Policy Plan 2020-2022

Introduction

While the Society was one of few non-profits to do annual community events like Easter in the early 2000s, now many organizations and villages in the region organize similar events. As such, we will limit the number of such events in the coming period.

For the last 17 years, the Society has facilitated Thematic Children Summer Camps and other events for children of the Jilovice municipality and later also from many other regions. With our help, as of 2020, the volunteer group running the camp activities has developed their own organisation and will now take over the logistics and financial administration as well and do additional local events too. We will continue cooperating with them on the organisational level.

The Interreg-Danube project Network on WWI heritage ended in 2019, but we will continue with several of the activities, in particular actively involving locals and schools in extending the heritage activities and developing heritage tourism with our foreign partners. In addition, in the period 2020-2022, the Society will focus on restarting our Ecomuseum activities and education-focussed activities. In addition, the Society also plans to shift a part of our focus to helping cancer patients in our region.

Planned projects – activities – events in 2020-2022

Kojakovice Museum 20 year.

Our Kojakovice Museum will exist 20 years in 2021. We plan to celebrate this with several activities and events around the museum and in the village. We also plan to publish a book about the history of the people and the farms in the village. Funding will be sought in 2020 and 2021 from the Region of South Bohemia, the Municipality of Jilovice, and foreign and Czech visitors of the museum. 

WWI Heritage conservation and heritage tourism.

Work on the new permanent WWI exhibition will continue in the coming years. Source research and interviews with people from the region will help us extend the database with information of soldiers from the region that fell during WWI, both on the Austro-Hungarian side and in the independent Czech Legion fighting on the Allied side. Time and funding allowing, we also plan to publish a booklet about the WWI memories and events affecting the village. Funding: see ad 1).

Craft Network: combining craft education with heritage conservation in an international network.

As part of the NETWORLD activities, we involved apprentice blacksmiths in making a WWI monument and our new WWI exhibition. We also organized a Youth Exchange, visiting Slovenia and Italy. During this exchange, we visited the European Centre for Training Craftsmen in the Conservation of the Architectural Heritage (Thiene, Italy), the Faculty of Design (Ljubljana, Slovenia), and later the Danube University Krems (Krems, Austria). All agreed in principal trying to  establish a European network project for crafts and heritage conservation. Preparatory activities will start in 2020, aiming to prepare an EU application under the new rounds of EU projects for the period 2021-2028. 

As part of our Craft activities, the Society has obtained a first grant for taking three apprentice blacksmiths and two supervisors to the 5-day ABANA blacksmith conference in upstate New York in June 2020. The visit will be combined with visiting other blacksmith events and demonstrations, especially about the involvement of our apprentices in heritage conservation.   

Ecomuseum restart

In the early 2000s, the Society was involved in pilot projects and international cooperation to help develop the Ecomuseum concept in especially the Visegrad Four countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary). An Ecomuseum is a museum without walls, involving the local people in preserving and presenting their heritage. This concept failed to gain ground in our region. It was too short after the fall of the Iron Curtain; locals were not much interested in becoming involved in another volunteer community activity. Now the concept is getting renewed attention and the Society is part of the LEADER – LAG European cooperation project on developing or reviving Ecomuseums. The Society hosted the first project meeting in Prague with participants from five countries. In 2020-2022, we will continue with international meetings and start fund raising for this.

Education – EU Erasmus+ programme

Part of raising awareness for craft networks, heritage conservation, cultural tourism, and ecomuseums is in participating in or organizing EU Erasmus+ projects on student, staff, and stakeholder mobility. The program funding is 100%, no pre-financing and leaves some small profit for the Society as well.

Online Cancer Support Platform

Experiences with cancer patients in our direct surroundings show that patient information, doctor-patient relations, and support organizations are less good in our region compared with, for example, the Netherlands and the USA. We are investigating the need for and feasibility off establishing an information platform and discussion forum for cancer patients based upon the Dutch, UK, and US experience. Society Director Robert Dulfer has received a grant to attend the Hereditary Cancer Conference in Pennsylvania in June 2020 and start discussions on cooperation and support.

Other ongoing or planned projects

The Society is part of a small Visegrad project “Let’s Mix the Quartet of Built and Cultural Heritage, Gastronomy and Handicraft”. This project will run into 2020, and the intention is to try extending it into a larger Visegrad Fund project afterwards. The Society is also looking for cooperation and participation in several EU projects that can help achieve our mission. We participate in a second try for funding of historic narrow gauche railroads in Central Europe (under Interreg Danube) and for other opportunities. Unfortunately, this is the end of the 2014-2020 funding period, so success in project applications is low and the waiting is for the new rounds of funding programs for the period 2021-2028. It is not clear yet when these calls will be open. Once open, it will take approximately 9-12 months to get a final decision and a first repayment at the earliest late in 2022.

Currently, we are still repaying a loan to our bank needed to pre- and co-finance the NETWORLD project. This limits our efforts to start or join new larger EU projects that need significant pre- and co-financing.

Marketing

Visitors to our centres mention that they have problems finding us, and also that our websites are not easy accessible on smart phones. In the coming period, updating our websites to mobile-friendly and more attractive for tourists will have a high priority. We will announce our activities more pronounced on social media and platforms like Trip Advisor and Booking.com, and also update more regularly. We will try find funding for a media campaign, but if no funds are forthcoming, the work will be done with volunteers.

 

The full Policy Plan including mission and organization details can be downloaded here