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Łukasz Grajewski

STP Poland: Getting To Know NGOs

The second day of the visit was extremely busy for Study Tours to Poland (STP) participants. We visited Pracownia Duzy Pokoj and the Centre for Social Communications. But that’s not it… 

Prezentacja organizacji pracujących w Dużym Pokoju, autor: Anna Woźniak

Presentation of Duzy Pokoj organisations, author: Anna Woźniak

At Duzy Pokoj in Warsaw we met up with the representatives of Warsaw NGOs: Anna Czyżewska from Pracownia Etnograficzna (Eng. Ethnographic Workshop), Róża Rzeplińska from “Stowarzyszenie 61” and Mateusz Luft from “Free Belarus Initiative”. The meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes but lasted much longer. How to finance the activity? How many grant applications do you submit every year? How’s the cooperation with the city council? Our participants had many questions.

Róża Rzeplińska’s presentations on portal (Eng. “I have a right to know”), on which Polish politicians are systematically monitored and questioned, was vigorously commented by Taras from Ukraine. He believed that such activity could be dangerous in his country. “If I launched such a portal, the militia would immediately knock my door”, he said.

Mateusz Luft from “Free Belarus” invited everyone to Sunday “Solidarity with Belarus” concert, which is held in front of the Palace of Culture. Everybody found it a great idea.

STP w Dużym Pokoju, autor: Anna Woźniak

STP at Duzy Pokoj, author: Anna Woźniak

After a fruitful meeting, we started new media workshops. We discussed the ways of using social media: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube. Thanks to the workshops, the whole group will take care of the visit’s presence on the Internet.

After the workshops, we went to the Centre for Social Communications, where the employees of the social consulting department told us how the problems of citizens from different districts of Warsaw are solved. As the lack of dialogue between the authorities and society is a problem of the whole post-Soviet region, the discussion turned out to be very inspiring.

After the meetings at Duzy Pokoj and the Centre for Social Communications, despite the tiredness our group managed to tour around Mokotów district, visit Krolikarnia palace and watch “Sexmission”. After the official programe ended, the most persistent ones enjoyed night life of Warsaw, visiting different eateries near Plac Zbawiciela.

Study Tours to Poland was launched in 2004 and is part of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation’s “Region in Transition – RITA” Program, conducted since 2000 by the Education for Democracy Foundation. The Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe from Wrocław has been the STP coordinator since 2007. The “Borussia” Foundation from Olsztyn coordinates STP for students. The study visit from 17 to 29 April 2012 is conducted by Common Europe Foundation, the parent foundation of our portal

Translated by Marta Lityńska

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Łukasz Grajewski

Socjolog, absolwent Studium Europy Wschodniej UW. Pracował w administracji publicznej, aktywny w trzecim sektorze (Fundacja Wspólna Europa, Polska Fundacja im. Roberta Schumana, Inicjatywa Wolna Białoruś). Autor licznych publikacji o Europie Wschodniej w polskich mediach.

Contact: [email protected]

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