ViabilityNet 3.0 is up and running. As the second round of participants has just moved into the second half of the program, we’d like to give you a brief look at what they’re doing in their community projects.
Andriy Korbetsky from the Ukraine is a member of the local parliament in Kamyanka-Buzka and provides legal counselling to people in need. Since he meets many older people in his work, he decided to create a space where people of different generations and backgrounds could interact, discuss issues that are important for the city and sometimes just have a bit of fun.
In Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, community life is thriving and Dušan Martinčok is part of it. Through his Stanica Záhreb (Zagreb station) project, he runs various activities that help neighbours of different ages get to know each other. One intergenerational group is developing a theatre performance, while others come together for an intergenerational pub quiz or Nordic walking. Dušan and his colleague Táňa have also been busy compiling a publication titled “Záhrebská”, which tells the story of people engaged in a day care centre in Záhrebská Street in Bratislava. Dušan also included his favourite activity – a book club – in the project.
Five years ago, Galina and her family moved to a new home in Bela Rechka, a small village about two hours’ drive from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Since then she has been busy organising a variety of events there. Yet she had the feeling that many people don’t take part in the events. In response, as part of her project, Galina organised a local festival called “Gathering of the Flock” with music, workshops, food and more. In addition, she is busy turning a room in an old school into a space for local people to meet and develop activities together. The renovations are underway, and in another small village called Igrev (which means Sunrise) Galina supported the establishment of a branch of Chitalishte, a specific type of cultural centre with a long tradition in Bulgaria.
Veronika Juhász had been restoring a garden nestled among old buildings in an older quarter of Budapest, Hungary. She wanted to do more, yet the neighbours were hesitant. So she moved her project to the district in which she lives. Her original plan there was to begin a similar project in an open space near her house. But then she realised that the local residents weren’t quite ready for that and she decided to take a step back. She organised a street festival where people could get to know each other and get a sense of who the neighbours are, so that eventually they would be open to restoring their garden as a community space that they can use together.
Lenka Opočenská lives in a block of flats near a lake on the outskirts of Jablonec in the Czech Republic. There are about two hundred inhabitants in the apartment block. Lenka decided to start talking to her neighbours about how to change an empty cellar room into a place for shared activities. So far they have painted the walls, decorated the room and installed textile sound insulation. The group has held several meetings, which serve both as work parties and as a forum to discuss issues that bother them.
The village of Kamenka, located in the north of the Czech Republic, has about two hundred residents. After World War II, most of the then-inhabitants were displaced and others were moved in. Despite having a population of only two hundred, the community has many associations that organise (or want to organise) activities in the village. Kristýna Ondřejová is trying to bring the different initiatives together so they will start collaborating for the benefit of the locals. So far she has invited members of other organisations to participate in her group’s events, organised several events with some of the local partners and met with the newly elected local council.