Stowarzyszenie Siemacha

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Stowarzyszenie Siemacha is a Polish non-profit association that provides a system to help children and young people in education, education, therapy and physical development. Its headquarters is in Kraków, but it is active nationwide, and has branches in Katowice and Tarnów, which coordinate the work of the association in the south-west and south-east respectively. It is named in honour of Father Kazimierz Siemaszko, who invented peer group education around 1900. The association was registered on 14 May 2004 under the name of the U Siemachy Association as a direct successor to the U Siemachy Youth Centre founded in 1993. From 1 September 2004, the association has the status of public benefit organisation (reg no. 0000207304). At the extraordinary general meeting of 30 November 2010, the members passed a resolution changing the name to Siemacha Association.

The association has 370 employees and has a budget of 20 million zlotys (€5 million) a year. It runs a social assistance system which comprises 24 specialist units, used by 2,000 children a day, and also carries out numerous projects in collaboration with public, private and non-governmental organisations, including Gardening experience, Juliada, Spacecamp, Korba and Incluso. Since May 2006, the association works with the Kraków Institute for Psychotherapy, which provides psychological support to Siemacha pupils and their families.

In October 2008 the association launched the Com-Com Zone in Nowa Huta, which combines education, sport and therapy in a unique way to create the conditions for the integral development of children and adolescents. It is a 6,000 square metre building, made available by the local council. The idea is to introduce children to modernity, and to give them a better experience than they would get at home. One major event is the Juliada sports festival. Com-Com stands for community + commercial – the principle of a social enterprise. This means that Siemacha offers services to the local population at competitive prices, and uses the surplus to cross-subsidise services for disadvantaged children. In this way it reinvests 2 million zlotys a year (10% of sales). It relies on a public-private partnership, and is supported not only by local authorities but by ArcelorMittal, owners of the Nowa Huta steelworks. The city of Kraków provided the building, and the association also bids competitively for council contracts. This link with the city gives the association legitimacy.

In November 2010, the association opened the world's first educational and educational facility located directly in a shopping centre, at Gemini Light Park in Tarnów. The second such centre opened in April 2011 in Bonarka City Center in Kraków. Siemacha in malls is a large-scale social project, which is a response to the contemporary transformations of urban space and a cultural change. The ambition of the project is to transform the role and function of malls, shopping and entertainment

Siemacha now has two such sports centres, totalling 7,000 square metres, and sells 35,000 sports services each month.

It is a member of the Ashoka Foundation which supports social entrepreneurship. As well as winning the Cities for Children award in 2010 in Stuttgart, it has won an award for its brutalist concrete building.