Foundation

Klamra Foundation

In Polish „klamra” means „clip” or „buckle”. We decided to give such a name because our main goal is to connect various ideas, initiatives and the organizations for which we had worked before. We focus basically on ecology, human and animal rights, anti-discrimination and minorities issues, local initiatives, children issues, fight with extremism, etc.

The spectrum of our activity is very broad due to the wide perspectives of our founders and co-workers. In the time of concrete specializations and a tendency to alienate we believe that at least in the layer of social change we need a holistic approach. We aim at connecting people and ideas in common work of problem solving. We do it with a deep commitment and the results of our activity can be easily verified. We also support many organizations with our ideas and work in order to create a new quality of life.

Klamra was set up in 2010 by Dariusz Paczkowski (co-president), Karina Paczkowska (co-president) and Piotr Cykowski in Żywiec, a small city in Silesia region in southern Poland. See more about us and our friends we work with in the section “People”!

Cooperation:
We are an active member of The Anti-discrimination Education Association which is a voluntary agreement between non-governmental organizations, trade unions and informal groups which work in aid of anti-discrimination education. The mission of the Association is to introduce a reliable anti-discrimination education to the formal education system in Poland. Find more on: http://tea.org.pl/eng/SiteContent?…

Furthermore, we are a member of the Koalicja przeciw mowie nienawiści (the Anti-hatred Speech Association) which supports All-Poland Anti-hatred Speech Campaign: http://beznienawisci.pl/koalicja/

Awards:
We are proud that our activities were recognized by following awards:
• Lider roku (“Leader of the Year”) Award by Stowarzyszenie Babiogórskie “Zielona Linia” and Żywiecka Fundacja Rozwoju (2013),
• Second prize in Otwarta Szkoła Award (“Open School) by Ministry of Education, together with I Liceum Ogólnokształcące in Żywiec (2012),
• Polska dla Wszystkich (“Poland for All”) Award by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (2011),
• First prize in 7th edition of Opowiedz (“Tell it” ) Award for the “Highlanders Graffiti” presentation by Luciusz Cykarski (2010),
• Entry in the Golden Book of Żywiec by the City of Żywiec (2010).

Major projects:

Wspólny Żywiec / Common Żywiec
A succession of activities, started in 2010, aimed to counteract discrimination and intolerance in Żywiec with the special focus on Rom community. In 2010 and 2011, together with the academic experts, we conducted a complex social diagnosis and prepared a long-term plan of actions as well co-organized the first “Rom Day” in Żywiec. Since that time we are implementing various activities for anti-discrimination education and social integration with the special focus on children. We have organized the second “Rom Day”, “Living Library”, international youth exchange “Pravde Yakheca”, and a stream of workshops for teachers, authorities and social workers. At this moment, our goal is to empower the Rom community which lives in social housing district in Żywiec. We are thankful to the main sponsor of the project: The Stefan Batory Foundation.

Aktywnie na rzecz tolerancji / Actively for tolerance
It is one and a half year program (2012–2013) of anti-discrimination education on different levels. We have organized 10-day intensive course for local activists from Poland, particularly in smaller towns. Combining various tools of social animation (photo, video, drama and graffiti) with anti-discrimination tuitions in one program provided us with great and unique experience. In the second phase of the program we offered a series of practical anti-discrimination workshops for the teachers in Żywiec and we invited academics and NGO's experts of various fields of expertise. The project is realized with the support of Switzerland under the Swiss Cooperation Program with the new EU member states.

