Jolanta Steciuk – project manager (Warszawa)
Jolanta Steciuk. I am from Poland, Warsaw area. I am civil society expert, working as a project manager, analyst and trainer. I studied law and administration at Warsaw University and two additional semesters in New York.
During the last two years I was involved in the Civic Europe Idea Challenge grant program. It made me aware of emerging environmental needs across the continent and determination of local communities willing to find their own solutions.
Why Görlitz and why Kolaboracja??
I was a team member running here in Görlitz a Polish-German project in the summer 2017. The group explored both cities – Görlitz and Zgorzelec.
I think living at the border has it all: you can experience a new way of life, culture, people. But you can visit your home country every day. In the free time, I can go for a walk along Neisse river, one way in Germany, and in Poland on the way back.
In Görlitz I take part in a project “Testing the City of the Future – A living and working experiment for a climate neutral city of Görlitz“, which lasts 3 months.
I chose Kolaboracja as my host organization because it facilitates networking. It invites people of different backgrounds, various types of organizations. Kolaboracja created a welcoming space in the city center, convenient for daily work and special meetings.
After a short time I was able to feel here at home. The team is super friendly and I could not appreciate more a green yard in city center to have my coffee in the morning.
I like it here: people, architecture and nature. I enjoy vegetarian food. During my first week I tried Kochwerk and Bio im Bahnhof and liked them a lot.
What am I doing?
My task here is related to the idea of Görlitz as climate neutral city by 2030. I investigate the potential of civil society on both side of the river to engage in such a goal.
I try to learn local context from ordinary people I meet here because they are true experts in issues related to their region. A couple of days ago, kids in Görlitz told me how they like Cyrkus [Kultur Brücken Görlitz e.V.] So I went to see the place that is so successful in bringing people together and talked to people there. Today in Zgorzelec I met a Polish men. He lives at the riverbank on the Polish side. And his daughter, grandson and son in low, live on the other side, in Germany. He says he is able to see from the window when his grandson plays outside. These are important stories because they are part of the local community: values, expertise, life choices.
I try to engage in dialogue with local actors and support cross border networking. I also talked about local context with business owners, sustainable living experts, people working for cultural institutions, journalists. And my new neighbors.
On different level, I was able to identify financial resources Görlitz and Zgorzelec are eligible to if both municipalities and local civil society organizations cooperate together. I am aware of the fact that local and regional organizations and informal groups work on the topics of environment, climate and sustainable living. I would be glad to get to know them and work together on strengthening civil society’s role in the process.
I enjoy experiencing of the borderland were connections between people are possible, common goals can be set, joint projects launched. It is a privilege, which makes me think about eastern border of Poland where human rights are violated.
• MitOst e.V.
• Civic Europe Idea Challenge (building bridges in local communities, grass-roots ideas from 12 European countries)
• Förderprogramm „Common Ground – Über Grenzen mitgestalten“ der Robert-Bosch-Stiftung
1. Deadline (expression of interest) 15.11.2021, 2. Deadline (final application) 15.02.2022
8th October 2021