The Ark’s programme includes a broad range of interesting educational activities.
Our Foundation is the place where children can spend their leisure time in an interesting, enjoyable and valuable way, either on their own, or accompanied by their friends, family members, or our staff: having fun, playing games or using our other facilities aimed at improving their fitness.
In order to foster participation in our activities, we organise sports and music classes. Our programme is quite extensive and includes football and dancing classes, as well as foreign languages, computer and fine arts.
The Ark also offers a wide range of workshops for children which are supposed to teach them important things through fun and games. A good example of this are our cooking classes, which, apart from providing children with valuable skills, also give them knowledge about a well-balanced diet and its effects on human health. Other examples include our weekly “Kinder Parties” where children can have a good time but, at the same time, become familiar with the principles of the Christian philosophy.
Our permanent programme also includes trips to cinemas, museums, the Zoo or swimming pool, giving our children a chance to break free from their day-to-day routines. This is how we help them expand their knowledge, and stimulate them to take actions and develop themselves.
Each year we host a number of festive events which can be also attended by parents. Apart from birthday parties and other traditional events, such as for e.g. St. Andrew’s Day, we also organise our own summer festivals. Meanwhile, the most anticipated wintertime event is Christmas Eve Supper, which is attended by Santa himself.
Our comprehensive offer is also attributable to the invaluable support provided by our numerous voluntary workers, including our coaches and teachers, who share their priceless knowledge and long-term experience with us.
There are still too many children who come to school without a proper breakfast. For many families, a hot daily meal is still a rarity. That is each day at the Ark commences with a free lunch.
For each child, a hot meal should be an important part of the day. We believe that the time spent on having proper family meals cannot be underestimated. So we try to use that precious time for valuable conversations, thus strengthening our bonds with children and giving them a sense of home and safety. The children can approach the Ark’s staff as their trustees with whom they can share their sorrows and joys. Our motto is: “ Food and community go hand in hand”.
The children are taught how to respect food and learn the proper table manners. We also educate them and their parents about an importance of healthy and well-balanced nutrition, motivating them to spend as much time as possible having common meals at the family table.
The Open Wardrobe
At each Ark centre we have a special wardrobe full of clothes. It is where children and their relatives can find neatly-looking second-hand garments donated by our supporters.
Vacation Trips Full of Adventures
The Foundation regularly organises vacation trips for children and young people. As many parents just cannot afford sending their children to vacations, the Ark’s trips can be only opportunity to change their surroundings and spend their time out of town.
The Ark’s vacation trip can be an escape from daily battles: it is the time when children can just enjoy their childhood and gain new skills by doing sports, playing games or making music. For our kids this is a chance to leave their small flats in town and get closer to nature, gain new experience and broaden their minds.
Each vacation day is filled out with interesting activities which enable children to experience family atmosphere and enjoy the sense of being part of a community based on the mutual respect and trust. Our educators have a chance to talk to children, either face-to-face, or collectively, and give them advice on how to cope with their daily problems.
The vacation trips enable us to know the children better and earn their trust, which is particularly important for providing them with the truly effective support in overcoming their school or family problems.
Our experience so far has shown us that vacation trips are vital experiences which stay in children’s memories for long and can play a crucial role in shaping their personalities.
Effective Educational Support
The social background often determines one’s educational success or failure. The Ark tries to act against this rule. We work with children who have been growing up in highly adverse environments and try to accompany them along their educational paths. Therefore, helping them to do their homework is our daily ritual.
Our main objective is to create an atmosphere that promotes effective learning in order to help our children to come through difficulties and support their talents. Our experience has shown us that mutual trust is key to effective learning. Therefore, we try to work with each child individually. Our goal is to strengthen their self-esteem, independence and responsibility. We would like to be part of all their smaller and bigger successes at school.
Apart from providing our children with systematic support in doing homework, we also help them to fill out their educational gaps.
We believe that perfecting their reading and writing skills is very important, since such competencies would play pivotal roles in their entire education. In this case we particularly count on our voluntary supporters eager to help our children to improve their reading abilities.
We take efforts in order to ensure that our educational facilities are properly furnished and equipped (e.g. a library, maps, computer stands). We often take advantage of innovative teaching methodologies. We provide all our pupils with ongoing and long-term educational support. Our objective is to accompany them until the end of their schooling. We would also like to thoroughly prepare them for their school graduation exams. We also focus on the moments when young people graduate from schools and start their professional careers. Our trainings are just a tool supposed to facilitate the process of finding jobs or gaining professional experience.
Many of our children find creating interpersonal bonds pretty difficult, which is probably related to their low self-esteem and the problematic situation at their homes or environments. Our Foundation offers them a safe haven where they can find understanding, acceptance and respect indispensable for their personal development.
The Ark’s staff is composed of individuals whom children can always trust, confess their problems, and find unconditional acceptance. We help our kids to discover and develop their unique talents while being motivated by the trust they have in us.
The Ark is supposed to be a safe haven where children can develop their social competencies. The clear rules of our day-care help them to work on their interpersonal skills, learn how to communicate with others, and respect social rules and standards. In particular, we focus on teaching children how to cope with various conflicts. We believe that the Ark is a place where everyone is to be given a second chance despite their misbehaviours and other flaws.
Our philosophy has been based on the Christian ideas of a human being and the world. We would like to create bonds with each child. Therefore, our priority is to create durable bonds, rather than implement predefined programmes.
The sense of being accepted, respected and loved is supposed to give the Ark’s children the power to confront daily challenges at home or school, and, later on, in their adult lives.
Parental Support and Guidance
Children are in the very focus of our attention and parents are their closest relations. Families supported by the Ark often cope with serious problems such as unemployment, material deprivation, social exclusion, family conflicts and other social or psychological burdens.
The co-operation with parents is an important aspect of our work. We would like to support families and strengthen their sense of responsibility for their children. Our experience has shown us that successful co-operation with parents is always beneficial to children.
The scope of our support provided to parents includes: