Juraj Zamkovský

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 1995


This profile was prepared when Juraj Zamkovský was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995.
The New Idea
Juraj has been on the cutting edge of grassroots activism within the Slovak environmental movement for some time. As a leader of several organizations, including a citizen's initiative in a rural community which was affected by a toxic dump, he recognized the need for an organization designed to assist other people interested in organizing their own community organizations and action groups. Therefore, he started the Center for Environmental Public Advocacy (CEPA). This organization is designed to serve as a resource center for individuals and organizations, who wish to achieve public reform but lack the experience in organizing such efforts.
The center provides legal consultation services as well as workshops and seminars on topics of interest to new organizations, including: leadership and management; fundraising and development; and public relations and outreach campaigns. In addition, Juraj and the center teach people how to use the legal system to expedite social change in such areas as human rights and environmental protection. This work is particularly significant because in the past, the use of the legal system to fight the government was strictly forbidden in Slovakia.
The Center is more than a legal clinic and training facility. It is a nerve center, which provides a forum for debate and exchange of ideas among socially minded organizations. It provides an opportunity for like-minded organizations to gather and coordinate their activities for more effective campaigns and public outreach activities.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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