On the 21st of December 2014 the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, officially opened the Modern Children Home in Odporyszów close to Tarnów. SIEMACHA Association known for bold implementation of social innovation has combined round-the-clock care, day care and a sports swimming pool in one institution. Soon, in the spring of 2015, the complex in Odporyszów will be supplemented by a Centre of Equestrian Sports as well as a multi-purpose court with hybrid lighting. 300 people will use the facilities every day.
More than 100 people attended the opening celebration, including the partners and friends of SIEMACHA who supported the creation of this innovative facility.
Modern Children Home in Odporyszów
A Modern Children Home has been built from scratch in Odporyszów. It is the first facility in Poland that carefully combines round-the-clock care, a selection of daytime activities and sports facilities with a swimming pool. Three separate institutions operate under one roof. They influence one another constantly and thus create a new quality of social support. Children who cannot live with their biological families live in the round-the-clock part.
Thanks to the closeness of the day care facility visited daily by 60 young people, the children from the home build lasting bonds with their peers and are involved in the life of the local community. The sports part, that is the swimming pool and fitness gym is available to the pupils, to individual clients and organised groups. In Odporyszów a modern carpentry shop with a 3D printer will be built, a multi-purpose court with hybrid lighting as well as professional equestrian infrastructure that will become the base of the Centre of Equestrian Sports.
— The Modern Children Home in Odporyszów is an opportunity for a new opening. It is an original concept of how a round-the-clock institution should operate, supplemented by infrastructure for day-care for local children and a modern sports centre. We want this place to inspire others to create similar solutions. We are convinced that the pioneering ideas of SIEMACHA will break stereotypes and experience growing appreciation. With our partners we want to turn it to models that will set up new standards for social support in Poland - says Rev. Andrzej Augustyński, the General Director of the SIEMACHA Association.
Round-the-clock care. 9 children live in the round-the-clock part at present. They are aged between 3 and 15 and are unable to live with their biological families for a variety of reasons.
The aim of their stay in our institution called SIEMACHA Spot 24/7 (formally: care-educational institution, aim: socialisation) is for the pupils to become independent and return to the environment of their biological families in a short time. That is why the educators at SIEMACHA are so focused on resourcefulness, independence and responsibility. The Odporyszów facility does not employ service staff such as cooks, cleaning personnel or janitors. The only employees are the educators and most of day-to-day chores such as cooking hot meals, shopping or cleaning are performed by the pupils themselves. That way they naturally acquire skills needed in their future adult lives. Children are placed in such institutions on the decision of family court. Currently the SIEMACHA Association runs 9 SIEMACHA Spots 24/7 and provides round-the-clock care to almost 150 pupils.
Day time activities. An integral part of the Odporyszów Facility is the day care institution, SIEMACHA Spot (formally: specialised facility for day support) as well as the sports facilities by the name of Com-Com Zone composed of a fitness gym and a sports swimming pool.
The day care is a „new generation of backyards”, that is a carefully planned and equipped space where young people can develop their talents, acquire new skills and build bonds with their peers. The basic task of the place is to build a strong youth community and to support the development of young leaders who would later become role-models for their friends. SIEMACHA Spot in Odporyszów is composed of three workshops — educational, multimedia, social development — as well as a multi-purpose auditorium and an office for individual psychological support. By the end of 2014 a music workshop and a carpentry workshop with a 3D printer will be added. SIEMACHA Spot operates every day, from Monday to Friday, from 1 pm to 7 pm. 50 young people from Odporyszów, Żabna, Dąbrowa Tarnowska and many other villages and municipalities benefit from the free offer of the institution every day.
Sports facilities. The sports swimming pool and the fitness gym will be used by the pupils of SIEMACHA as well as by individual clients and organised groups.
Money earned due to the sales of sports services will support social activities of the Association in Odporyszów. For years now we have been led by the conviction that sport has an important educational function — it strengthens characters, develops personalities and builds social bonds. That is why the offer of the round-the-clock care, day care and the sports facilities has been combined to create a coherent pedagogical system. By doing so we have created a space for multidimensional development of young people, who can acquire new skills during workshops and develop in a variety of sports activities. SIEMACHA Spot in Odporyszów breaks the stereotype of an orphanage as the place of shameful isolation or social exclusion. The closeness of the round-the clock care, day care and sports facilities enables the young inhabitants of the Modern Children Home to build bonds with their peers and take part in the life of the local community. They also feel the hosts of a unique place that is now an important spot on the map of Odporyszów.
The Modern Children Home in Odporyszów and its sports facilities have been financed solely by our partners and the sponsors of the project. Among strategic partners engaged in the creation of this complex there are: PKO Bank Polski, Inter-Bud Developer, TAURON Polska Energia and Totalizator Sportowy. More than 30 different organisations and institutions were involved in the creation of this innovative complex. They have supported it in different ways — financial support, in kind support or providing services free of charge. The construction of the complex, with its sports facilities and workshops, as well as taking care of the premises and creating the small architecture surrounding the building consumed approx. PLN 5 m (EUR 1.25 m). Approx. 250 people will use the complex every day and after the opening of the Centre of Equestrian Sports and the multi-purpose court in 2015 this number will be significantly higher. The round-the-clock care institution operates based on a contract with the city of Krakow. The cost of day care for 60 pupils is covered by the township of Tarnów.