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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » January 9, 2008
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New Praga Center for Kids
January 9, 2008   
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An estimated 1,000 children in Warsaw's Praga district spend most of their free time on the streets every day, according to the United Way Foundation. A new center called ¦wiatoteka will open soon to cater for the needs of such youngsters. It will allow them to spend their time actively in a friendly, safe environment. The center will be located at 12/6 ¦rodkowa St. in Praga, on the site of a former patisserie. Children will have access to books and games, as well as computers and the internet.

"This place will give the children the opportunity to learn about the world in an entertaining way," said Małgorzata Mularczyk, president of the foundation. "However, a learning environment is not the most important factor. There will also be an adult available at all times whom the children can confide in and talk to."

Funds for equipping the center were raised through an online auction from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4. Works of art put up for auction were painted by disabled artists for the Nikifory 2007 competition, held by the foundation for the first time. The ¦wiatoteka initiative was launched by the foundation as part of its Partnership for Children program in collaboration with Warsaw's Praga Północ district authorities. The Procter&Gamble, Allianz Polska, Leroy Merlin and TNT companies have contributed money to the project. Two renowned filmmakers, Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze, are acting as "ambassadors" for the initiative.

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