Ewa Kulik-Bielińska wins the Henryk Wujec Civic Award
Ewa Kulik-Bielińska, director of the Batory Foundation, has won the Henryk Wujec Civic Award, a prize given by organisations fighting for human rights and working for civil society in Poland, as their expression of gratitude for special support.
The Henryk Wujec Civic Award is awarded to individuals and institutions that have shown courage, empathy and commitment in supporting activists defending human rights in Poland. The award for 'helping the helping' was presented by civic organisations on the evening of 9 December during the closing ceremony of the 23rd WATCH DOCS International Film Festival. The award's patron is the opposition and social activist, Henryk Wujec, and its organiser is the Henryk Wujec Civic Fund.
"Ewa Kulik-Bielińska is an advocate and defender of civic organisations in Poland and Europe, supports organisations by creating programmes to finance their activities, and is involved in initiatives and campaigns for democracy, free media and the common good. - said Karolina Dreszer-Smalec, President of the OFOP, delivering the laudation in honour of the laureate.
Helena Łuczywo, the other laudator, who worked with Ewa Kulik during the underground 'Solidarity' era: "Ewa was 24 years old when, just after the introduction of martial law, she became a pillar of the Solidarity underground. In her hand was hiding the leaders of the Warsaw Solidarity, their safety and communication with the world".
"Human rights are still being violated in Poland. Ewa Kulik-Bielińska knows the circles, joys and pains of civic movements and organisations like no one else. For years, she has been making sure that activists are not alone and can fight for our rights." - Julia Brykczynska, director of the Henryk Wujec Civic Fund, said.
"Ewa Kulik-Bielińska supports the cooperation of social organisations on specific important issues and defends their freedom of action in times of crisis of the rule of law. She is always guided by the public interest and not by partisan sympathies. She is a living symbol of Polish civic society, which has a wise guardian in her," said Maciej Nowicki, President of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.
"This year's context is also important. The parliamentary elections were the most important event of 2023 and Ewa Kulik-Bielińska was then with the defenders of women's rights. With her involvement in mobilisation, she supported the victory of civic society." - Anna Blaszczak-Banasiak, Director of Amnesty International Poland, emphasised.
The Henryk Wujec Civic Prize is awarded periodically around International Human Rights Day, which falls on 10 December.
It is awarded jointly by human rights and civic society organisations in Poland.
Ewa Kulik-Bielińska, this year's laureate, is the director of the Batory Foundation, an activist of the democratic opposition in the People's Republic of Poland, a translator of fiction, for many years involved in activities aimed at improving the conditions for the functioning of non-governmental organisations, the development of philanthropy and civic activity in Poland and abroad. She is the former President of the European Foundation Centre (EFC) in Brussels, which brings together over two hundred of the largest European foundations.
The gala concluded the 2-day Rally of Women Defenders of Human Rights and the Rule of Law'23, which provided an opportunity for civic organisations and activists from all over Poland to meet and discuss current challenges Poland is facing.