From 9-13 October, the Erasmus Blended Intensive Programme entitled “Addressing socio-spatial exclusion with the focus on the participatory approaches, Jílová Case Study” took place at the Faculty of Social Studies. This meeting including twenty-three students from five countries (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Slovenia) was preceded by two online meetings, which provided the students with a theoretical and historical background for the topic of social inclusion in the Czech Republic and also for their study visit in Ostrava.

During the week students learned about an issue of socially excluded localities, visited the Village of Coexistence in Liščina and other sites such as Bedřiška associated with the issue of social exclusion. Students spent most of their time in the Jílová locality, where they discussed needs and wishes with its residents. This English-speaking group of foreign students intrigued the local children, who were happy to have an opportunity to communicate in English. Based on requests from the students a community event was held, during which part of the street was cleaned and planted with tulip bulbs.

Students also prepared proposals for a use of a plot of land owned by the University of Ostrava, an “urban gardening” project in the area as well as a proposal for a community event that could realistically take place in the spring of 2024. All these projects were presented to representatives of the Moravská Ostrava and Přívoz district and the director of district’s Technical Services. Before their departure, students expressed their interest in returning to Ostrava in the spring to hold a community event with Jílová residents.