Polish Prize of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Awarded to individuals and non-governmental organizations for their efforts to promote peaceful coexistence and cooperation among societies, religions and cultures.
Winners of the 19th Awards:
Serhij Żadan – Poet, writer, activist, translator from German, member of the punk band Zhadan and Psy. Graduate and lecturer in Ukrainian studies and German studies at the Kharkiv Pedagogical Institute. A member of the “Red Fira” group, he is a former chairman of the Union of Ukrainian Writers (2000-2004). He has won many awards, including the Bu-Ba-Bu for the best poem of 1998, as well as the Berlin Bridges Prize, the Joseph Conrad Prize, and the Hannah Arendt Prize. In October 2015, he received the “Angelus” Central European Literature Prize for his novel “Mesopotamia.” He was nominated for the International Literary Award of the City of Gdansk European Poet of Freedom in the second edition (2010-2012). This year he was awarded the title of “Man of the Year” by “Gazeta Wyborcza” and was the winner of the Peace Prize of the German Booksellers. His books have been translated into many languages. Volumes of his poems “Cultural History of the Beginning of the Century and Other Poems,” “Drohobycz,” “Ethiopia” and “Antenna” and seven novels have been published in Polish translations: “Big Mac,” “Depeche Mode,” “Anarchy in the UKR,” “Anthem of Democratic Youth,” “Voroshilovgrad,” “Mesopotamia” and “Internat.” He lives in Kharkov, where, since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war, he has been actively involved in defending the city and helping its residents: among other things, organizing and supporting shipments of medicines, food, hygiene products for the civilian population and cars for the hospitals of fighting Kharkov.
The Glencree Center for Peace and Reconciliation is an independent non-governmental organization founded in 1974 in response to the conflict in Northern Ireland. At the time, it played an important role in the peace process, mainly by enabling both sides of the bloody conflict to engage in constructive dialogue and build relationships based on trust across political and religious divides and against mutual prejudice.
“Peace for all” is the Center’s mission and the main goal of its activities. The organization specializes in conflict resolution, broad, inclusive dialogue, mediation, negotiation and education for peace. The Glencree Center has been carrying out its conciliation programs on 4 continents for almost 50 years, including Israel and Palestine, Turkey, Haiti and Thailand, working with both individuals and entire groups of people.
“We believe in a world where human rights are protected, where diversity is a cherished value, where every person can live with dignity, in a society based on respect and equality, free from violence and exclusion, where conflicts are resolved peacefully,” – say the founders of the Center. The award was accepted on behalf of the Center by Barbara Walshe, the Center’s 2014-22 president. https://glencree.ie/about/
s. Michaela Rak – Polish nun, founder and director of the Blessed Fr. Michael Sopoćko Hospice in Vilnius. Sister Michaela developed the hospice care provided to the multicultural Vilnius region. It is the first and only center of its kind in Lithuania. In early 2020, the first children’s hospice in the Baltics was opened in Vilnius – on the initiative of Sister Michaela Rak.
She graduated from the Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw and completed legal studies at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. Since 1984 she has been a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus the Merciful. From 1996 to 2008 she lived in Gorzow Wielkopolski, where she was one of the founders and later managed the St. Kamil Hospice. She raised funds for the facility through street collections, charity concerts and the Pola Nadziei campaign. She helped establish hospices in Minsk, Kaliningrad and a home hospice near Berlin. For her charitable work, she has received a number of honors such as the St. Christopher statuette in the “Angel of Charity over Vilnius” category, the title of Merciful Samaritan, the “Glory of Lithuania” Award on the occasion of Lithuania’s Independence Rebirth Day, the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Rebirth of Poland, and the Centennial Medal of Regained Independence.