Fellow Since 1995
Stowarzyszenie Centrum Wspierania Aktywności Lokalnej
This profile was prepared when Bohdan Skrzypczak was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995.
The New Idea
Bohdan Skrzypczak recognizes that the key to rural Poland's social and economic development is the people; and he is helping them generate plans which are tied to preserving and promoting Polish culture. In contrast to the main currents of development in Poland, which emphasizes urban areas, he reaches out to communities in areas long considered "backward," poor and less interesting. He is helping to promote a "Northern Mentality" which celebrates the history of the northeastern region, encourages racial and religious harmony, and positive human-environmental interface. In the course of assisting communities to identify and accentuate their positive aspects, Bohdan is combating the flight of people to the larger cities and developing alternatives for local employment. He assists towns in developing eco-tourist attractions and festivals which celebrate rural life in Poland and its harmony with nature. These events stimulate local economies and also help citizens to hold their communities in higher regard.