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Refugee Self-Help Centre SINTAR

Refugee Self-Help Centre SINTAR is an innovative centre of Chechen culture which came into being in Warsaw.

A purpose of Sintar is to increase a level of self-reliance of refugees from Chechnya who live in Poland. Sintar, due to its specific character, facilitates adaptation and integration in new environment, increase acceptance for immigrants among Poles as well as enable taking own initiatives by refugees.

Planning actions in the Centre we resolved to surpass the traditional educational and integrating operations and also took into consideration the essential elements of Chechen culture. The most important feature of this culture is a strong sense of group ties which express in necessity of frequent meetings, taking common actions, celebrating feasts in larger groups, etc. There was a deficiency of this type of place, so Sintar became a space for the Chechens to take their own initiatives and a meeting place for members of the diaspora.

Sintar – as an initiative from Chechens, co-managed by them – became an endeavour uniqe on the scale of the entire country, helping in refugee integration and building trust between them and the Polish society. It became one of the centers of modern Chechen thought – an authentic catalyst for development – not only for the Chechen diaspora, but for its individual representatives too (the name „Sintar” in the Chechen language means development and young tree). The project was initiated by Issa Adajew, one of the leaders of the Chechen diaspora in Poland.

Refugee Self-Help Centre SINTAR for first six years was a project by the Cultural Institute of Caucasus Nations (Instytut Kultury Narodów Kaukazu) and the Other Space Foundation (Fundacja Inna Przestrzeń), then in 2015 we decided to establish Sintar Foundation (Fundacja Sintar im. Issy Adajewa).

Sintar seeks to achieve three aims:
• Increasing the level of education of Chechen refugees (mostly women and children)
• Internal integration of the Chechen diaspora in Poland
• Social and cultural activation of Chechen refugees and support of their efforts to integrate with Polish society.

The project also contributes to widening the existing integration offer for persons under international protection in the following areas:
• Learning of the Polish language,
• Courses shaping the civic awareness: not only the Centre held classes on the Polish history and culture, which assist the integration with Polish society, but also a similar activities related to the Chechen history and culture to enhance self-consciousness (especially among the younger generation) and to strengthen ties and a sense of national solidarity,
• Activities to raise public awareness of the host communities of foreigners, including dialogue between the host community and the foreigners,
• Organization of the foreigners and their mutual support: this project is the first such action in which the main role (including coordinators and experts) perform refugees.
Furthermore, the project is enriched with actions from so-called deficit areas such as participation in social and cultural life.

The Centre is running courses on the Chechen language and culture, Polish language and culture, English language, vainakh dance and music workshops, film, photography, drama, tailoring, art and handicrafts workshops, computer classes and sports activities. In addition, Sintar also holds cultural events and trips with educational character.

We’ve created dance group Children of Sintar (Dzieci Sintaru) which performed in many places in Warsaw, and also in Gdańsk, Zakopane and even in Belgium. We are also trying to encourage our youth to participate in international training courses and youth exchanges.

The project received funding mainly from the European Refugee Fund, the Government Budget and the Capital City of Warsaw. This year we have some financial issues so you can also support us and help us to continue our activities:

Fundacja Sintar im. Issy Adajewa
ul. Modzelewskiego 35 lok. 2, 02-679 Warszawa
PL 92 2130 0004 2001 0723 8934 0001
Volkswagen Bank Polska S.A.