer, who submitted the project under the 8th edition of the Sii Power Volunteers Program.
What was the action that you organized as part of the 8th edition of Sii Power Volunteers?
Ela Pawelczyk, Senior Test and Analysis Engineer: I regularly volunteer at “Dom na Skraju” in Nowy Port in Gdańsk. There is a fairly large garden in which the children love to spend their time. We try to create a safe and pleasant space to play and learn there, but we have limited resources, both personal and financial. On August 22, together with Sii Power Volunteers, we organized a weekend event, which was financially supported by our company.
Volunteers from Sii Poland – 11 people in total – carried out cleaning and renovation works in the garden, the aim of which, in addition to cleaning the area around the House, is to teach children how to take care of our space, how to develop it and use it for common purposes. The garden also gives the opportunity to work on building the environmental awareness of children: we want to plant new plantings in the near future and involve our children in plant care. I am happy because some of our volunteers have already expressed their readiness to repeat the action in the fall!
Piotr Belling, Test and Analysis Engineer: I volunteered to participate in this action for two reasons. First of all, in my life I have met many people who helped me in difficult situations, so I treated it as an opportunity to repay for that support. Secondly, I believe and I have experienced that the good that you give to someone always comes back.
You regularly volunteer in the “Dom na Skraju” Association. Where did the idea for such an action come from?
E.P.: I have been working at Sii for almost 5 years and I have been testing from the very beginning – currently for Scalepoint company. At the same time, as a private volunteer, I have been working for the Association since 2017. I know them from the inside and I know that they do a lot of good for children in need, so I decided to submit a project in the last edition of the Sii Power Volunteers Program and find new volunteers among my colleagues, because I know that it is worth it for these children!
What does the Association do and what kind of children does it work with?
E.P .: “Dom na Skraju” has been operating since 1993 and runs two branches: in Nowy Port and in the center of Gdańsk. Its main goals are to support children from poorer, dysfunctional families, at risk of social exclusion, who find themselves in a difficult life situation and cannot cope with the education and upbringing of their offspring. The task of the volunteers of the “Dom na Skraju” is to support these families – creating opportunities and conditions for comprehensive development for these children. These are not completely random kids, but the kind who – together with their parents – commit themselves to systematic work throughout the year. The point is not to take all responsibility off these families, but to wisely support them.
In practice, the children come to us in the afternoons several times a week. Once, to act on topics in their age group, they have discounts at school, others for art together, and on Saturdays for the whole day, where we organize various thematic activities, going out or just creative and fun.
How did it happen that you started getting involved there?
E.P.: I have been coming to the Skraj as a volunteer since 2017, encouraged by the stories of friends who volunteered here before. I dedicate one afternoon a week (from 4.30 pm to 7.00 pm) to classes with children – we mainly work on lessons, and once a month I organize all-day classes on Saturday.
Are new volunteers needed in the Association?
E.P .: All the work of the Association is based on the systematic work of volunteers and we always need new people. We are looking for responsible people who can regularly devote one afternoon a week, because thanks to them we can invite more children. But you can also apply for other odd jobs, such as cooking meals for children, or just taking care of the house or garden. You can also think about preparing one-time or several-course workshops for children, which do not require a declaration that it will be a regular, weekly activity.
Why in your opinion is it worth being a volunteer in the “Dom na Skraju” Association and who can become one?
E.P .: Anyone who feels a need to help can become a volunteer with us. A volunteer will need a bit of patience and willingness to share his knowledge or experience. Is it worth it? This is a fantastic thing! On the one hand, work, play and discussions with our children are very difficult, they teach patience, humility, and sometimes they can be frustrating. It should be remembered that these are children in a difficult life situation who experience a deficit at home for various reasons: attention of adults, their support, abundance or stabilization, sometimes love or tenderness … As a volunteer you can experience children’s gratitude and great satisfaction because you are really needed and you have a real impact on the intellectual and social development of these young people. It’s worth it!
Learn about other initiatives of Sii employees implemented within the Sii Power Volunteers Program. Read the 2019 charity projects summary.