Together we can do more, or what’s new in PAFF Local Partnerships?
Together we can do more, or what’s new in PAFF Local Partnerships?

For several months eight PAFF Local Partnerships in twelve municipalities and rural communities all over Poland have been working to improve their neighborhoods. There is no need to look for problems and their reasons – the organizations that have established partnerships work together to build common good that will improve the quality of life and make friendly space. Their projects have just crossed the half-way point, and the results are really impressive.

 

Let’s check how they are doing!

 

Warka and its neighborhood can boast creating the Apple Trail, inaugurated on May 12. It was built as part of the Fruit of our Passion partnership project, the leader of which is W.A.R.K.A. Association. Why the apple? This was obvious for every resident, as an apple is the most frequent and obvious association with that part of Mazovia Region. Many apple orchards became the symbol of the region. The Partnership, willing to promote a local product and make its neighborhood unique, has activated the local community and planned many actions, including Winter Change that allowed to animate the town space not only through decorating the Christmas trees with apples but also organizing a popular Christmas fair. They also found an unusual channel of social communication in Warka by placing the Contact Box in the middle of Town Square, which will be the place of cultural events, and meeting/relaxing for both residents and guests. During summer holidays the Apple Festival is planned, where people will have the opportunity to try apple pie, apple cider and other delicious apple dishes.

 

 

Wielka Wieś in Małopolskie Province has been a headquarters of the battle against pollution. The residents of this rural community have agreed that clean air is a common good which shall be protected and cared for, and therefore they have planned many actions engaging various participants. For example students from Kraków AGH helped to install as many as 21 pollution sensors! The results are monitored by 50 volunteers, members of the Fresh Volunteering Circles. There was also a competition for the municipal anti-pollution logo which is now placed on the ecologic shopping bags used to carry shopping by Wielka Wieś residents! What’s more, the local partnership involves all age groups. There are meeting on pollution or burning things in stoves; art competitions for children from kindergartens and first grades of elementary schools, as well as mini-projects in all villages of the community (such as comics workshops, literary competitions, anti-pollution marches). Soon the Partnership will hold the gala summing up the Eco-selfie – I’m green! community competition.

 

 

The Network of Places Friendly to Young People – so called MPMy (Polish abbreviation) is an initiative of a partnership covering four communities in Podkarpackie Province: Błażowa, Boguchwała, Chmielnik and Lubenia. The leader is Generator of Inspiration Foundation. The target group are young people, and the objective – creating a space that will be friendly towards them and stimulate their development. Two such places have already launched their operation and become very popular. One of them was established in Social Climatic Café in Boguchwała, and another in the Communal Public Library in Chmielnik. They both offer plenty of activities addressed to young people and carried out by them. For example, there was a Coffee in return for a book campaign which helped to collect set books, and Zumba marathon, and a series of healthy food workshops.

 

 

Geologists say there is no threat of a volcano eruption in Poland but we know better! The Volcano Activity Center, designed and built by Our Rio Association volunteers is now created in Złotoryja. It will be a core element of the Young People discover secrets and potential of the Region project. The objective is not only cultural education of young people but also giving them opportunity to establish cooperation, share experiences and mutually inspiring both the young and the old. “The Great Eruption”, that is the Center opening, is scheduled for June, 22.

 

 

Also We make a village – The cracking village council! project implemented in Główczyce community is based on intergenerational cooperation. The residents decided that regardless of their age, everybody shall have the chance to co-decide about their locality. Therefore, in cooperation with village councils, they have organized a mini-grant competition and decided to co-finance 8 initiatives responding to needs of various groups of people. One of them, Pumpkins grow in Stowęcin, has already been launched. It promotes growing vegetables. However, in Główczyce not only pumpkins grow. The partnership has also started the Germinating culture project, which will present the region’s traditions in form of street art.



 

The partnership of Szadek community is implementing a very tasty project – With traditional bread into 21st century. The objective is to bring back the tradition of baking bread at home. The preparations are on to build two bread stoves for all residents, and it is planned that the area around them will become the common space to meet neighbors. The local elementary school has already carried out a series of From a seed to a loaf of bread lessons to teach the pupils how bread is made, as well as the recitation contest under the same title. Soon a series of workshops for families will start and everybody will be invited to learn the best bakers’ secrets. It is also planned to publish the tourist guide on the region, and a cookbook.

 

 

Now let’s go to the area of Kozłowiecki National Park. You can see that partners form Niemce community take special care of this place. To allow use all tourist attractions of this Park, the initiative group led by Sempre a Frente Foundation has established a Youth Forest Guard. That project is a response to the need of having contact with nature that is not littered by a man. Almost 50 young people got engaged into ecologic and protection activities. They also can participate in specialist workshops, where they learn about taking photos, or topography, ornithology, etc. The members of the group got uniforms and were divided into patrol groups. You can really feel safe in that forest!

 

 

Diversity of projects implemented under the PAFF Local Partnerships shows that the term “common good” has lots of meanings. It is very well reflected by the name of the initiative implemented in Myślenice and Dobczyce – the Kaleidoscope of Partnership. The leaders of these municipalities decided to join hands and create the environment supporting NGOs in the region. Therefore they regularly hold so called Citizen Cafes where representatives of non-governmental organizations meet to develop solutions for problems important for residents, inspire each other and share their knowledge. In the coming months they plan to establish a scholarship fund which will support talented students from the region, and prepare a schedule of important local events.

 



"PAFF Local Partnerships" is a program of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, managed by the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland. Is objective is to initiate and develop cooperation among organizations, institutions and people implementing various PAFF programs.

 

To find more about PAFF Local Partnerships visit:

www.lokalnepartnerstwa.org.pl

and the: www.facebook.com/LokalnePartnerstwaPAFW fan page

 

by Weronika Chrapońska-Chmielewska, the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland

Photos: the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland