We were honoured to receive the Gold Synapse award from the Polish Psychiatric Association. We were nominated in the "Friend of Psychiatry" category. We are delighted that our commitment to improving conditions at paediatric psych wards in Poland.
1% powers the charity
Per Polish tax regulation, each individual taxpayer can reduce their income tax by the amount equal to 1% of tax by making a charitable donation of this amount to the public benefit organization of their choice. In order to be eligible for the donation of 1% of tax, the NGO must be registered as a public benefit organization in the National Court Register. The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation has been registered as a public benefit organization in 2004 and is eligible for 1% tax donation. Last year, when the charity’s objective was to support the work of children’s hospices the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity has raised 7.386.754,15 PLN. More information on how to donate 1% of your income tax in aid of the Foundation can be found here.
The Board of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation decided that this year the charity will be using the funds raised through 1% charitable tax donations to support the child and adolescent psychiatric facilities. The Foundation aims to improve the standards of medical care available in the inpatient psychiatric facilities for children and adolescents by the purchase of modern equipment.
Inpatient psychiatric facilities are one of the most neglected hospital units in the Polish medical system, struggling with lack of appropriate financing, erroneous health service evaluations, lack of medical and other equipment, and understaffing. Geriatric and long-term care facilities have faced the same issues before the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation took upon itself to equip these units.
The issues faced by psychiatric units for children and adolescents are very similar to the problems that were experienced by geriatric facilities before we offered comprehensive support to these wards. Psychiatric facilities for children and adolescents are neglected, and some of them look like they are stuck in a time loop. They need even the most basic equipment, and often, the conditions in these facilities are not conducive to successful treatment of the young patients. The charity cannot replace the state, and we cannot solve all issues, but we can help the state by doing what we do best - buying equipment, says Jurek Owsiak, chairman of the Board of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation.
The young patients of psychiatric facilities struggle with different mental conditions, such as depression, conduct disorder, and reactive attachment disorder. Some of these patients have attempted suicide, while others experienced traumatic events, like the loss of their families. Often these children and adolescents are hyperactive. These patients require safe space allowing diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and developmentally appropriate therapeutic activities in supervised settings.
The condition of psychiatric facilities for children and adolescents has been a subject of the Children’s Commissioner’s concern, who, in the past 10 years, has appealed to different Ministers of Health, asking them to take up necessary steps to improve the situation in these hospitals.
Now, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation decided to include psychiatric wards in its drive to improve the conditions of healthcare in public hospitals in Poland. The funds raised through charitable tax donation will be used to meet the needs of psychiatric wards.
These facilities require complete equipment overhaul – we need to purchase new beds, bedside cabinets, basic equipment for diagnostics and treatment. We can dream about buying advanced treatment equipment, therapy aids and rehabilitation devices as well as equipment used to support the development of motor skills and equipment used to teach the patients to control their emotions, says Lidia Niedźwiedzka-Owsiak, member of the Board and medical director of the Foundation.
Thus far, thanks to the money raised through 1% tax donation drive, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation was able to:
- purchase an MRI machine for Children's Memorial Hospital in Warsaw
- purchase 220 AEDs for public institutions
- run CPR for Schools Programme
- support Programme for Personal Insulin Pump Treatment for Children with Diabetes
- purchase palliative care equipment and cars for all hospices in Poland
- purchase additional equipment for the Nationwide Programme for Early Cancer Diagnosis in Children
- purchase state-of-the-art equipment to save children's life and health
- launch a new medical initiative and equip two orthopaedic clinics in devices allowing to carry out complex surgeries aiming to fix serious bone defects in children and extend bones
Wondering how much we raised since the first Grand Finale in 1993?
The biggest fundraising initiative will take place this Sunday. Before you begin your very own volunteering adventure, make sure to read our tips. Are you ready? Let's start!