The program is funded from donations provided by Polish and international corporate and individual donors from Poland and abroad, including Polish taxpayers who donate each year 1% of their income tax.
The aim of Equal Opportunities - run by the Foundation since 2000 is to develop a local scholarship system for secondary school students based on local community activity and resources. In this way we would like to contribute to equalize the educational opportunities of children from urban and rural areas and help talented youth from low-income families.
The Foundation supports network of NGOs that run local scholarship programs addressed to secondary school students from their community. Each year, organizations participating in the program are offered grants which are disbursed on the condition the organizations present plans and operating principles of their scholarship programs and document possession of additional funding raised from other donors in the amount that will allow to match Batory Foundation’s grants on at least 1:1 proportion. Apart from the grants, we offer to organizations technical assistance in establishing and operating scholarship programs, as well as trainings on fundraising, cooperation with local partners, media, volunteers and scholarship recipients.
The scholarship funds operate on a basis of their own eligibility criteria developed by committees comprised of representatives of local community: non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, local governments, business circles and media. Scholarship grants approved and provided by these committees amount to EUR 25-60 per month. The students use them to buy handbooks and other learning aids, commute to school, pay for dormitory and extracurricular training, etc. The scholarship grant decisions usually depend on the candidates’ favorable grade performance, family income, involvement in work benefiting the local community, or other extracurricular achievements.
In 2014 the program involved 40 organizations from Poland. The monies the organizations raised in local communities, supplemented by PLN 547 353 in grants provided by the Stefan Batory Foundation from donations by individual and business donors helped to fund 881 monthly scholarships in the school year 2014/2015.