Since the last GIRA-meeting in Rhodes, Greece, 8 long months have passed, which led to a heartfelt welcome in Warsaw in the beginning of may. Even though the team had acquired a lot of new faces since the last time, many interesting and enlightening conversations were held from the start.
Our workshop started with a few ice breakers, laughter and disguises, giving way to a brainstorming session on how to present our group and idea at the Europe festival on Saturday, 07.05.
In the afternoon our partner in Warsaw, the Schuman foundation, gave us an insight into other projects they’re involved in, like the “Keyboard Warriors” – who dedicate themselves to “tackling misinformation” by educating about fake news and how to detect them – as well as a case studies conducted by Justyna Kościńska on the development and issues of the Polish public transportation system.
On Friday our group was headed to the village Kamionka located 2 1/2 hours north of Warsaw, where we learned about “Garncarska Wioska” a social and environmental enterprise. The farm is constituted by the “Garden of Eden”, the traditional Inn, who makes use of their locally grown foods, as well as the “Pottery Village” – a combination for preserving both culture and nature of an area that had been vastly depopulated and stripped of future perspectives only 15 years ago. The owner himself, who decided to start his ecological and social project in Kamionka, told us about the “desert” he found and how he wanted to return hope to the people living in the village. Now he is a proud entrepreneur who not only is responsible for the revival of the zone but also brings in both regional and international tourists to learn about their traditional way of living and ecological mission.
After this long and informative day we enjoyed the park on Saturday, where the Europe festival – which in prior years had been a demonstration and peaceful walk through the city center promoting the necessity of the European Union in Poland – was taking place. The weather granted us beautiful and intense sunshine making the Northern Europeans hide out in the shade. After a lot of interactions with locals, presenting our project and exploring the other booths as well, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon with food, a meeting for the heads of each country, where future plans were discussed, and some freetime, in which for example a free classical music concert could be listened to. With yet another extraordinary culinary experience we had to say our goodbyes for this time and expressed our wish to reconnect soon – at the next meeting taking place in the idyllic “Northern” part of Sweden next month.
See here our full video coverage of the 2nd transnational meeting in Poland – https://youtu.be/V-DjN6T1GxU