By Mary Carver & Editor in Chief Brendan Moriarty
In this uncertain time for people around the World, America Pioneer is focusing on people who are changing the world for the better. In this article we sit down with Polish Princess Angelika Jaroslawska-Sapieha. We Talk about all the Humanitarian Aid work she is doing around the world to bring all societies to Prosperity with dignity in life.
(Questions for Princess Angelika Jaroslawska-Sapieha)
For girls and women around the world it’s important to see outstanding women around the world, taking up the torch to bring to light, needs of the people across this globe.
Angelika Jaroslawska-Sapieha is doing just that. At a young age she has taken the mantle of responsibility to bring to light the people and causes of her country of Poland but also on the world stage.
YSH: ( I prefer just Peace Ambassador), tell us a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you went to school. When you were younger, were you always interested in helping people?
I was born in the eastern part of Poland, in the picturesque region “Zamojszczyzna”, with national parks and cities like “Zamość” – a pearl of Renaissance. I attended the High School in the name of United Nations in my beautiful hometown of Biłgoraj. I remember that when I first entered the corridors of that school, I was already fascinated by humanitarian work, UN activities, world programmes, global impact.
That is why I have chosen international economy studies at the oldest Polish University – Jagiellonski University.
It was at this school where I learned about many agendas and initiatives supported by the United Nations. I also successfully competed in many art and declamation contests. I love to paint.
Many art contests concerned the subject of the UN, so from a young age I have had contact with actions for improvement of people’s lives and protecting our environment.
Nature was a very important subject for me. My hometown, Biłgoraj is located around beautiful parks. Right next to the town is located one of the most beautiful landscape parks – Szczerbiński Landscape Park and Lasy Janowskie Landscape Park. This is where Roztocze National Park and Zwierzyniec are, and where my beloved konik polski, a breed of wild horses, live. This is my great love. This is my place on Earth, a place where I grew up. A place which made me decide to support cultural heritage and especially nature with all my might. This is where I got to know surrounding nature, unique spring water, rare species of animals and World Heritage Sites from the UNESCO list. It absolutely determined that I grew up symbiotically with nature by getting to know it, touching and tasting it.
In high school I also found out the threats nature has to face due to human activity, as well as a tragic in its consequences history of wars, which causes unimaginable damages and hurts not only people but nature as well.
When I was a teenager and a very young person, I would support every year Christmas meeting for orphanage children, organizing food and presents with my friends, creating Christmas play, then I would initiate fundraising for ill children and special events for that purpose. I started to work hard in a very early age, because I was leaded by passion.
All the projects which I initiated, leaded or supported throughout these years, had or have a positive social impact, are important from the humanitarian, social, environmental or cultural point of view.
My team dedicated thousands of hours to pro publico bono work, during these years I developed my foundation, I was active as an women entrepreneurship ambassador, supporting women leadership, I coordinated the NGO’s programs supporting Polish economy and sustainable development, developing clusters, supporting the cooperation between science and business, took the patronage over the pedriatric ward. I was an advisor to the board of the Migam company, which developed innovative solutions for the Deaf, with the women leaders from Ukraine, Georgia and Syria, I initiated the “Geopolitics Balance Women’s Platform” to support international peace and human rights, we prepared together joint statement: “Women. Peace. Strategic Partnership. Joint Activities” which appeal to the world to take action for our generation’s biggest challenges.
In 2018, I was chosen one of “30 before 30” by Forbes magazine, which described both my business and humanitarian and social activities. For me, the latter was the most important and I always believed, that we can inspire the positive action by our dedication, energy and example.
There were fantastic men and women who inspired people’s minds and heart. My humble dream is to share such an inspiration with the world.
We are the generation of change makers.
Becoming an International Peace Ambassador was the greatest honor for me and my life dream, which motivates me to a very intense work.
On each stage of our life we can do something important.
I think that the sentence “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” is very wise.”
A lot of young girls grow up wanting to be nurses, teachers, what inspired you to become a humanitarian?
I feel very humble when I hear this designation.
I always dreamed about creating a positive impact.
I admired the leaders of change who have striven for important matters over the centuries.
History is a good teacher and a source of inspiration.
Today there are hundreds of thousands of dedicated people in the world who are bringing hope and a better tomorrow for the others.
Most often they are quiet heroes.
I met many such people during my journeys around the globe. I met many such wonderful, humanitarian leaders in Cambodia.
Good leader inspires and empowers others to be the best version of themselves and to realize their true potential, to create important activities. They don’t put themselves in the first place.
Did anyone person, inspire you in your life’s work as a Humanitarian and International Peace Ambassador?
I always admired the mix of strength and delicacy, empathy.
I have always admired Princess Diana for her ability to moves people’s hearts, her nobility and dedication to important cause.
That what’s royal heart means to me.
When I was a little girl, my grandma would often tell me about Princess Diana. She admired her way of being, delicacy, humanitarian activities, but she also knew what kind of ‘machine‘ this delicate being had to deal with everyday.
This month, on 21 September 2020 we mark International Day of Peace which celebrates the power of global solidarity for building a peaceful and sustainable world.
We have to know the past to understand the present.
