Knowledge to the Max – a tutoring and mentoring program for young refugees

Knowledge to the Max (Wiedza do potęgi) is a tutoring and mentoring program of Ocalenie Foundation and the BNP Paribas Foundation. It aims to support the education of refugee youth, primarily those who have learning difficulties and are at risk of falling behind. Participants of the program can take advantage of self-study help, workshops, educational and cultural field trips as well as day camps. The organizers are also in constant contact with the families of children participating in the program, offering them the necessary support.


Knowledge to the Max – 2019 edition

The first edition of the program began in April 2018 with the recruitment of program participants. 15 young refugees were admitted to the program, mainly from Tajikistan and Chechnya, as well as Ukraine and Afghanistan. All participants had been studying for at least one year in Polish schools. Each student had a tutor assigned to them – a “permanent” tutor providing ongoing support with studying and school-related matters, as well as a “mobile” tutor specializing in specific subjects (e.g. science, Polish, English), who supports several students at a time.

In 2019, we enrolled more young people in the program. The program is aimed at young people who meet the following criteria: 

  • Aged 13-18 and enrolled in a school in Warsaw
  • Refugee status or subsidiary protection, humanitarian stay or tolerated stay in Poland; in exceptional situations also persons under the refugee procedure,
  • people who voluntarily want to join the program,
  • people with learning difficulties, especially those with a high risk of dropping out of school,
  • people who are not gainfully employed during the school year in a way that would prevent them from learning. 

In 2019, the program was divided into two stages:

  • In the first stage (from the end of February to the end of the summer holidays), we helped students improve their final grades, organized meetings with a psychologist to assess the needs of participants, hosted a series of workshops and went on field tips to various cultural and scientific institutions.
  • The second stage started in September, in the new school year. We will ensure participants have regular meetings with volunteer tutors to help them study. Starting in September, 5 selected participants will receive a scholarship. This will cover the student’s pocket money and school fees (parental council contributions, insurance, dinners, trips and textbooks).