arrow-left arrow-right logo_ashoka share-email share-facebook share-googleplus share-twitter

Page Title

EwaSmuk

Země, Datum zvolení

Poland 1998

Field

Education

Ewa is pioneering an educational program that addresses the growing divide between urban and rural populations in Poland. By bringing urban children and their parents into depressed rural areas for hands-on environmental education, by harnessing public funds to improve the quality of rural education, Ewa is helping reverse the destructive self-conceptions that plague rural populations and building understanding between citizens of urban and rural areas.

Problem

The cultural, social and educational gap between Polish urban and rural communities has a long history grounded in theevolution of Poland’s economic development. Rural childrenhave few opportunities to secure a decent education  certainly not one that prepares them to enter the modernizing jobmarket. What’s more, rural and urban children have very fewopportunities to interact, and disparaging stereotypes prevail in both contexts. Such trends can be especially damaging in rural areas, where prejudice is easily nurtured by reactionarydemagogues. 

Impact

In summary Ewa’s project achieves three discrete but relatedgoods: urban children experience rural life, begin to challengeprevailing stereotypes of rural culture, learn about organicfarming and more broadly about conservation; rural childrenget improved education that allows them to be competitive in entering the jobmarket; and rural communities benefit from theattention (and buying power) of the urban population. Shespread her porgram to all Poland with links to other European countries. Ewa is also writing and publishing a textbook toshow other Polish villages how they can combine educationwith organic farming. 

Idea

Through education and economic empowerment, Ewa’s work addresses the enormous divide between rural and urban communities in Poland. Her educational efforts encompass social, cultural, economic, and environmental programs that seek to erase stereotypes, foster mutual respect, in still selfesteem, and empower both children and adults to enter the economic mainstream. Urban children travel to the country to get handson experience of different aspects of rural life through the activities and programs she has engineered. Ewa trains family farmers to become parttime teachers in this program, teaching them that the everyday resources of the farm can become new assets.

Vision

Vision is tdecrease the growing divide between urban and rural populations in Poland. By bringing urban children andtheir parents into depressed rural areas for handson environmental education, by harnessing public funds toimprove the quality of rural education, Ewa is helping reverse the destructive selfconceptions that plague rural populations and building understanding between citizens of urban and rural areas.

Motivation

Ewa addresses a problem that Poles consistently identify as among Poland’s largest challenges for the coming years. Shefocused all of her energies on this project, which she feels will be her most important, most enduring, and most challenging. Whereas there were precedents for her work in organic food and women’s health, she feels that she is now striking out into an area in which established alternatives are scarce.

Share this profile

Download as PDF

Download

Přihlaste se k odběru našeho newsletteru

Odesláním tohoto formuláře souhlasím se zpracováním svých osobních údajů mimo Evropský hospodářský prostor v souladu se zásadami Ashoky (Privacy Policy)