Community development, Social inclusion, By improving the small "green" urban infrastructure and a few not too expensive activities, you can create opportunities for people to actively and joyfully participate in the life of the local community.

Restoring pride!

Forgotten street - garden. How to restore people's pride!


Who is behind this?

Andrzej Weinke

Stowarzyszenie Eurojedynka


Who is joining forces?

Gmina Miejska Kowary



Idea pitch

Social exclusion is a big problem, especially at the local level. It affects ordinary people. We are convinced that such exclusion may determine the place where you live. If living in a specific place contributes to the increase of psycho-social problems of people, then to help them you need to change such a place. The project aims to help socially excluded residents of Ogrodowa Street in Kowary by improving the aesthetics of their surroundings and the conditions in which they live every day.

Where will your project idea take place?

Town of Kowary, Lower Silesia, southwestern Poland.

What is the local challenge?

Kowary is a small historical town in the Karkonosze Mountains. The town center has been revitalized for years and because of its beauty liked by the residents of Kowary and tourists. The exception is Garden street, forgotten by everyone. This once beautiful place took its name from the rank it had several dozen years ago. It was a "street-garden", full of flowers and orderly architecture. After World War II, the status of this street degraded. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Roma (gypsies) community and residents with social deficits began to settle there. Today, this place is perceived as an extremely 'bad address'. Residents are ashamed to admit that they live there. Instead of being a source of pride, relationships with Garden street are a considerable social problem.

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

We believe in the effectiveness of actions that will change the mindset of ordinary people. In Eastern European countries, the level of civic engagement and social trust is extremely low. Our project tries to improve this unfavorable situation. The project will help residents become full and conscious members of the community, citizens of the country and the European Union. By participating in the project they will become more creative and active. They will see how much depends on them. We will convince them to take care of their piece of green after completing the project. After getting involved in the affairs of their street, they will have enough social and local self-awareness to start getting involved in the affairs of the entire town.

Who are you doing it for?

The target group are socially excluded residents of Garden Street in Kowary of Roma (gypsies) and Polish people. We will also involve other city residents (of both sexes, of all ages, from youth to seniors) who will join in the integration activities under the project.

How do you plan to get there?

Project activities:
1.Creating a green "street-garden" with decorative plantings and flower pots that will be developed together with the inhabitants.
2.Arranging the square at the former carpet factory with information boards on the history of the factory and orderly greenery.
3.Performing an artistic arrangement the bridge over the Jedlica stream, so that it would remind you of the history of the carpet factory.
4.Setting up a "green" welcome at the entrance to the street, which will encourage you to visit the street.
5.Organizing the market at Garden St. into a "green vegetable market" which will become a meeting and integration place.
6.Inviting local artists to help decorate the street with their works.
7.Making a series of films about Garden St. and activities that change it.

What are the expected results?

The results we expect are improved self-esteem, energy release and increased involvement of residents of Garden Street in Kowary in local affairs. In addition, we want the aesthetics of this street to improve, so that the residents for the first time in their lives feel the pride that they live there. An additional effect will be the possibility to implement the solutions used in the problem in other cities of Lower Silesia.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Inhabitants of Garden Street will find that positive changes are possible. Thanks to their participation in project activities, they will increase their self-esteem and willingness to help in other matters at the local level. This is how conscious civil society is born. When people see that something also depends on them, they begin to take responsibility for their lives, the lives of their neighbors and co-inhabitants. This involvement of people in affairs at the local level will soon turn into involvement at higher levels, and committed and aware people are a pillar of European democracy. We hope that other cities will benefit from our experience, thanks to which the microscale of this enterprise will expand quickly.

What is your story?

We believe in the effectiveness of grassroots activities that will change the mindset of ordinary people. It's no secret that the level of civic engagement and social trust is extremely low in post-communist countries. Our project tries to improve this unfavorable situation. The project will help inhabitants of Garden Street to become full and conscious members of the community of the town of Kowary, citizens of the country and the European Union. By participating in the project they will become more creative, active and take many matters into their own hands. They will find out how much depends on them and that in a group you can do so much more than alone.

€ 49000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 50500,-

Total budget

Major expenses

- external services: 25000 EUR;
- purchase of materials and equipment: 15000 EUR;
- office expenses: 1500 EUR;
- travel and accommodation: 1500 EUR;
- public relations: 1500 EUR;
- personnel costs: 6000 EUR.

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Any help is valuable. We are particularly interested in learning good practices from countries that had similar problems, but managed to overcome them. We would also like to learn about the possibilities of obtaining funds for similar purposes from other European funds.



Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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