The project’s main goal is to counteract the causes of crime among minors, promote rehabilitation, and help injured people. “Through nationwide information campaigns and social and cultural projects, we spread the idea of volunteering as a tool to positively influence the whole of society. We want to change the stereotypical perception of people affected by social exclusion and who are in conflict with the law as individuals who are only beneficiaries of aid,” explain the PLE Salesians.
But there’s more! “Above all,” they continue, “we think of supporting 'difficult' young people, showing them ample opportunities to develop and acquire new skills through volunteering. Thus, we can enthuse positive motivations to change their pathological habits and the environment and instill in them the belief that helping others can be a way to improve their own lives.”
As part of this program, five centers, part of the Network of Support Centers, have been launched in Salesian houses in Warsaw, Łódź, Ełk, Rożanystok, and Tolkmicko. These centers provide free counseling in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, law, socio-therapy, addiction recovery therapy, vocational guidance and volunteer work.
To date, 1,634 hours of specialist counseling have been completed in the 5 centers, benefiting a total of 320 people, most of whom use ongoing support (programmed therapy).
The activities provisioned by the project also include meetings in schools on juvenile delinquency and the spread of voluntary work as a means of combating it. Meetings in educational, socio-therapeutic and correctional centers on the subject of rehabilitation of minors through voluntary work, didactic workshops for parents, specialized workshops for teachers and educators, scientific research conferences in the field of analysis of the condition and determinants of juvenile delinquency, research in the field of analysis of the causes and determinants of juvenile delinquency and methods to prevent it are also included in the programme. Besides these, one-off consultations are also provided.
So far, specialized training has been carried out for educators and psychologists on the subject of volunteering (4 October 2021, Białystok). Workshops were also held for parents "on improving educational skillset", during which psychologists and lawyers work with parents of children and adolescents who are victims or perpetrators of criminal acts (on 24-26 September in Czerwińsk and 19-21 November in Rozanystok). On November 17, the National Scientific Conference was also held on “Volunteering as a way to the Rule of Law in Białystok. A seminar on “Creative social rehabilitation methods" was also organized by the PLE Province in collaboration with the University of Białystok, and which saw the participation of many eminent professors and professionals, therapists and educators, discussing the issue of volunteering as a tool for social rehabilitation of young people.
Further information is available on the Facebook page of the project.