Recruitment for the FOLM project - Food Bank in Olsztyn

News Monday, 12 April 2021 10:38

After a winter break, full of enthusiasm, we began to assemble groups for March and April camps. In March we planned 2 camps, in April 3 camps. We had to cancel them all because of the restrictions in force.

At the beginning the restrictions were introduced in regions. When it turned out that a lockdown had been announced in our area of Warmia and Mazury, we quickly organized a camp place in another region. We prescribed people from one group to another, we informed about the changes of dates and places, and we individually agreed on the way of getting to the new meeting point. Once everything had been established - the whole country was closed - which ment the cancellation of the nearest planned expeditions.

Despite the situation, our recruitment activities did not stop. We continue to contact secondary schools. Telephone and mail information was sent to 200 schools. In this way, young people who are finishing school this year can learn about the project. The educators of the last classes showed the video recorded by us at the educational hour, as well as sent a message with a video and a link to a short application form via electronic gradebook. Sometimes they shared information on the school's website or on social media.

Appart from schools, we continue to cooperate with the University of Warmia and Mazury and have established cooperation with Białystok Technical University.

At a time when direct contact with potential participants is impossible and many institutions such as social welfare centres do not want to expose their wards fearing of pandemic, we have focused on online promotion. In order to stay in touch with former participants and all interested in the project, we actively work on our Facebook group where we share memories of the camps, discuss topics of interest to us, work on personal development, motivate and inspire each other. We are also in the process of designing an online game to bring former participants together more closely and create a FOLM community. What is important, the game was invented and supervised by a former participant of the project, who herself came up with such an initiative and wanted to take such a challenge.

Although we put a lot of work into recruiting and promoting the FOLM project, the difficulty in recruiting participants is really big. Many people are afraid of meeting in a group of people from different places and do not want to risk. They think not only about their health, but also about their families. We are seeing a decrease in motivation among people who have already been signed up for the expedition, but due to restrictions it has been cancelled. Constant cancellation and postponement of expeditions result in discouragement and change of plans among young people. On the other hand, we see a great need to free young people locked up in their homes, who are often overwhelmed by the current situation, so we are constantly trying to reach the widest possible group of people.

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