Center for the Civic Initiatives (CIS)
civic activity
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
Śmigiel community, Śmigiel, Poland
04-01-2021 - 31-12-2021
Project cost:
16 881,00 EUR
16 200,00 EUR
Types of activities:
activities to activate local communities (animation), educational activities, intergenerational activities
Target groups:
elderly, local community, volunteers

We are the only organization within the Śmigiel municipality (Wielkopolskie Voivodeship) that brings together volunteers, coordinates civic initiatives, and motivates the community to engage civically. We had limited capabilities up to this point, but thanks to the project we were able to reach rural parts of our district with lower civic engagement. Our research and interviews indicated a need for more civic engagement among senior citizens and other members of the community. However, the prospective participants spoke of lack of courage, knowledge, and experience in that respect.
As part of the project, we have created the Civic Initiatives Center, where we have gathered people and institutions eager to act to better their local communities. We have devised the Local Activity Program, created a volunteers database and volunteer offers, as well as hired a mentor to help us populate that space and support citizens in their grassroots initiatives. We have organized a series of workshops and trainings, including ones on volunteering, civic participation, grassroots activism, and collaborating with local communities. Volunteers and other interested parties from Śmigiel district (from Śmigła, Bronikowa, Stara Przysieka Druga, Czacza, Spławia, and Nietążkowa) researched what was needed in their community and implemented eight grassroots initiatives. Finally, we have organized a gala that summarized the projects and presented some of the ideas.
We have also organized two visiting travel sessions with institutions promoting civic engagement: Autumn Smile Foundation in Leszno, and The Horizons Inter-Cultural Initiatives Center in Poznań.
Śmigiel municipality was our partner and helped us with financial support. All our planned events were realized, however due to the pandemic some took on a slightly modified shape. Some of the workshops were remote, while those taking place in person had a limited number of participants. Our initial project was estimated to include around 40 participants, but in the end, it totaled 120. We had five schools working with a mentor, while individuals involved with the project learned about communication, motivation, civic participation, grassroots organizing and broadly understood volunteering. The Civic Initiatives Center will continue its work according to the Local Activity Program designed as part of the project.

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