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 5th edition of the Award:
Krystyna Pryjomko-Serafin – – in 1940, as a child, she and her family were sent to exile to Arkhangelsk. Between 1942 and 1948, she found a shelter in the settlement of Tengeru (today’s Tanzania), together with mothers and children who had escaped the misery of Russia and were waiting for the war’s end. In 2002, together with her son, she moved from Great Britain to Arusha and initiated actions aiming at establishing a shelter for saved children of the women-prisoners from the nearby prison. With the funding from the former “Africans” and support of the missionary Father Jacek Rejman and St. Gemma Galgani Sisters, St. Gabriel Home started its operation in 2005. The Home restores the children their lost childhood, provides them with care, food and access to education.
The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Poland, based in Warsaw, was established in 1989. Its creation was preceded by the activity of the Helsinki Committee in Poland, which existed in the underground since 1982. Currently, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights is one of the most experienced and professional non-government organisations active in the field of human rights in Europe. The foundation carries out numerous legal programmes: The Precedential Cases Program, the Observatory Freedom of Media in Poland, Immigrant and Refugee Help Programme and its experts carry out large-scale educational activities, including numerous international trainings on human rights and, as well as popularizing activities, such as the International Film Festival “WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film”.
Szewach Weiss – Professor of political science, publicist, politician, diplomat and the former Ambassador of Israel to Poland. He lectures at the Institute of Political Science of the Warsaw University, founder of the Research Centre for Israeli-Polish Relations and the Institute of Israeli-Polish Relations at the University of Tel Aviv. He chairs the Scientific Council Yad Vashem. In 1992-1996, he was the Chairman of Knesset. He actively works for popularising the mutual Polish-Jewish history and developing mutual relations. Laureate of many prizes. In 2004 honoured with the Grand Cross of Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and awarded with the Honorary Distinction “Bene Merito” by the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Michał Żejmis – works at the National Library in Warsaw and as a reporter in Radio Polska Live. Political scientist by education, researcher in foreigners and disabled people integration determinants, and in regional labour market. He cooperates with the Institute of Social Policy of the Warsaw University and coordinates the “Migrant Knowledge Website”. Cofounder of the Institute of Belorussian Culture and the Foundation for Development “Beyond Borders.” Author of many scientific publications. Initiator of activities which serve overcoming cultural barriers and prejudice against refugees from the East. Promoter of Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian cultures. Participant of projects addressed to refugees and influencing their quicker social adaptation.