Irena Sendler Award

Since 2006, the Irena Sendlerowa Prize “for fixing the world” distinguishes teachers who educate and inspire dialogue, openness and respect for others. Awarded educators play a crucial role in their school and local community, incorporating Irena Sendlerowa’s values into their practice and projects. Through their work, they nourish diversity and tolerance in school communities all around Poland.

Teachers awarded in the first edition were chosen by Irena Sendlerowa herself. Thanks to her engagement, the contest is a true reflection of the message she conveyed in her actions, which stands for much more than keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. Distinguished teachers “fix the world”, just as Irena Sendlerowa did - they help others with courage and responsibility and teach respect for others no matter the differences between one another and the obstacles on the way. Therefore, the prize goes to teachers who are not just teachers - they are inspiring tutors.

By supporting the Irena Sendlerowa Prize we wish to:
- appreciate teachers, who instill openness, tolerance and the importance of solidarity among their students and their environment;
- build a community of engaged educators and provide them with the opportunity for support, collaboration and an exchange of thoughts;
- promote Irena Sendlerowa’s heritage and values she found important, such as respect, empathy and persistence in helping others.

- 15 000 PLN given to teachers each year by the committee;
- 12 awarded educators;
- over 60 nominees in 12 editions of the contest;
- almost 50 lesson plans, tutorials and articles written by awarded teaches in the Laboratory of Knowledge and Good Practices. 

- strengthening the role and position of teachers at school and among the local community;
- facilitating further professional progress;
- creating a space within the Laboratory of Knowledge and Good Practices that inspires awarded teachers to engage in public matters, exchange experiences and meet annually. 

Dorota Żuber, the 2019 winner, works with Romani and non-Romani children, helping them break cultural barriers.  For the past twenty years, she worked as principal of the 16th secondary school in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Bytom, which is also populated by the Romani community. In 2013, she created Amaro Strychos, a space in the school's attic dedicated to both kids and adults, which enables them to get to know the Romani culture, the world and each other, to break stereotypes and build bridges of mutual understanding.

The Award was established and is given out by the Civic Education Center.