This profile was prepared when Dorota Komornicka was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
Dorota aims to stimulate initiative and build civic awareness starting at a young age. She sees that small sums of money can, when strategically invested, yield enormous educational and societal benefits, particularly in underdeveloped areas where funds are scarce and a small sum goes a long way. In a region where the concept of individual and business philanthropy is poorly developed, Dorota is remarkably effective in involving the corporate sector, banks and municipalities in education and community development. She makes the process of building and distributing grant money a community's great and joyful challenge, engaging children and adults through festivals, exhibitions of achievements, and cross-border collaborations. In the process, she turns ordinary citizens into enthusiastic participants who feel a renewed sense of commitment to community, children, and education.