StartUniversityNewsAcademic Year 2022/2023Pediatric enthusiasts appre...

Pediatric enthusiasts appreciated in Europe



A group of twenty people, mainly MUG students, including one student of the Gdańsk Tech, as well as our graduates, already young doctors, created a completely selfless, extremely well-coordinated team, which, guided by the idea of solidarity and volunteerism, was able to change the world of many children staying in the hospital – proudly talks about her charges Dr. Habil. Katarzyna Plata-Nazar from the Department of Paediatrics, Gastroenterology, Allergology & Paediatric Nutrition of the Medical University of Gdańsk, supervisor of the SKN “Pasjonaci Pediatrii” (Student Scientific Circle “Pediatrics Enthusiasts”).

The members of SKN, who in 2021 received the Red Rose Award for the best scientific circle in Pomerania, did not rest on their laurels and decided to continue spreading their wings. Thanks to the funds obtained from the European Solidarity Corps, they carried out a year-long project Getting Healthy Through Fun (Przez Zabawę Do Zdrowia). As part of the initiative, they carried out a number of culinary, artistic and ecological workshops.

Together with our patients, we painted autumn bags, decorated gingerbread cookies and Easter wreaths, planted a garden in a pot and a forest in glass, and also learned the secrets of creating and the benefits of soy candles. All this had a practical dimension, and during each class we smuggled educational curiosities, e.g. health, culture or history – explains Julia Leszkowicz, M.D. from the Department of Paediatrics, Gastroenterology, Allergology & Paediatric Nutrition of the MUG, coordinator of project’s first edition.

As they themselves emphasize, not only children, but also accompanying parents willingly participate in the classes.

Thanks to our volunteer work, we can see that through in-hospital animations we are able to improve the comfort of hospitalization for children. Often these are patients staying in the Clinic for weeks, some even participate in two actions during one stay in the hospital. With our actions, we want to disenchant the vision of being in a hospital bed all the time – adds Ewa Sokołowska, 6th year medical student, coordinator of project’s second edition.



The student initiative was not only appreciated by patients and their families, but also internationally recognized, taking first place in the SALTO AWARDS 2022 competition in category Solidarity & Volunteering. Project of the SKN “Pasjonaci Pediatrii” has been recognized as the best among numerous programs submitted from all European Union countries. This means that in addition to symbolic financial support, students will be provided with wider promotion in Europe and the status of a flagship project.

For us, the SALTO AWARDS is the crowning achievement of many years of work for the patients of the Clinic. A few years before obtaining EU funds, we organized cyclical Christmas-related meetings to spend time with small patients in these special moments, but we funded all the necessary materials out of our own pocket – says Julia Leszkowicz, M.D.Thanks to the grants from the Foundation for the Development of the Education System, our projects have gained momentum and we have a guarantee that we will continue them throughout the next year.

The mature attitude of MUG students is admirable, as they are able to devote themselves selflessly to others, devoting their time, commitment and a lot of empathy, despite many obligations resulting from difficult studies.

I am very happy that I have the opportunity to meet and work with such sensitive young people – confesses Dr. Habil. Katarzyna Plata-Nazar. – When I think about it, I am filled with pride, but also great emotion. Huge commitment, a lot of time, ideas, but also cooperation, mutual respect, understanding are the words that best describe our previous year of work from my perspective, the SKN supervisor. Joy, interest in the eyes of our patients, waiting for the next meeting during a long-term hospitalization undoubtedly gave us strength to continue.

Thanks and congratulations on winning the SALTO AWARDS 2022 are due to all volunteers involved in the project Getting Healthy Through Fun: Anna Kloczkowska, Joanna Ramowska, Eliza Bogdan, M.D., Piotr Witkowski, M.D., Marianna Kostka, Anna Sabiniewicz, Paula Ufnal, Wojciech Nazar, Grzegorz Nazar, Krzysztof Nazar (Gdańsk Tech), Marcin Wieczorek, Łucja Komisarczyk, Jowita Fiszer, Julia Landowska, Kamila Kapeluch, M.D. and Helena Górka.



The fact that such actions make sense does not have to convince anyone. Thanks to them, it is possible to disenchant at least a little hospital reality and make young patients under the care of specialists from the Department of Paediatrics, Gastroenterology, Allergology & Paediatric Nutrition of the MUG feel more comfortable.

Project Getting Healthy Through Fun gives patients space for mutual integration, detachment from the hospital reality, and at the same time acquiring new, interesting skills. When organizing meetings, we always try to look at our ideas from the perspective of children, what will make them most happy and how we can show them other cultures and customs interestingly. As a result, we see smiles from ear to ear and the enthusiasm with which children carry out tasks. Seeing this personally, it’s hard not to be moved – explains Ewa Sokołowska.

We meet at least once a month in a seminar room to show patients, who often spend long weeks in the ward, that a hospital is not only drips, pain, fear and boredom. The hospital is people – doctors, nurses, students who try to show that the hospital is also a friendly and full of life place, and the time spent in it can be interesting and pleasant – adds Julia Leszkowicz, M.D.

We invite everyone interested in the activity of the SKN „Pasjonaci Pediatrii” to follow its social media profiles: on Instagram and Facebook.

photos by SKN Pasjonaci Pediatrii and Grzegorz Mehring