Community development

Life after CoOalL - The Mine of Democracy

Activation and integration of the mining community in the process of strengthening social and civic competences, based on the needs and commitment of the local community itself to transformation


Who is behind this?

Paweł Korczak

The aim of our activity is to support local mining communities in Silesia and other mining commun. in CEE in the process of their activation and transformation. Our activity will focus on initiatives for bottom-up support and activation of local commun. in strengthening social and civic competences.


Who is joining forces?

SPIN-US Ltd. (special purpose company of Silesia University)


Central Mining Institute


As a newly established organisation, we want the project to also start building a network of partnerships both in CEE and worldwide to support local communities (mainly miners) in the process of transformation and rediscovery.


As a newly established organisation, we want the project to also start building a network of partnerships both in CEE and worldwide to support local communities in the process of transformation


Idea pitch

The transformation of Silesia, the largest mining region in Europe, is taking place now, but without the active participation of the local mining community. Instead of strikes and smoking tyres, we want to see that the mining community discover new civic and democratic competences and skills. Together we will release our energy for dialogue and cooperation through grassroots initiatives created by local cooperatives.

Where will your project idea take place?

Poland, southern part of the country-Silesia. The cities of Ruda Śląska & Rybnik-selected districts

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Silesia is the largest mining region in Europe. Silesians have their own language, they are strongly connected with their region,culture and history.The culture of Silesia is diverse,shaped by the influence of Polish, German, Czech and Jewish people living in the region.Mining communities do not decide on the transformation of their region, caused by the decline of coal mining and the closing of mines. To do that it is necessary to cooperate with communities outside of Silesia. Due to the fact that it is a specific and hermetic group,it is necessary to open up to new ones, through its involvement in creating new initiatives, strengthening democratic, civic and social values. This will be possible when the mining community will be conscious of its needs, voluntarily seeking to fulfill them.

Who are you doing it for?

The main target group will be mine workers,including those who have lost their jobs through extinction and mass layoffs from the mines,as well as in the wake of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and their families.Only in 2020 it is planned to close 5 mines,and 9 more by the end of 2023. In total 14 of 20 active mines.On 31 December 2019,employment in the mining industry totalled 180k employees,including 83.2k miners.The whole process lacks systemic thinking and care for normal people,mining communities,accompanying industry as well as other residents of Silesia.We will engage as many representatives of various groups, local government, NGOs, trade unions, local and regional communities as possible to get to know and take into account their opinions from various perspectives.

How do you plan to get there?

Development of intervention methods
Development of a methodology for social participation and involvement
Development of scenarios for workshops/meetings
Selecting a group of employees from Silesian mines who will take part in the project(2 Groups of 10 employees each,Ruda Śląska/Rybnik)
Identification of stakeholders that can be involved in the process
Conduct workshops,meetings,social games in cooperation with facilitators designing and conducting a laboratory for social experimentation -2 events of local community activation
Identification of potential sponsors for next editions of the programme
Creation of a project knowledge base,a stakeholder base for next editions of the programme and preparation for the continuation of the project for a larger group of participants

What are the expected results?

The project will focus the attention of all Polish people on the unavoidable process of change in Silesia.It'll make everyone aware of the need for broad cooperation in the transformation process,the success of which will bring measurable effects for all.We know that building trust in the local community is difficult and therefore the success will be the acquisition and strengthening of civic competences by at least some members of the mining community.This will allow them to decide on their fate and future.It'll show the possibility of having a real impact on their neighbourhood by acting,being socially and civically active.It'll be an example and a boost to others in their small homelands.It'll promote innovative methods and tools of social activation and potential of the local community

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Responsibility for the fate of the mining community, willingness to help, strengthen democratic values and create an informed community. That is why we focus our efforts on working with the mining community, making it aware that they not only can but also have the right to actively participate and influence the development of Silesia. We will raise the personal values of mine workers so they have the courage and strength to face the challenges that await them in the new reality by building their personal and social competences. Together with them, we will activate their families, local communities so they will see that they too have their voice, which is important in their cities and region. This will allow them to fight for a better life, by building the strength of a collective community

Why is this idea important to you?

That idea is us. We work for our families, friends and our Silesian community. What we do now will affect the lives of our children and life in our region, which has many challenges and even more opportunities to exploit. This project will support the local community and will allow us to be present in the region as a foundation that works with all its might for Silesia and its community. This project creates the strength of new opportunities for us, for the people of Silesia resulting from the change we want to moderate and which we want to be part of. The project is a tangible action and activity in the area of supporting local communities, activating them, stimulating them to create civil initiatives for local development and strengthening confidence in democratization and civic cohesion

€ 50000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Workshop materials, preparation of scenarios and methodologies - 4.000
Subcontracting, consulting, external services (external experts, facilitators, experts) - 18.000
Workshop rooms + catering - 4.500
Review, summary and evaluation materials - 2.500
Promotion and communication (website, FB, promotional materials, advertisements etc.) - 3.500
Staff - 15.000
Travel and hotels - 2.000
Office costs - 500

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

As a new initiative,we want to work actively for the benefit of our region to strengthen its development by strengthening its communities.Every advice, comment, feedback in all areas is very helpful to us and build our potential.We are interested in information on how we can improve our initiative.


Fundacja dla Śląska

Idea created on May 22, 2020

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