Bašta – a Space for Civic Activities

Our story with this project began to be written at a time when we had no idea about the approaching pandemic. Until then, we only had experience with small grants. The need to develop our organization gradually arose both internally – personal development and effective use of human potential, and externally – the necessity to renovate another floor for year-round use. All the more joy came after the news was published that our involvement in a real “challenge” for us in the truest sense of the word was not in vain. We were also pleased to learn that, in addition to the financial support we received, we also achieved the best rating in the category of civil society organization development.

The planned cooperation with expert institutions in the field of organizational development inside was unimaginable for most of the team. We were waiting for several hours spent together on strategic thinking. We gradually became familiar with it, completed several joint team meetings and fulfilled the goal of the project. As part of our activities, we managed to achieve several successes – creation of a background and system of work for formal volunteering, change in the strategic thinking of the team, improvement of communication and orientation in processes within the organization. It helped us transform our thoughts into longer-term visions and kick-started longer-term planning for the center’s operations. Cooperation with experts was beneficial not only for us in the organization, but also for the external environment in Bardejov, where we “sowed the seed” of cooperation in the field of participation and enriched other non-profit organizations with tips in the development of their fundraising.

One of the sweetest moments was when our coordinator and the author of the project announced to us at one of the educational activities that she was going to be a mother. Our sincere joy was slightly overshadowed by the fear of how the continuation of other activities will develop after her departure. It forced us to look for reinforcements in the team, and with great pleasure we found her in the community of our visitors, so we were able to smoothly follow up on the work of the coordinator in the project. The project thus grew by another member and took on a possibly different, but at the same time beneficial perspective on its ongoing implementation.

At the beginning of 2021, the first consequences of the pandemic measures (especially the lockdown) began to be reflected in our activities. Our work on the project became slightly more difficult, but despite this we were able to manage and move some of the activities to the online space. In this way, we were able to focus on internal organizational processes and deepened our awareness in various areas of internal education. In connection with the pandemic, we were forced to change part of our target group, as the pandemic situation literally closed our doors to pensioners and we started cooperation with the Roma minority. Within this target group, we have so far established closer relations with several members of the community and encourage them to be more involved, we try to include them in joint projects – for example, recording fairy tales in their language. The cooperation is still at the beginning and we believe that it will soon bring concrete results, even if the pandemic situation worsens again.

However, the primary target group was the members of our organization, which were joined by friendly and cooperating non-profit organizations in the area, as well as active Bardejov residents themselves. We had the opportunity to organize two open workshops, which smoothly grew into other interesting activities. In particular, the civic participation workshop stimulated the creation of an informal initiative where members from several organizations and active citizens came together and continue to meet.


This project helped us both internally and externally to create and develop relationships. He helped us not to be afraid of challenges, to think strategically in more areas than we were used to until now. Our Bašta is now a safe space and we are ready to continue the development of established relationships – be it work, volunteer, or with other active citizens and organizations.