Three years ago organizations from 6 countries: France, Greece, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Sweden have formed a partnership for the activation of citizens in the rural areas. Among them, Robert Schuman Foundation from Poland invited Patria Foundation to participate in. It’s how we placed the last meeting of the project in area of activities this foundation and local partners.

The main goal was to set up a long-term project cooperation is to find solutions to improve the living conditions of people living in the countryside.

The mobilities of “Read it” project supporting the final outcome – formation of the guide – were international meetings.

Four-person delegations visited the places where the partners operate. Last year took place

2 such visits in France (March) and Sweden (September), this spring in Greece.

The last study visit took place on 26-29 June in Poland.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EVENT:

Project partners and members met in the municipality of Kiszkowo, at the headquarters of the Patria Foundation in Skrzetuszewo, where they welcomed by the president of the Patria Foundation – Liliana Sobieska and the head of the Kiszkowo commune – Tadeusz Bąkowski.

First discussion panels concerned the presentation of the specificity of the Wielkopolska region, mainly the commune Kiszkowo.

The next day, participants visited few local initiatives in the area Kiszkowo commune. The first place was the Chamber of Remembrance and Tradition of the Kiszkowo Land located

at the Primary School in Łagiewniki Kościelne. The director Andrzej Szprywa talked about the idea and project implementation, guided throw the exhibition of agricultural equipment and the display of home furnishings from 100 years ago.

The next example of great initiative also realized in Łagiewniki Kościelne made even greater impression. Recreation of Kipa – ice island on the pond made at the initiative of residents was something that perfectly fit in the idea of “Read it” project.

After the Kipa, the time has come for Rybno Wielkie and its recreation place facilities( The beaches at the lake in Rybno Wielkie) cofunded by European Union, which all partner countries are members of.

The participants‘ Thursday lunch was done by themselves … in the village center in Rybno Wielkie, Group of Rybno(gastronomy local group) was faciulitating polish tradition kitchen workshops. The passion of the members of this group is cooking with Old Polish behavior

regulations and the use of local products. As part of the workshop, dumplings were made. Participants rolled and cut the dough and filled them with various types of stuffing. There was a cabbage with mushrooms as well strawberries in various forms. For most people it was the first meeting of this type with the Polsih kitchen „from the kitchen“. All of the hand-made pierogi have disappeared quickly.

The penultimate point of Thursday was a show combined with local promotion and tasting

brewery from Karczew. Michał Michalak talked about his project. At the end the band “Śpiewacy I grajkowie/Singers and musicians”  presented a few old Slavic White Voices songs and carried out very much interesting workshops on Old Way singing.

We had also typical for Polish culture fire bonn and dinner in wood-tippi with tradictional food and drinks – close to the lake, where some of participants were swimming.

On Friday, the Museum of the First Piasts in Lednica was visited. Ostrów Lednicki island made possible to learn more about Polish history and culture region.

Another point of the visit was the Ranch in the Valley in Dąbrówka Kościelna run by

Hanna Sudol. The agritourism farm was established on the basis of an old farm and is

an example of a very successful private initiative to stimulate entrepreneurship in the areas

rural areas. In this extremely charming place, the project participants ate a duck,

dumplings and beetroots – typicla for this region kitchen.

After visiting Dąbrówka, participants mooved to Kiszkowo Ponds and the Natura 2000 area

„The Valley of Little Wool near Kiszkow“. Tourist infrastructure was presented around the pondsrecreational service serving the sewerage of tourist traffic and at the same time facilitating birds observation. Areas protected under the Natura 2000 network are also in all countries from which the participants of the project came from. The next point was the nature-hunting education workshops lead by the members of the Falcon’s Hunting Association in Kiszków, Wojciech Zabierka and Bartosz Krąkowski. As it turned out, in all countries there is a similar phenomenon of the drop in the level basic knowledge of nature. Using the available teaching aids.

The last part of the day was the evaluation of visit in Poland and the completion of the entire project. It was led by Kamila Lenczewska from the Association Centre of Intercultural Initiatives Horyzonty.

In the opinion of foreign guests collected in annymous evaluation forms, visit in Poland met with great enthusiasm and brought many ideas & good practices. In the next part there will be presented ideas and conclusions of participants.

Participants specially liked food, hospitality of local groups and partners. They mentioned also „village“ character of the meeting which fit to the athmosphere of the project.

Participants emphasized the professional nature of the conduct of the meeting.