Twelve students from UITM, coming from the most war-affected areas of Ukraine, received financial grants funded by the Shapiro Foundation, created by the family of Ed & Barbara Shapiro together with two adult children and local partners.

Established in 2001, the Shapiro Foundation has been providing humanitarian aid around the world for over twenty years, mainly to emigrants, refugees, and national minorities. It works by supporting refugee children, helping with basic needs, resettling refugees, organizing legal pathways, improving and reducing refugee travel costs, and employment initiatives, among others.

While implementing projects in Poland, the Foundation started working with the Jewish Community Center Foundation (JCC Kraków), whose main goal is to build a Jewish community in Kraków. JCC Krakow brings together people of Jewish origin and people interested in culture, religion, and Jewish tradition. It offers genealogical advice for people looking for their Jewish roots.

One of the activities carried out in cooperation with JCC Kraków is a project of financial support for students from Ukraine. For this purpose, the Shapiro Foundation donated PLN 50,000 to the University of Information Technology and Management. Grants were given to 12 students from the districts most affected by the war. The selection criteria also included a high score on the school-leaving certificate, a positive decision of admission to studies in the first round, and crossing the border after January 31, 2022.

In addition, the Recruitment Committee indicated minors as beneficiaries who were unable to take up gainful employment to improve their financial situation. The money was distributed equally to each student, in the form of subsidies for accommodation and living costs of PLN 2,000 and a lunch subscription, to be used for 20 working days, the equivalent of PLN 2,000. In addition, as part of the project, students will be able to take advantage of the psychological assistance of a qualified psychologist for 22 hours if necessary. The support structure in this way, coming from the UITM partner, which is the Shapiro Foundation, aims to provide the best possible conditions for the life and development of students from Ukraine, with particular emphasis on their needs, not only material but also mental.

Projects implemented for refugees:

Support for refugee children, help with basic needs, resettlement of refugees, organization of the legal path, improvement and reduction of travel costs for refugees, and employment initiatives.

Educational projects run by the organization:

Turkey – the government launched a free university for refugees, but thanks to the financial support of the Shapiro Foundation, in cooperation with the local Karam Foundation, for only USD 1,400/semester, Syrian refugees have been able to apply and get married. Therefore, the best opportunity for financial self-sufficiency in Turkey was created for this group.

Poland – through JCC Kraków. As part of the on-the-spot activities in the first weeks of the war in Ukraine, a local nursery operator was supported and grants were provided to two partner universities for financial assistance for students. This program has been extended by a scholarship program for Ukrainian students at other universities in Poland.

The Shapiro Family, source: Shapiro Foundation

About the Jewish Community Center Foundation (JCC Krakow)

The main goal of the Center is to build a Jewish community in Krakow. JCC Krakow brings together people of Jewish origin and people interested in Jewish culture, religion and tradition. The Center conducts a variety of classes, courses, workshops and foreign language learning. Periodically, exhibitions, vernissages, film screenings, book promotions and lectures on Judaism, Jewish culture and the principles of religion are held. A kosher Shabbat dinner for members is held in the JCC building each week. On the occasion of Jewish holidays, the Center organizes meetings, parties and other celebrations. The Senior Citizens’ Club, the Hillel GIMEL Jewish Student Club and the FRAJDA Early School Education Center are active in JCC. To meet the needs of the Krakow community, JCC Krakow offers genealogical advice for people looking for their Jewish roots.