EFC Foundation featured in a publication focused on Poland’s scholarship programmes

As an organisation which administers the Horizons Scholarship Programme in partnership with the Starak Foundation, we are part of an important scholarship system in Poland. We are pleased that our efforts are appreciated and that we are a source of best practices for others. The Good Network Foundation has invited us to share our experiences in the publication called 'Stypendia przyszłości' [Scholarships for the Future] prepared under the My Scholarship programme. You may want to check it out for guidance.

Iwona Konopka, Regional Coordinator for Warmińsko-Mazurskie Province and acting Horizons Programme Director, shared our experiences in building relations with scholarship beneficiaries and programme alumni. She talked of the great importance that we attach to relations with participants in our programme. 'We care for people and listen to their opinions and views and empower them to speak out. The programme is designed and delivered for and by the youth', explains Iwona. She did not forget to mention how we value our relations with collaborating institutions and partners to our projects.

The publication also contains information about the methods and tools we use to communicate with our clients. A well-thought-out recruitment process, numerous meetings throughout the scholarship term and the possibility to join the association of the EFC Alumni at the end of the programme are all building blocks of long-lasting relationships. There are also stories of challenges that we face and guidance that we follow to overcome them, for instance, in the context of forging relations with a group while addressing the need for an individual approach to each and every beneficiary. 

And what is our greatest pride? Iwona Konopka does not hesitate to answer: 'It is the trust that we have inspired in our beneficiaries and their parents. We are committeḋ to ensure that̨ our clients achieve good academic results, learn̨ foreign̨ languages and develop their passions; however, their emotional and personal growth is equallẏ important. It is the moments when our beneficiaries come to seek advice or ask for support that prove to us that strong relations have been built̨.' 

The publication also answers many other questions. How to create community programmes professionally and with attention to user needs? How can the scholarship system in Poland respond to the leading challenges of the modern era? What are some examples of best practices in diagnosis, promotion, relation-building and evaluation from the country’s leading scholarship programmes? Answers to those and more questions can be found here: 'Stypendia przyszłości. Praktyczny poradnik o programach stypendialnych' [Scholarships for the Future. A Practical Guide to Scholarship Programmes].

The publication is a product and summary of the first meeting series called 'Stypendia przyszłości' [Scholarships for the Future]. They were conceived as a contribution to the debate on scholarship programmes in Poland. The guide is a joint effort of a group of institutions from all over the country. Enjoy the read!