Youth MAL (Local Action Place) in Hajnówka officially open Julia Szypulska March 29, 2024
Fot. Andrzej Szypulski

Youth MAL (Local Action Place) in Hajnówka officially open

The first such place in Podlaskie Voivodeship

Can we stay here overnight? The young people are already planning to organize a sleepover at MAL. Apparently they liked the place. There is a huge sofa, a TV, a kitchen corner, a comfortable table with chairs, and a separate area with computers. There are also musical instruments.

The long-awaited moment came on Friday (March 29). The young people officially received their own space. The room has undergone thorough renovation, and the last pieces of equipment have recently arrived. Now it has everything that young people wanted. We collected their comments and ideas during consultations. MAL was supposed to be casual and safe. It was supposed to be a cozy place where everyone would find something for themselves. And at the same time, one in which young people have a voice and nothing is imposed on them from above.

Is beautifully. Everything fits together. It's just like during the project - young people were delighted.


Fot. Andrzej Szypulski

The project was created by Agata Łuksza, an illustrator and graphic designer from Hajnówka. The space was divided into several zones. There is a place to relax with a huge sofa, pouffes and a TV. Behind it there is a light bookcase with shelves for small items. Next, a large table and chairs. At the very end, there are three computer stations that can be separated from the rest of the room with sliding doors. There is also a small kitchen corner in MAL. In addition, there are lamps and pillows, which make the room cozy.

Designing this interior was a very cool challenge. Especially as this is not an area that I deal with on a daily basis. I'm counting on the young people to leave their spirit here. They will start to create here, fill the wall grids with their work and take care of it.

Agata Łuksza

Fot. Andrzej Szypulski

The first souvenir is already on the wall. It was recently left by guests from our partner city Alta in Norway and Rydułtowy.

Fot. Andrzej Szypulski

When we came here for the first time, we were surprised that there were so many things that would be useful to us. Thanks to them, we won't be bored.


There can be no talk of boredom. The MAL has plenty of board games, art supplies, as well as instruments to play – a guitar and a piano. Someone was constantly playing them at the opening. In addition to this, the place is growing more and more ‘into’ the city and already has quite a group of enthusiasts. Over the past five months, young people have been meeting in the auditorium at 8 Piłsudskiego St. At peak times, several dozen people have been attending classes. Various workshops, a disco and even a Christmas dinner were held there. They declare that they will continue to come here, and as soon as the weather starts to be good, they will also develop the patio next to the building.

“At last” – commented the members of the Metamorphosis Association, which runs the MAL, on the opening.

Fot. Andrzej Szypulski

We feel relieved. When the refurbishment team came in, I knew it would all be done. It was just a matter of time. On the other hand, the young people had the opportunity to get convinced about the MAL, to get used to the fact that something like this is functioning in the city. There was nothing like this in Hajnówka before, and it is also the first such place in Podlaskie Voivodeship. It feels a bit like home here.

Ewa Stańko-Szwed, Metamorphosis Association

There could just be a little more space. And this, as the members of the association predict, will be a field for work.

Young people will practice communication and negotiation skills and learn compromise. They will have to integrate more.

Agnieszka Puc-Bołtryk, Metamorphosis Association

Fot. Andrzej Szypulski

Of course, the youngsters are not in the MAL alone. An adult supervisor watches over their safety.

We waited patiently for five months for this place and we lived to see it. The young people may have waited in uncomfortable conditions, but I realised that as adults we pay attention to things that don't matter to them. And they just needed a place where it wouldn't drip on their heads and they would have peace and quiet. They were very curious about this room. In the last few days when we were cleaning here, every now and then they would open the door and look inside. Those open faces and 'wows' were priceless and will definitely be remembered.

Katarzyna Czurak, Metamorphosis Association

It is clear that young people feel good at MAL. At first they looked around the room carefully, then some took the sofa, others sat at the computers, others set up board games or started playing instruments. There was no such place in Hajnówka and we hope that other young people will be attracted to it.

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