‘That study visit was both an award for to-date achievements of these Partnerships, and inspiration for further activities which will allow them to develop. Its aim was sharing experiences by Polish and German local organizations in local coalitions strengthening as well as transferring good practices to Poland,” said Paweł Łukasiak, the President of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland (the “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program Manager).
The visit participants were Andrzej Zaręba, the President of W.A.R.K.A Association, Dorota Lenarczyk, Małgorzata Dąbrowska and Lidia Grzegorek, representing “Apple Warka – the Fruit of Our Passion” Partnership and Monika Kozdraś-Grzesik, the President of Inspiration Generator Association, Aneta Szura, Beata Wojnarowicz-Hondz, Ryszard Król and Irena Szczypek, representing the “Network of Places Friendly to Young People” Partnership. They were accompanied by the civic organizers of the Common Good Lab (an alumni initiative within the Program) – Gabriela Gibas of the Żywiec Foundation for Development, Stanisław Baska of the SMK Local Fund, and Paweł Łukasiak, the President and Emilia Dmochowska, the Program Coordinator of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland.
The participants visited Holzmarkt, an urban village at the outskirts of Berlin created by a social group, where healthy food and local craft fairs are held. There is also a restaurant, community a garden and a children club. The next visit on the agenda was to the Impact Hub – an innovative lab, business incubator and social enterprise center where businessmen, CSR experts, start-uppers, architects, lawyers, social workers and students meet. What they all have in common is that they make efforts to solve local and global problems with social innovations.
A source of various inspirations for the participants was their visit to Trebnitz Castle, where the Center of Education and Meetings has its seat. It is an educational and cultural institution, whose priority are international exchange projects with Central and Eastern European countries. The Center carries out activities aimed at village activation, such as intergenerational meetings, cooking workshops or revitalizations works on a local park.
The representatives of Partnerships also visited Jugend Mobil project implemented as part of MiE & Ju (Migration, Engagement und Jugend) project aimed at integration of young people coming from various cultural environments. Under the initiative a mobile social space was built and equipped with a mobile stage, sound system and small mobile kitchen. The Jugend Mobil is used by a local community when the outdoor events are held.
The last trip of the study visit participants was to Paretz – a small village west of Berlin, with a historical 19th century palace, renovated thanks to Breuninger Stiftung. The palace renovation has invigorated the local community and was a stimulus to set up the Paretz Akademie – the local activity center where communication and creativity skills can be improved.
The purpose of the “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program, implemented since 2009, is to initiate and develop cooperation among the beneficiaries of various PAFF programs promoting the creation of partnerships around the implementation of social projects important to local communities. Under five editions of the program a total of 38 partnerships were established in 85 communes, with almost 600 partners involved.