Polish municipality wins Paweł Adamowicz Award for helping refugees on border with Belarus – Special mention to mayor from Ukraine
January 17, 2023

Polish municipality wins Paweł Adamowicz Award for helping refugees on border with Belarus – Special mention to mayor from Ukraine


The municipality of Michałowo in Poland has won the Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award for the help it has provided refugees at the border with Belarus. 

The award, established in support of the legacy created by Paweł Adamowicz during his 20 years as mayor of Gdańsk, was announced at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk on 13 January , the day Adamowicz was stabbed in 2019. The award is given to those who, like Paweł Adamowicz, act to help those in need and who fight against intolerance, radicalisation, hate speech, oppression, and xenophobia.

The annual award recognises the life-saving support that Michałowo provided to migrants who found themselves stranded between Poland and Belarus after the Polish government in September 2021 imposed a state of emergency in response to Belarus’s sponsorship of illegal migration. Michałowo provided clothing, warm meals and overnight accommodation for those in need. Temporary housing provided by the local administration in Bondary, a village near the border, has also served families from Ukraine since the outbreak of war.

The jury also decided to give a special mention to Oleksandr Babich, Mayor of Hola Prystan in the south of Ukraine, who has been held captive since March 2022 for trying to protect his local community. This special mention is given to Babich as a representative of all Ukrainian mayors who have been kidnapped or tortured since the start of the Russian invasion.

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