This article shows the influence of the European Union funds in stimulating initiatives of the rural communities in the świętokrzyskie voivodship. It also presents ideas and activities of local action groups with a view to implementing the LEADER initiative. This paper highlights their role in the implementation of innovative Programs carried out in the coun¬tryside. The sustainable development of rural areas is not possible without a wide and direct participation of the inhabitants of villages. The human and social capital is thus the foundational of rural development. The ac¬tivities that integrate and stimulate the initiative of rural communities are shown in the paper. They are based on the example of theme villages. In the świętokrzyskie voivodship there is a problem how to increase local community participation in communes or in regional socio-economic life of particular localities. This is the main area of interest on the part of members who are organized in intersectorial cooperation, in local stocks and local development management. The necessary condition for encour¬aging local population involvement in the development of local areas and for better use of their resources is to build social capital in rural areas. At the end, the article provides conclusions and practical recommendations.