The competition is a continuation of the idea promoted by the “SOS SOCIAL ASSISTANCE” Foundation in 1997. It was initiated by Jacek Kuroń, who responded to Wisława Szymborska’s request to help her share with the society the money from her Nobel Prize for Literature.
The objective of the competition is to show activity of people and supporting them organizations dealing with various social problems, and popularize examples of civic attitudes and taking the matters into their own hands, not waiting for institutional help.
The candidates for the “Civic Leader of the Year” title can be proposed by NGOs, public institutions, informal groups, companies, religious associations and individuals (provided that they can indicate the organization or institution that can give references).
The application form and Competition Regulations can be found on: www.spolecznikroku.newsweek.pl. The applications with nominations can be submitted by October 1, 2018. (inclusive) at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The competition will be decided in March 2019; two winners will be selected – one in local and one in national category. Their profiles and activities will be presented in the article published in Newsweek Polska weekly.
The winner will be selected by the Competition Committee composed of: Jerzy Koźmiński, President and CEO of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation; Paweł Łukasiak, President of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland; Tomasz Lis, Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek Polska; Renata Kim, head of the Society section, Newsweek Polska; Przemysław Radwan-Röhrenschef, President of the School for Leaders Foundation; Jan Kuroń, Jacek Kuroń’s grandson; Michał Rusinek, President of Wisława Szymborska Foundation, and Janina Ochojska, President of the Polish Humanitarian Action.
The Main Partner of the Newsweek Polska Competition for the Civic Leader of the Year title is the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, and the Substantive Partner is the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland.
To date, the “Civic Leader of the Year” title has been awarded to:
- Jolanta Golianek, the founder of The Burned Foundation providing medical, psychological, rehabilitation and legal assistance to people who suffered severe burns. The Foundation is effective in popularization of their problems through such projects as the Woman with Scars exhibition and A Burned Woman Is Running civil society campaign.
- Agnieszka Dejna, the co-founder of Dalba Social Cooperative which offered people with intellectual disabilities employment at Browar Spółdzielczy in Puck and an opportunity to participate in a rehabilitative diving program.
- Ewa Błaszczyk, the co-founder of “Akogo?” Foundation, supporting children in need of rehabilitation after serious neurological injury and their families. She succeeded in opening of Budzik (Alarm Clock) pioneer Neuro-rehabilitation Clinic at the Children’s Memorial Health Institute and of Budzik dla dorosłych (Alarm Clock for Adults) in Olsztyn.
- Urszula Machcińska, the initiator of Flying Grannies (now: Grannies on the fly) project for senior women who write their own tales for children, and then tell them in orphanages, pre-schools, libraries and hospitals.
- Piotr Pawłowski who has for many years been actively working for the benefit of people with various disabilities through the Fundacja Integracja (Integration Foundation). The initiator of renowned social campaigns, involved in actions aimed at amending laws and removing architectural, digital and social barriers that make life difficult for the disabled.
- Father Andrzej Augustyński who has created a system supporting development of children and youth threatened by social exclusion. He has established Siemacha association which runs a nationwide network of innovative educational and sports as well as therapy institutions.
- Piotr Bystrianin who works against discrimination of immigrants, supports inter-cultural integration, and promotes wise struggle with problems faced by foreigners in Poland.
- Aneta Obcowska, awarded for gratuitous help for excluded people through securing them access to free health care and therapy in the Warsaw clinic for homeless run by Doctors of Hope Association.
- Father Jacek Stryczek, the SPRING Association initiator, co-founder and president. The founder of Noble Parcel and Academy of the Future projects aimed at supporting people facing financial difficulties.
- Dorota Hedwig, the mother of children suffering from cystic fibrosis, who has for many years been acting for the benefit of people suffering from this disease. She struggles to improve conditions on the wards, for reimbursement of medicines and access to lung transplantation. Thanks to her efforts, the NHF has started to refinance lung transplantations carried out abroad and recently such transplantations have also started to be carried out in Poland.
- Wiesława Kowalska who has created from scratch the Patronage scholarship program run by Pyzdry Echo Cultural Association. She activates young people and is involved in actions promoting local democracy and local government monitoring.
- Barbara and Krzysztof Margol who have been changing lives of Nidzica local community through various actions carried out by them themselves and the organization they are leaders of. They have been reviving the region for example by creating new jobs and organizing scholarship programs.