Walking the grants in Warsaw
The EEA and Norway Grants were visible in the Polish capital on Sunday 29 May. Close to 250 people found their way to the old town square to participate in the Nordic walking event "Walk the grants".
The purpose of the event was to highlight achievements and results of the EEA and Norway Grants in the period 2004-09. In total, more than 1000 projects have been planned and implemented. The Norwegian Embassy in Warsaw had invited representatives from all funded projects to participate in the walk. Many traveled far to take part, some accompanied by many of their project contacts, some by their entire families. Among other participants were a Polish Member of Parliament and a four legged participant sporting a "Walk the grants"-t-shirt.
Seeing concrete results
Under the supervision of professional instructors from the national organisation for Nordic walking in Poland, participants warmed up before embarking on the six kilometer trail. Both at the start and finish lines one could see concrete results of the EEA and Norway Grant funding. At the square of the UNESCO listed Warsaw Old Town, a number of medieval town cellars have been restored to be used as museums and venues for cultural and social activities. Close to the finish line, the Centre for modern art has used funding to refurbish artist residencies and studios for concerts and other events.
Map of Polish projects
All participants received a colour coded sticker representing an EEA and Norway Grants project, with a variety of colours designating different sectors. Projects within the environmental sector were represented by green stickers, cultural heritage projects by red, and so on. When crossing the finish line, participants placed their sticker on a large map of Poland, each marking the spot where the project has been carried out. The result was a coloutful map illustrating the wide coverage of projects across the country.
Cultural Exchange Fund marked the end of a successful event. All participants were also invited to visit the "Norway grants village", including a photo exhibition, films from different projects, information material and project activities for children and youth.
Photos: Mateusz Pieczko