The meeting took place in the Castle and Park Complex in Baranów Sandomierski on March 2nd, 2013. The Gala was organized by the Act Locally Center – SMK Local Fund Foundation in cooperation with the Mayor of Baranów Sandomierski. The Polish-American Freedom Foundation was represented by Radosław Jasiński, Program Director, and the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland, the “Act Locally” Program Manager, by its President Paweł Łukasiak.
Organizations carrying out the projects were presented with certificates of participation in the “Act Locally” Program by Stanisław Baska, President of the SMK Local Fund Foundation.
The authorities of Baranów Sandomierski, Nowa Dęba, Pysznica and Zaleszany communes as well as all other organizations which were involved in the undertaking were also thanked for an effective cooperation. Jacek Hynowski, Mayor of Baranów Sandomierski Commune, emphasized the importance of local initiatives in the development of small communities and expressed recognition for the creativity of the Zbydniów Act Locally Center beneficiaries. A letter to the participants in the meeting was sent by Mirosław Pluta, Member of Parliament, former Mayor of Baranów Sandomierski, who stressed the significance of inter-sector cooperation to the development of self-governance in Poland.
The winners of the first edition of the competition “Initiative. Innovation. Integration” were presented with awards during the gala. The competition was addressed to local nongovernmental organizations and informal groups from the area of operation of the SMK Local Fund Foundation.
The SMK Local Fund Foundation is also a leader of the partnership established under the first edition of the “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program, in which initiatives important to local communities serving the common good are undertaken. The Program is addressed to communes where several PAFF programs have been carried out. In Baranów Sandomierski commune projects under the “Equal Opportunities” Program were implemented and thanks to the “e-VITA” Program (closed in 2011) an IT infrastructure was laid down there and now is being developed.
The “Act Locally” is the Polish-American Freedom Foundation’s largest grant program, which has been carried out by the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland since 2000. Its objective is to activate local communities through supporting initiatives that help solve local problems, stimulate developmental aspirations of local communities and contribute to the development of social capital. Through the network of 53 Act Locally Centers operating in more than 540 communes, grants are offered in local grant competitions for civic initiatives stimulating local communities. In the 7th edition of the Program, in three decentralized grant competitions (in 2010, 2011 and 2012), a total amount of almost PLN 7.5 million was granted for the implementation of 2,047 projects. From the inception of the Program, more than 5,340 projects were co-financed for the total amount of PLN 23.5 million, and with the grant recipients own contribution included, their total value was almost PLN 53 million.