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We are the Lemkos

Project Promoter: Zjednoczenie Łemków w Gorlicach
Proposal: 1st thematic call
Co-financed from the program: 102398,81 EUR
Partners: Львівська молодіжна громадська організація “Молода Лемківщина" (Ukraine)
Duration time: 20.12.2021-30.11.2023

The project aims to prevent the exclusion of the Lemkos community living in 3 counties of the Lesser Poland and Podkarpackie provinces. There are about 2700 members of this ethnic minority living there, most of them in the Uście Gorlickie municipality. In 8 villages of this municipality there are bilingual village name boards – they were destroyed several times between 2008 and 2022. In 2018, the Watra in Zdynia festival of Lemko culture was disrupted by a group of young hooligans dressed as fans of the Polish national team. In the same year, the car of the deputy chairman of the Lemko Union was burnt. We noted numerous offensive posts on the Internet, which coincided with the publication of online articles about the Operation Vistula 1947. Ten years after deportation, some Lemkos returned to their homeland, often finding new tenants in their family home. This aroused resentment, uncertainty, opposition and fear of eviction from the property illegally taken over by the Polish community. In public spaces of the Gorlice municipality inscriptions appeared on walls saying: ‘Lemkos to the gas’. Therefore, in this project we want to reach out to a wide audience from the majority society and carry out integration and educational activities. Above all, we want to work with the youth. As part of the project we develop and conduct multimedia lectures for primary and secondary school students from the region. Education, information and mutual opening to each other is a guarantee of social and mental changes, preventing discrimination or exclusion. Integration and educational activities are carried out by Lemkos and thus this minority have the opportunity to present itself to the local community.