he 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 that struggle 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 Newsweek Polska “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 which can give references).
The application form and Competition Regulations can be downloaded from: www.spolecznikroku.newsweek.pl or the website of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland: www.filantropia.org.pl. The applications with nominations can be submitted by September 30, 2017. (inclusive) at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The competition will be decided in February 2018; 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.
The winner will be selected by the Competition Committee composed of: Jerzy Koźmiński, President of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation; Paweł Łukasiak, President of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland; 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:
Ewa Błaszczyk – who founded the “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. The initiator of renowned social campaigns, he is 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. The founder of Siemacha association which runs a nationwide network of innovative educational and sports as well as therapy institutions.
Piotr Bystrianin – works against discrimination of immigrants, supports inter-cultural integration, and promotes wise struggle with problems faced by foreigners in Poland.
Aneta Obcowska, she started effective struggle with the serious social problem of homelessness by securing the homeless people access to free health care and therapy. She managed to involve medical students, doctors and other people into joint activities intended to help the needy.
Father Jacek Stryczek, who has invented a unique formula of aid which managed locally, in form of Noble Parcel and Academy for the Future, covers the whole territory of Poland. That is the activity on a mass scale which nevertheless sticks to the rule that the aid is addressed to a certain person.
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. She has been activating youth and involving them in actions promoting local democracy and local government monitoring.
Barbara and Krzysztof Margol who have been changing lives of Nidzica residents through various actions carried out by them themselves and the organization they are active in. They have been reviving the region for example by creating new jobs and organizing scholarship programs.