Street Art na ludowo / Folk Street Art
A series of workshops – mainly for children – which connected traditional, local, and folk symbols with modern and popular way of expression in order to create awareness about local culture and tradition among the youngest generation. Until now, we have focused mostly on the traditions of the Highladers from Beskidy region. More on: http://klamra.org/…-po-goralsku

Gajdosze
We started this project to document and preserve a rare knowledge about ‚Gajdosze’ – an authentic and indigenous highlander musicians from Beskid Mountains – on both Polish and Czech Republic borders. We also document a unique music instrument called ‚gajdy’. In the past, Gajdosze have created local music bands, specific for this region, which were playing the ‚gajdy’ and the violins. The project is supported by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Galeria Tybetańska / The Tibetan Gallery
A unique artistic project started in co-operation with The Other Space Foundation in Warsaw in 2009 to commemorate the event of bestowal honorary citizenship of Warsaw to His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Moreover, we suggested to name one of the Warsaw's roundabouts “Free Tibet”. In the end, there is a (Free) Tibet Roundabout and a street-art gallery dedicated to the Tibetan issue presenting culture, human rights, the political situation and the inspirations that Tibet brings to the artists. The first graffiti was painted by over 100 people in two days and media called it “the first societal roundabout”. Our work led to the widely acclaimed opening of the Tibet Roundabout with a presence of the Mayor of Warsaw and the special message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The place was honored by Tibetan guests – monks from the exiled Drepung Gomang Monastery, the representatives of the Tibetan Government in Exile and last but not least His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself (2013). The project is supported by the City of Warsaw and Municipal Roads Authority in Warsaw. In the past 5 years there were conducted over 30 other projects and the new ones are still created. See more on: www.facebook.com/…iaTybetanska

People:

Dariusz Paczkowski, the founder and the co-president of Klamra. Since 1987 he is creates graffiti and street-art with social message, he also designs installations and cut stencils. Moreover, he forges signs and symbols in stones. He is a graduate of Akademia Innowatorów Społecznych (the Academy of Social Innovators). He is an experienced coach who uses graffiti as a tool to educate in the fields such as human rights, social activism, ecology, and anti-discrimination. In 80's he was an activist of “Freedom and Peace” Movement, also a founder of happening groups „Under the supervision”, Animal Liberation Front (editor-in-chief “„I have claws” bulletin), 3fala.art.pl Group. co-founder of Anti-nazi Group (GAN) and „Never Again” Association. He has organized national and international graffiti jams as “For Peace” as part of the International Peace Day in Bielsko-Biała and Żywiec (2000), “For Wisła” as part of XIII International Street Art Festival in Warsaw (2005), and a curator of “Tibetan Gallery” project. Furthermore, he was working for “Gaja Club” and Ecological Foundation ARKA. He was working also with The Magic Mountain Foundation, The Other Space Foundation, and Students for a Free Tibet Poland. He was awarded by Australian Independent Foundation for the Promotion of Polish Culture “POLCUL” for counteracting xenophobia and racism (2001), he is also a laureate of “Social Animator” Award by Local Animator Center (2010), of “Good Deeds” Award by Ecological Foundation ARKA (2011), and „Friend of the Blind” by the National Board of the Polish Association of the Blind. He is a vegetarian and a father of Kalina and Krzyś.

Karina Paczkowska, a founder and co-president. She graduated from the University of Ecology and Management in Warsaw, the faculty of Landscape Architecture and the School of Environmental Education in Wrocław, and the faculty of Natural Therapies. The latter deals with, among others, environmental education, creation and establishment of gardens. She was a volunteer at the Association for Environmental and Cultural Klub Gaja, and a collaborator in Environmental Foundation ARKA. What is more, she is a co-founder of the Bielska Grupa Kobiet „Studnia”. (Bielsko Women Association). She is an activist of 3fala.art.pl group, where she is involved in the street art and graffiti. She has organized numerous happenings on human rights and ecology. She is a mother of Kalina and Krzyś.

Piotr Cykowski, a founder and a project coordinator. He is an activist of human rights and Tibetan issue, a member of the board at The Other Space Foundation, an editor of ratujTybet.org (‚Save Tibet’ website), a representative of Students for a Free Tibet Poland, and an originator of the idea of Tibetan Gallery in Warsaw. He is a coach and NGO expert. He graduated from the School of Human Rights founded by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and also from the School of NGO's Leaders. He is a member of the Anti-discrimination Education Association. He designs, rises founds and supervises the mayor Foundation's project.

Main benefactors and partners: Stefan Batory Foundation, Fund for Non-governmental Organizations, Warsaw, Żywiec