The representatives of partnerships were welcomed by Tadeusz Wójtowicz, the Wielka Wieś commune head. The commune is a member of a partnership and as such was the host of the meeting. The commune head showed the guests the modern seat of Commune Office, a place friendly to people, where many other institutions are located, such as for example a library.
The meeting was opened by Kalina Grzeszuk-Zajączkowska, Program Coordinator of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and Paweł Łukasiak, President of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland, who conducted the opening workshop on the role of the common good in building sustainable partnerships based on values that are important to the whole community. “All partners must feel responsible for the common good; otherwise the partnership cannot be sustainable,” Paweł Łukasiak emphasized. Concepts such as Przestrzeń Sowa (the “Owl” Space) in Biłgoraj, ritual towel in Hajnówka or clear air in Żywiec served as the examples of the “PAFF Local Partnerships” best practices.
Next, each partnership shared its experiences in the area of challenges they had faced at the first stage of project implementation. That created the space for exchange of observations on important moments in the partnership building processes and served as an introduction to the second workshop bloc conducted by Agnieszka Pytlik, an animator of the Common Good Lab, representing Centrum Rozwoju Inicjatyw Społecznych CRIS (Center for the Development of Social Initiatives, the Leader of a partnership established in the 2nd edition of the Program). In her presentation Agnieszka Pytlik spoke about the strength of a partnership and pointed out to the difficulties that can occur during the partnership project implementation. Presenting the diversity of local activities, she emphasized the importance of engaging various groups of residents in carrying out the project as well as promoting the events and progress in partnership projects implementation.
The afternoon part, conducted by Krzysztof Kuczyk, comprised a workshop on reportage photography, which is an excellent tool for documenting the progress of activities carried out by partnerships. Thanks to good weather, the participants had an opportunity to test the newly acquired knowledge in practice.
At the end Joanna Patej, director of the Commune Public Library in Wielka Wieś, a partner in the Wielkowiejska Misja Niska Emisja (Wielka Wieś misson – low emission), showed the guests around the new library seat and presented innovative and diversified activities that are carried out there.
The next “PAFF Local Partnerships” workshops are scheduled for the spring 2017.
Participation in the “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program is an award for communities that stand out among others as regards their involvement in implementation of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation’s programs. It serves initiating cooperation of the programs’ participants through joint implementation of projects. Over five editions of the Program, a total of 38 partnerships have been set up in 85 communes, involving almost 500 partners.