Contest winners

Picture(s): Marta Kaszubska | Youth for Youth

Author's entry description: A set of pictures from one of the Aim High Association’s initiatives. There is a marginalized street in Warsaw where young people spend most of their time just wondering around. Two years ago, together with a couple of friends, we decided to connect with these young people. We went out onto the streets to juggle with them, play hide and seek, draw with chalk. After half a year we decided to open a youth center for them on their street. Now, we also work with their parents, teachers and the police, and we are involved in creating policies for youth at risk.

Marta Kaszubska holds a master degree in social psychology, she worked for a few NGOs and is the founder and director of the Aim High Association. She once spent half a year in India running women empowerment program for tribal girls “Girls Can”. Marta plans to use her scholarship to learn more about social theatre techniques used in work with young people and local communities.

Video: Michal Staša, Bohumil Cap | Unfaithful Activist

Author's entry description: The video was made for the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The campaign called Do Not Celebrate Alone (Neslavte sami), created by the Amnesty International activists group in Prague, aimed to find more supporters of human rights.

Michal Staša is a long-term volunteer and activist for the Amnesty International Czech Republic. He graduated from Czech Technical University and works as a consultant in the field of energy saving. Michal plans to use the scholarship awarded for his further studies and research on Global Civil Society at the Civil Society Studies Department at Charles University in Prague.

Bohumil Cap holds a master degree in philosophy, and is an experienced traveler and coordinator of the Amnesty International activists group. The scholarship awarded would assist his plans to undertake a travel from Algiers to Cape Town to create a document in a form of a weblog about the situation of African human rights activists. He hopes this project will help the activists from around the world become more visible to each other and will enable networking.

Essay: Maciej Czarnecki | Bydgoskie

To read the full text click here.

Maciej Czarnecki graduated from law and cultural anthropology at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland. He is an experienced journalist and traveler and is currently writing a book about Bydgoskie Przedmieście district in Toruń. Maciej plans to use the awarded scholarship to realize a series of interviews with people engaged in revitalization of once degraded districts in a few European cities, such as London, Manchester, Paris and Madrid. This would allow him to write about their experiences, successes and errors, providing examples and ideas for Polish revitalization projects.

Picture(s): Irina Cretu | Fight Through Vote for Cleaner Society

Author's entry description: In Romania after communism people were hoping for change. Nowadays, from a Roma child to a journalist, to an old woman waiting in the freezing wind for the promises to be delivered by politicians she voted for each election, we all hope to change the world we live in – and to FIGHT THROUGH OUR VOTE FOR A CLEANER SOCIETY! That is how I see the civic engagement in my society. The most powerful weapon is our liberty of choosing and expressing!

Video: Red-Green Movie


Author's entry description: On 7th of June 1995 by a decree of the President the state symbols of the Republic of Belarus were changed from white-red-white to red-green colors. It was renunciation of tradition and cultural heritage. All documents with old symbols were destroyed and became forbidden to use. The red-green colors became a symbol of the new power.

Essay: Mikuláš Pštross | Keychains and Potlucks

To read the full text click here.

Picture(s): Petar Stanchev | The Way They Understand Democracy

Author's entry description: In the beginning of 2009 large groups of students, eco-activists and regular citizens protested against the Bulgarian government. The main reasons for the protests were lack of justice in the Bulgarian society, corruption and destruction of the unique Bulgarian nature. Twenty years after the end of communism the Bulgarian socialist government sent special forces against the protest and stifled it in a communist-like way.

Picture(s): Pavel Hodorogea | Twitter Revolution

Author's entry description: On 7th April 2009, the center of Chisinau erupted into chaos. Moldovans took to the streets of the capital in protest of recent parliamentary elections, in which the Communists won a bare majority of votes against the would-be liberal coalition's combined 35 percent. The OSCE signed off on the elections, but apparently 15,000 Moldovans weren't so sure. What started out as a large, albeit peaceful student demonstration soon turned violent. Protesters began throwing rocks and some in the crowd broke into the Parliament and the Presidential Palace. They torched the façades of the two buildings and tossed reams of documents out of the windows. One group of people managed to hoist the Romanian and European Union flags atop the two main seats of power in Moldova.

Video: Andrej Kolenčík | My First Last Line


Author's entry description: Short animated film about drug addiction problem among young people.

Essay: Andreas Sepp | Observations on the Differences between Civic Engagement in Estonia & the U.S.

To read the full text click here.


Selection of the best pictures submitted to the Civil Society Forum competition is posted on our gallery site. To read all the essays awarded in the CSF contest, click here.

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