On 28-29th October we organized an Opening Conference for PBU2 micro-projects which was held in scenic Białowieża (Podlaskie Voivodeship, PL). More than 120 beneficiaries from all three Programme countries could learn some theory on the project's implementation within the Programme. However, our main goal was to enable PBU2 beneficiaries to get to know each other, exchange on their projects ideas and experiences during indoor and outdoor activities.
The representatives of the Managing Authority, Joint Technical Secretariat, as well as Mazowieckie and Podlaskie Marshal Offices, welcomed participants of the Conference. We provided information on the micro-projects specificities as well as the lessons learned on the heritage projects implementation. We also presented general assumptions of the planned 3rd Call for Proposals (all Conference presentations to be found here). Andrzej Słodki, the Head of the JTS concluded that “Micro-projects stand for common heritage, which needs to be discovered, preserved and treated with gentleness as it is a treasure we share and are responsible for”.
After an informative session, the Conference participants proceeded to team-building tasks. The idea of the first workshops was getting to know each other as well as to release the spirit of cooperation. The group was divided into 5 thematic teams – families – basing on their projects ideas. The task was to create the ‘family name’ and emblem. The results of these attempts could be seen on common ‘family photo’. The culinary challenge was another task for the Conference participants during which families could strengthen cooperation. The energy, passion and involvement accompanied all teams. The celebration ended the day and we all tasted local food and drinks, danced and sang together while enjoying the performance of the Kalinka band.
The second day of the event was dedicated to outdoor activities. The participants got a chance to admire the beautiful landscape of Podlasie in a joint expedition. We took a journey through the Białowieża Forest in a century-old train, got some active recreation with hand draisines (light rail vehicles powered by the strength of human muscles) and finally we got the pleasure to observe the animals in the European Bison Show Reserve in their semi-natural habitat.
We would like to thank all Conference participants for their involvement and devotedness. We hope that the knowledge our beneficiaries gain within these two days, the friendship they made and the possibilities that came across will help them implement their projects.
“This event was a meeting that brings together people who want to do something, who want to act, be involved. Thank you for this opportunity to exchange experiences, make friends and share knowledge.” – said Jadwiga Konopko, representative of micro-project "The art and friendship on the cross-border route of Queen Bona".