Bringing technological solutions to help teach displaced children valuable life skills

The SOK Foundation is a Polish nonprofit focused on aiding children in need with psychoeducation and supporting their development while teaching invaluable skills necessary for independent, adult life. The acronym SOK stands for “Samodzielność od kuchni (Independence in the kitchen)” – alluding to the importance of kitchen know-how in building self-reliance. The foundation started with providing cooking classes for children in foster care, but when the war in Ukraine broke out, it also turned to supporting refugees in rebuilding their lives in Poland. Currently, the SOK Foundation offers an array of educational activities not only works directly with the children, but also empowers educators to tackle the challenges they face while working with refugees. The nonprofit already enrolled over 40,000 children in its projects and provided help to more than 4,000 educators. It partners with world-renowned organizations, like WHO and UNICEF. 

The war in Ukraine caused a shift in the foundation’s goals. The need to handle an increasing amount of inquiries arose, along with growing numbers of refugee children who could benefit from psychoeducational activities. The main priority was to address the urgent case of Ukrainian children stranded in the Polish school system, often without any knowledge of the language and carrying trauma from fleeing an armed conflict. Polish educators were also in huge demand for resources that could help them provide better support, as the school system wasn’t prepared to handle new students with such complex needs. Most teachers struggled with a language barrier and were not prepared for working with children in a refugee crisis.

Image: SOK Foundation

 

The SOK Foundation aimed to make a difference with a wide range of integrative activities for children and caregivers alike, offering not only cooking classes but also emotional well-being workshops, language education programs, and access to learning platforms. Wanting to act through systemic change, the foundation wanted first and foremost to “train the trainer” and scale their efforts through preparing teachers and caretakers. To reach everyone in need of support, the SOK Foundation had to rebuild their website in a way that would reflect the nonprofit’s expertise and handle increasing amount of inquiries.

 

Creating a digital hub fit for shifting priorities

The foundation needed an improved, modern platform to reach their target demographic efficiently and enable quick and easy access to help that was sorely needed. A quick way for handling registrations for various workshops and projects was also necessary in order to conserve time and resources.

The new website should serve a dual purpose – preserving the history of the SOK Foundation and their previous activities, and adapting to the new messaging SOK already had. It had to be an easy, accessible touchpoint for contacting the nonprofit and supporting their credibility and visibility, informing potential partners and care recipients about the projects and the organization itself. The foundation sought technical assistance in building and maintaining the website, along with technical advisory on designing the architecture.

The impactful pro-bono collaboration with the Colibily Crew

The Colibrily Crew, a US-based ethically conscious digital and marketing agency, and a long-time member of the Tech To The Rescue community, stepped in to support the SOK Foundation on a pro-bono basis. The team of changemakers that makes up The Colibrily Crew aims to improve the landscape of digital marketing, supporting companies that are environmentally and socially conscious with their expertise and knowledge. Colibrily also aims to empower nonprofits, helping them gain visibility and the right tools to develop their actions in the digital world. The team is committed to driving positive change and has expertise in working with charities, which constituted a perfect and impactful fit for the SOK Foundation. Tech To The Rescue helped match both parties and ensure their compatibility, enabling this incredibly powerful cooperation for good.

“SOK Foundation’s main goal is to reach teachers in every school in Poland and provide them with skills and knowledge essential to help children feel safe and understood. To achieve this we need a credible and engaging online presence. Our decision to update our website to be more user-friendly and transparent led us to seek a partner who could guide us through the process with understanding of our mission and needs. We found such a partnership with the Colibrily Crew. Thanks to their expertise in digital strategy we created a functional and aesthetically pleasing website which became a gateway for fostering the relation between SOK and our beneficiaries. Our team could count on Colibrily’s support every step of the way – and continuously until present day.” Natalia Wiaderna, Project Assistant at SOK Foundation

The Solution

Colibrily created a modern, sleek, and functional information hub for the SOK Foundation, allowing them to make a mark in the digital world and gain recognition among their partners and beneficiaries. They also supported the nonprofit with building project signup forms and newsletters.

Image: SOK Foundation

 

The website has been built using WordPress Elementor, a no-code solution that enables easy page maintenance without advanced web-building knowledge. Going no-code allows for easy changes on the website without the need to employ a programmer. It’s a perfect solution for smaller companies and teams, as it is easy to learn for anyone with basic web-building knowledge. No-code solutions are also scalable, which is an important feature for a nonprofit that constantly expands their portfolio and adds new activities to their roster. 

Colibrily helped with maintenance and offered technical knowledge to the SOK Foundation, empowering them further with their expertise and allowing them to be self-sufficient in some areas of the website management.

“Collaborating with the SOK Foundation has been truly rewarding. We wholeheartedly support their mission and are eager to express our appreciation for their dedicated efforts to enhance the lives of children and refugees in Poland. We’re particularly impressed by SOK’s commitment and enthusiasm.” David Hoch, Founder & CEO of The Colibrily Crew

Project outcome

After deploying the website, it was visited by almost 3,500 users. The increased reach allowed the SOK Foundation to streamline their actions and provide more effective humanitarian relief in the refugee crisis – to both children and adults alike. In 2023, the nonprofit managed to reach 1,650 Polish and Ukrainian teachers with trainings and resources, and over 40,000 displaced minors were impacted by the SOK Foundation programs. The website was a necessary tool to streamline this work, conserve time and resources, and validate the foundation’s image as a trustworthy and competent outfit.

Benefits

The cooperation greatly benefited both The Colibrilly Crew and the SOK Foundation. The former was able to work with yet another changemaker and support humanitarian relief efforts – a goal strongly aligned with company’s mission to work on impactful and socially conscious projects. The latter was able to increase it’s influence on current refugee situation in Poland and foster meaningful partnerships, providing many children and educators with practical support.

 

Are you ready to make an impact? Explore available impact projects and find a good match for your tech team! 

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