Green light for Together for the Region grant program
The not-for-profit organisation Naša šanca (Our Chance) was founded only nine years ago, but its two main representatives Magdaléna Hudáková and Paulína Urdová do not sit with their arms crossed. They are always trying to find new ways of improving life in their village or its region. They have participated in several projects and initiatives which were connected to the micro-region development in the area of agro-tourism and the tourist industry. Their project entitled “Oxbow – cradle of life” was granted 2500 euros in the Together for the Region grant program run jointly by U. S. Steel Košice and the Carpathian Foundation.
As Paulína Urdová says: “The project goal was to create a zone for relaxation and leisure near our village. We wanted to improve the conditions for leisure-time activities of families and children from the Košice region, start regular meetings of communities in the countryside, and present environmental education and training aimed at climate change, all directly in the oasis of the oxbow forest near Kokšov-Bakša.”
There were many activities related to the fulfillment of this aim. The participants were our partners, the village of Kokšov-Bakša and their voluntary fire brigade. Initially they started with a two-hour session of waste-collection. The disposal was organised by Kokšov-Bakša village council. They cleared the area between the forest and the cycle path near the river Hornád from woody plants and invasive species, creating a unique space for people who want to meet, sit, talk, play and enjoy themselves. However, they lacked a source of water, and they decided to create a well. “The well is seven meters deep, it has a manual pump and the surround is decorated with round river stones. We are going to plant small bushes with berries around it, but we did not want to risk it before the hot summer,” explains Paulína Urdová. “In cooperation with our partners, we created a summer house with a table and seating, even though this was not part of the original plan. We also want a place where visitors such as cyclists from the whole region can take cover.”
The first activity was held on midsummer night, and there were nearly fifty young people present with small children, too. “Here it could be seen that people from the village are not used to working together, preparing projects. However they do like to meet and talk to each other. This meeting was first of its kind, and it represents a challenge for us, a challenge to organize and prepare further activities, work outdoors, maybe slowly resolve difficult relationships in the village. We strongly believe that the sleeping energy will wake up,” concludes Paulína Urdová.