My Local Space is more than just a bazaar with food. The market feeds local communities in a multidimensional way. We meet the needs of whole community, creating an integration spot for development. This idea will help to build social capital on a local level. We want to add wings to the society – show the possibility of having a local market, improve the quality of life and maintain local businesses at the same time.
In Rajcza, a small mountain Beskids village (Silesian Voivodeship, southern Poland).
The main challenge seems to be depopulation of suburbs and villages of this region caused by lack of workplace. Youth and Young adults are moving to cities for better education and jobs. Rajcza and surroundings starts facing aging society problem. Indirectly it leads to disappearance of craftsmanship, local farming, local culture and finally social integrity. These aspects combine with digital exclusion among seniors might cause the feeling of alienation and community stagnation. Younger generation loses their sense of identity, disintegrate due to lack of initiatives and social life in their place of residence.
Also, the region struggles with lack of promotion of cultural heritage – local quisin, music, craft. Our project aims to limit “the drain brain” symptom (on local level).
Local community will by engaged in the project on different level – they will prepare and merchandise on “Market Space” but also, they will be participating as recipients. Local entrepreneurs, farmers, craftsman will be taking part in cyclical meetings (markets) presenting their offers or products. Local/ regional NGO’s will have opportunity to present their activities. People will have opportunity to meet, eat local food, buy local products, exchange their experiences, spend time on fresh air, do physical activities, get know local culture. They will have possibility to familiarize with sustainability economy concepts, opportunities from local governance for their business or education. All these elements build active citizenship and boost creativity and sense of belonging in community.
We are doing it for the whole community in a full demographic overview (Rajcza has around 8000 inhabitants) but mainly local entrepreneurs, young adults looking for job opportunities and self-development and old generation excluded from social life. We would like to cooperate with local government, representatives of cultural and agricultural centers, head of schools, farmers' association to get as holistic as possible, the point of view of society needs. Target groups:
-local farmer: 10-20 people
-local craftsman: 5-10 people
-local animators/ educators: 5-10 people
-local NGO’s: 3-5 people
-local entrepreneur: 5-10 people
-folklore band – 15-20 people
-local community (recipients, customers of the market): 300 –500 people.
At first we are going to organize a community meeting to introduce our idea to the people, state institutions and NGOs. This kick off meeting will let us collect expectations and contributions on how people would like to join this initatiave. From the very beginning we’d like to present our activity plan, which would be focused on
an open - space market, where people would meet, eat, debate, learn and teach from each other. All the methods will be active and involving local community as well as promoting cultural heritage and encouraging to build our future capital on its base.
The main results we hope to achieve:
- local community integration
- strengthening the intergenerational bond
- create a space for exchanging of local goods
- promotion of local food products
- empowerment towards local craftsman, activists, educators, animators
- boosted entrepreneurship skills in local businesses
- building capacity for locals
We hope that the most visible benefit will be the integrity of the society and increased level of life satisfaction. The local community will gain a steam to cooperate with others on local level, to be active citizens, to reach freely for opportunities that are presented by local government or UE in many areas. The expected outcome is more involved, engaged and aware society with better understanding of sustainability concept
Democracy is coming together and having an opportunity to choose what is the best possible option for us. By creating „My Local Space” we are inviting all people - seniors, youth, children, adults with all the backgrounds and views to come together and not just take what we offer but contribute to it, share and give possible solutions. We are going to ask people to join social/local debates and freely choose what best suits them. They will have a voice in a constructive discussion on how to make their local community better - we won’t use political environment, but instead market space where people can enjoy themselves while helping building active citizenship. We believe that whatever is done locally will have its impact globally as well.
„My Local Space” is a project dedicated to connecting people, giving them sense of belonging and possibility to co-creating and actively participating in their local area life. With this initiative we want to give relevance to the people and their professions which sometimes are undervalued and underestimated, but in fact are essential; we want to connect elders with youngsters so they can have a chance to meet, discuss and learn from each other; we want to show community new ways of spending time and present unusual educational offers, which can enrich and point out new perspectives for their development. Finally we want to make people aware of their cultural background and its value so they all can feel not only invited but engaged in the process of taking care of it.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
office expenses 2000 EUR; coordinating 6000 EUR; experts, trainers, facilitators 18.000 EUR; equipment 6000 EUR; renting 2000 EUR; promotional materials 4000 EUR; public relations 2000 EUR; catering 10.000 EUR
Mainly we would be interested in knowledge (know-how) around how to boost local entrepreneurship in countryside areas.