At the online meeting held on February 23, participants of the 7th round of the “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program presented the results of their initiatives and told us about the strength of partnerships that were established by them.
The event was opened by President of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland Paweł Łukasiak and Polish-American Freedom Foundation Program Officer Kalina Grzeszuk-Zajączkowska, who pointed to the great significance of partnerships’ strength and expressed their appreciation for people and institutions involved, their efforts, as well as encouraged them to keep on developing cooperation on the basis of worked out local resources.
Next, Program Coordinator Emilia Dmochowska presented the opportunities to continue their cooperation under the alumni initiative – the Common Good Lab.
After that the partnership leaders presented achievements of their year-long projects the common denominator of which was the common good, in each case on the basis of social diagnosis of local community needs.
At Płużnica, the residents created a friendly, nice-looking, cozy and modern space for residents which they called Współdzielnia (Sharing Outlet). It became a place serving for development of informal education and neighbor support, where they can share their knowledge, experience and skills. They have held there a series of Breakfast Meetings For Civil Leaders, as well as various training sessions, workshops and educational classes.
The partnership of Niepołomice wanted Niepołomicka Forest to integrate the local community and become a place where nature and historical past meet the residents’ needs. Started as a start-up in 6th round of the program actions have been extended to be more involving for the residents. For example, nature walks where organized in Niepołomicka Forest, there was also We Take Root – Health from the Nature Festival (it’s a word game in Polish: We take root = zapuszczamy korzenie, while forest=puszcza) aimed at promotion of healthy lifestyle and psychical wellbeing.
The common good for the partnership of Gołdap was the public space viewed in social and cultural categories that would meet needs of both local community and tourists. Because of the turbulent past of Gołdap and Masuria region, the attention was also focused on multiculturalism which is a valuable element of that community. One of the project elements was an exhibition titled Gołdap – People And Places, held in the center of town, and presenting historical photos made available by people and four boards with large format pictures of pre-war architecture. The common ground is also a place for holding civic cafés and lectures.
Orneta Idea Finder is a Center for Local Integration, the result of partnership work and activity, social innovation development, creativity, and competence space. It was designed as a place where residents can meet but also where workshops or debates can take place. It’s aim is to build local social capital. On the residents own initiative they also managed to create Wake-up Orneta Local Internet TV.
The partnership of Międzyrzecz defined well informed community as their common good. The term includes such feelings as the need to learn local knowledge including awareness of your own roots, as well as your municipality or village advantages, and events taking place there. They got closer to reaching that goal thanks to creation of local Internet TV as a start-up in 6th round of the program. Therefore the partners decided to develop that means of communication further and at the same time make the community of Międzyrzecz take also part in such activities as workshops, quests or outdoor games. Also, plans for development of thematic villages have been developed by village councils in 2 villages.
At Dragacz commune it was decided that they will take care of traditions related to Kociewie region. Among other events participated by residents there were workshops of Kociewie patterns painting at the end of which there was a competition for the best works, bike rallies, and outdoor games.
The objective of the Maps of Memory, Memory on Maps project at Janowice Wielkie was to preserve the collective historical, cultural, natural and social memory. Cooperation of residents resulted in creation of virtual map of places and stories in Janowice Wielkie commune, putting up 20 memory boards related to places marked on the map, and registering 11 interviews with senior residents of the commune.
In Mosina commune a volunteering center for young people was set up. And also they set up a Federation of Local Organizations which is an association of organizations operating in the commune. Cooperation resulted in carrying several joint actions, such as collection for the retirement home, joining the Freedom Soup action for homeless people, as well as a collection of pets’ food for the shelter. Apart from that, 8 projects for young people and 3 competitions for residents have been implemented.
Thanks to the implementation of Common Włodawa project the residents could realize what meaning has the public space had from historical and natural view point and what is its present esthetics. Four online meetings were held on such topics as history of Włodawa families, heritage of Jewish cemeteries, or how to cope with epidemic in small communities. In town park 11 memory boards related to Jewish cemetery existing there in the past have been put out.
Residents of Czernica selected nurturing local identity and pointing to the uniqueness of the place they live in as their main goal. Therefore it was cultural heritage and history of Czernica, and in particular the 19th century palace there, became the common good around which the partnership was built. As a result the first in Śląskie province thematic village was created. The contacts of representatives of local community got closer when they joined hands preparing all elements of visual identification and building Granary of Secrets brand. They have developed 2 workshop scenarios and 4 quests for tourists visiting the village.
What Do We Need? Let’s Do It! project in Lądek Zdrój consisted in improving the town esthetics. They held numerous actions to make the town look better (planting plants, putting out decorative flower pots in the main square) and next to the Cultural Center the educational herbal garden was created. The biggest event was the Street Art Festival Lądek-Zdrój, which turned into 8-day festival on the street art thanks to many new partners that joined the partnership. There were many attractions during the festival, such as local street theater performances, outdoor art installation made by children and young people of Lądek, artistic open-air, street concerts, workshops, animations, dance theater performance, and “the luncheon on the grass”.
In Szumowo commune the residents focused their attention on historical and cultural resources, and especially on their open-air museum. As part of the project they organized 2 rounds of Szumowo Tradition and Folk Art Festivals, published Localities in Szumowo Community in the Past and Today book, held 10 various training sessions and workshops related to the tradition in the region, including the ones on old toys and games, weaving of straw, singing workshops, and cooking workshops.
In Fredropol commune an interactive map was created showing the attractions in the commune with a total of 130 marked points. Each place is described in details, and the photos are posted (including aerial photos with 360 degrees display of selected places.) Additionally, thanks to cooperation with Wild Carpatians Initiative, they managed to add to the map also attractions planned in Turnicki National Park.
The meeting participants emphasized special significance of emotional ties they have built while implementing the projects. Selected start-up will have an opportunity to extend their activities in the following round of the program.
The objective of launched in 2009 “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program is to initiate and develop cooperation among participants of various PAFF programs to set up partnerships that can implement social projects important to local communities. The program uses the method of animating local communities to build the common good on the basis of earlier performed social diagnosis. In 2019 a pilot project was launched addressed to partnerships established at their own initiative and not involved in earlier implementation of PAFF programs.
So far 50 PAFF Local Partnerships and 11 start-ups were established that cover 107 communes and municipalities. A total of almost 160,000 residents and almost 1,000 partners have participated. Only in the 7th round of the program over 220 partners and almost 400 volunteers were involved in activities carried out under 13 projects.