Willa Plus like a summer house? President of the foundation: there would be more going on here, but…
Nice building, nice plot, nice view. But I haven’t heard of anything happening there yet, says the mayor of Uście Gorlickie. Local residents saw families with children there. A “local activity center” was to operate in the habitat in the Low Beskid Mountains, purchased with public money (PLN 1.3 million) from a grant from the Minister of Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek. It was supposed to host, among other things, scouting courses and workshops for parents educating themselves at home. The president of the Ostre Łąki Foundation assures that this is happening. When I ask for details, he says “I won’t tell you” and doesn’t respond to emails.
Winding mountain roads surrounded by forests lead to Uście Gorlickie in the Low Beskids. From Krakow, getting to this place by car takes about 2.5 hours. This is nothing compared to the time it takes to cover the distance from Ostrołęka, located on the border of Masovia and Podlasie. Over 500 kilometers is seven hours’ drive one way. By public transport – with transfers – a dozen or so. By train and then by bus, some route options may take longer than a flight from Warsaw to New York. Including baggage check-in.
It is there – in Uście Gorlickie, in the Bielański housing estate, at number 409 – that the house of the Ostre Łąki Foundation, purchased with money from the Ministry of Education and Science, is located. The organization has its headquarters in Nowa Wieś Zarębska near Ostrołęka, around which its activities have so far been focused. The PLN 1.3 million habitat in the Low Beskids is surrounded by mountains and forests, and at the foot of the hill on which it was built is Lake Klimkówka.
This area was praised in an application to the Ministry of Education and Science by Przemysław Zyra himself – a former advisor to the president of Ostrołęka from PiS, a long-time activist of the Scouting Association of the Republic of Poland and a supporter of the Confederation. “It is a very attractive location in terms of sightseeing, which allows us to develop educational opportunities as part of our activities” (original spelling – ed.) – we read in the application to the Ministry of National Education and Science. It is also, according to the foundation, “a very attractive area in terms of culture, the town is located on the wooden architecture trail in the Lemko region, which is an additional natural educational value.” In Uście Gorlickie you can admire the Orthodox church of St. Paraskeva, and in nearby towns – dozens of other historic, often Orthodox, temples. There is an open-air museum in Szymbark.
Even though the ministerial experts concluded that the foundation “does not have experience in implementing activities to support the education and upbringing system”, they gave a positive opinion on the application and the money was transferred to the account of Ostrych Łąki under the program “Development of infrastructural potential of entities supporting the education and upbringing system”, called villa plus. Przemysław Zyra bought a building with an area of 190 square meters (including a garage) on a 20-are plot. Inside there are three bedrooms, a bathroom, a separate toilet and a large living room connected to the kitchen, which was to serve – according to the application to the ministry – as a “workshop and lecture room”.
Several times they saw a car parked here and families with children
It was supposed to be a “center of local activity” and a “meeting place for non-governmental organizations”. At number 409 in Uście Gorlickie there was to be a “workshop and training base with rooms for conducting classes and an open-air educational zone.” There was also to be an accommodation base “for courses, trips and tourist and sightseeing groups” here.
I’m going to Uście Gorlickie. It’s a hot start to August. Behind the gate of a living soul. There is a sign for a security company on the fence. The anti-burglary blinds are closed and the grass is trimmed evenly. There is a rotating ashtray on the porch. A sign next to the closed door informs: “FUNDED FROM THE STATE BUDGET. Development of the infrastructural potential of entities supporting the education and upbringing system.”
– Since the case came to light, I have seen a car parked here several times, although I don’t come here every day. But nothing happened around the house, it didn’t happen – says one of the people we met in the area. The villa became famous at the end of January – then Justyna Suchecka and Piotr Szostak published on the tvn24.pl website list of beneficiaries of the ministerial competition.
– We didn’t see any groups of young people. The car was just parked, the blinds closed. We don’t know the new owner. We know a previous one who simply sold it. He was glad that he sold it quickly, says another resident.
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