This profile was prepared when Pawel Jordan was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1998.
The New Idea
Pawel Jordan is building civil awareness and citizen participation by promoting the idea of volunteerism in Poland and the other countries in the former Soviet bloc, where the idea of volunteering is usually foreign if not negative. Pawel believes that a vibrant volunteer culture is a critical component of a stable and well-rooted democracy.Pawel's work is different from similar projects in the region because it goes beyond simple recruitment and shows social service agencies, hospitals, and nongovernmental organizations how they could benefit from the use of volunteers. He is combating the hesitation of many managers to open up their organizations to unproven strangers, and he is also training them to use volunteers in the most productive manner.