WarsawThe Multi-Cultural Centre
What is inspiring?
The Warsaw Multi-Cultural Centre is often described as a best practice example for inter-sector cooperation between city authorities and social organisations. The city finances the Centre’s activities, while social organisations manage activities that have been selected in a competitive process.
How does it operate?
The Multi-Cultural Centre is currently the main municipal space in Warsaw for conducting intercultural activities. These activities range from cultural and educational projects, to language learning, to legal advice and counselling. The Centre also conducts anti-discrimination workshops and diversity lessons for children, young people and teachers. It also offers support specifically to migrants, in the form of free legal assistance on residence issues and finding a job, career counselling, psychological support and courses in Polish as a foreign language.
What is the outcome?
The concept of a Multi-Cultural Centre whose space and technical facilities are used both by the hosts and by external initiatives has great potential for facilitating integration and results in a significant number of activities on offer. The planned minimum number of activities conducted in the Centre is 150 per year.
Who initiated the project? How?
The idea of establishing the Multi-Cultural Centre (MC) dates back to 2008, and emerged from discussions between the city and social activists. The Municipal Office and 30 non-government organisations jointly developed the idea of the MC concept and its main responsibilities. The result was a jointly developed plan with concrete tasks. In the years 2009-2010, the Other Space Foundation (“Fundacja Inna Przestrzeń”) conducted a pilot programme for the Warsaw Multi-Cultural Centre. Later, a group of NGOs established the Foundation for the Multi-Cultural Centre (“życia Fundację na rzecz Centrum Wielokulturowego”). The foundation managed the MC from 2014- 2017, conducting activities in four main areas: empowerment, information, culture and education. Currently, four organisations manage the MC: the Pro Humanum Association, the Foundation for Somalia, the Armenian Foundation and the Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce.