Polish NGO incubator MTO celebrates 20th anniversary
November 21st, 2016


Polish NGO incubator MTO celebrates 20th anniversary
December 6, 2008
Małopolskie Towarzystwo Oświatowe (Educational Society for Malopolska) was founded on 8 December 1988 by a group of parents and teachers from the Solidarity movement and registered as the first Educational Society in post-communist Poland.

In 1989, MTO founded SPLOT secondary school, which started lessons in cramped conditions in an appartment but now has its own building, a former Polish Railways nursery home which it acquired on concessionary terms from the local council.

Apart from continuing to operate SPLOT secondary school, whose alumni by now include PhDs, politicians, lawyers, medical doctors, businessmen and women as well as managers in international corporations, MTO over the years has developed as an NGO incubator in the Balkans, Ukraine and Azerbaijan as well as playing an active part in international educational and civil society-building networks.

MTO was awarded Poland’s prestigious “Pro Bono Publico” award in 2005. Earlier this year, MTO President Ala Derkowska (elected Ashoka Fellow in 1998) joined the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracty.

Saturday's festivities, attend by some 45 people, mainly from Poland but also including several supporters from abroad, consisted of a brief presentation of MTO's history, followed by exchanges of gifts and an informal buffet gathering.

One of the guests was the mother of the very first pupil to be registered at SPLOT, the independent secondary school started by MTO in 1989.

MTO president Ala Derkowska paid tribute to the parents "of the first hour", who played a more than active part in arranging accommodation and furniture for the new school.

For an overview of MTO’s programmes, visit the MTO website:

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