I must point out that Poland in a particular way suffered from the wars that passed through my country over the centuries. Especially the First World War and Second World War, when the invaders murdered millions of people and some towns and villages forever dissappeared from the face of the map, remaining only in the memory of the people who survived, e. g. my grandparents. Not far from my hometown there is a town which from above looks like a spider’s web. That was a town where German pilots practiced bombing raids, because it looked like a target.
Let me remind that Poland dissappeared from the world maps a few times. When our country was invaded, during the partition of Poland, a part of our nation was germanized, other part underwent russification, they tried to strip Poland of its culture and national identity. During the Second World War, many cities were destroyed, including the capital city of Warsaw, which after the war rose like a phoenix from the ashes thanks to a tremendous efforts of the poor people of post-war Poland. Carpet bombing wiped out whole cities, turning cultural heritage built for centuries into ashes. I had a pleasure to talk with the veterans who survived the war, and remembered those events. I also attended meetings with the architects, who raised those cities from the ashes. To this day on the Polish territory, after 80 years, remains of this terrible war are still being found in the form of unexploded bombs. There are really many of them. In the field of my activities, I also took care of the Baltic Sea, especially of what is left in it after the WWI and WWII, sunk over 80 years ago in this shallow sea, over 50,000 tons of chemical weapon, which is an environmental time-bomb. I had the opportunity to present my work to the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, and to discuss this fact at the COP25 organized two years ago in Poland with the Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres and Arnold Schwarzenegger. That was when I noticed how powerless against those remains of the war the world is and what kind of damages every war, in any form leaves to the people, nature and cultural heritage.
I also had a chance to speak with Jerzy Kwieciński, who at the time was a minister of development and with the representatives of the European Commission about what can happen to the Baltic Sea and the whole ecosystem, when that weapon of mass destruction spills into Baltic form the metal barrels.
We took up this project comprehensively. My ogranization worked up a method of underwater neutralization of chemical weapon. Let me remind that we have been conducting research, and now thanks to our initiative, a complex named Research-development Centre is being built, where the methods will be applied at the Polish sea.
I saw your post on Instagram of the Late, Princess Diana. Did her work speak to you? Especially, the work with banning land minds?
Princess Diana’s visit to Angola raised global awareness of the plight of landmine victims and the indiscriminate nature of the weapons. She became the voice of those who were wounded and physically broken by landmines.
From the earliest years together with my parents, I travelled to Lwów, which is located near my hometown. A few years ago, I visited Ukraine and together with my team I met widows and orphans of the soldiers who died during the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine. Children are often injured by landmines. Ukraine is one of the most mined countries in the world. I saw that helplessness. The problem of anti-personnel landmines is a fundamentally humanitarian problem. These weapons of war kill in peacetime.
Mines cost between $3 and $30, but the cost of removing them is $300 to $1000. Over 60 million people across the globe live in fear of being injured or killed by landmines.
Efforts of the whole international community are needed to get rid of mines and to let the next generations free themselves from the yoke of the tools of hurting and killing innocent civilians.
It was then when I wrote to many countries‘ leaders so that they draw their attention to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, by showing pictures of ‘Children in War‘ exhibition. For children, war is not only lack of continuity of education, a terrible fear and stress. It is also a trauma.
For the action for peace in around the world, I was granted the title of International Peace Ambassador by the officers of the Blue Helmets. I took patronage of exhibitions showing the tragedy of war. Those exhibitions could be seen in the European Parliament, New York, the UN headquarters and many other cities all over the world to show the tragedy of the civilians, in particular the tragedy of innocent children. On that occasion I was asked to undertake and continue the work of Princess Diana, to show the humanitarian tragedy of every modern war to the world. I raise awareness about the matter of unexploded bombs around the globe, especially old anti-personnel mines, which have been killing and hurting civilians and children for decades. I accepted the nomination for an International Peace Ambassador with great responsibility and obligation. I try to do everything I can so that the world leaders truly commit to demine the world and not only discuss this matter for years to come. Help for those affected by landmines and their families is also required. I know that only organized effort makes sense. And that is why I support all sorts of activities all over the world to make this world a better place.
How did you become an International Peace ambassador? What are your duties and responsibilities?
I think I already answered this question partially. I can see that my work makes sense. I can see that that it brings results, but as we all know, it takes more than willingness to demine ¼ of the world, it takes significant financial outlays. That is why I believe it is necessary to support organizations and campaigns for demining and world peace, such as: Ottawa Treaty – The Convension on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Landmine Free 2025, and organizations such as: the Halo Trust, Landmine Relief Found, Cambodia Landmine Museum, Cambodia Self-Help Demining, APOPO. At this point, I would like to thank them all wholeheartedly for their perseverance, hard work and dedication.
We need to remember, that civilian casualties remain extremely high.
Landmines affect everyone, with 71 percent of casualties being civilians.
Children account for 54 percent of all civilian casualties.
Over 60 million people across the globe live in fear of being injured or killed by landmines.
Landmines are killing, injuring and orphaning children.
We need to remember that landmine does not distinguish between a soldier’s foot and a child’s foot.
How did you happen to go to Cambodia? Is there any one area, that you are interested in helping out? Would you like to devote more time there?
I will always provide support to Cambodia. It is in my heart forever. I have been following the situation in Cambodia and I stay connected with many great people from this country.
Coming back to how it happened that I spent many months in Cambodia. A great inspiration, back in 2003 was a movie ‘Beyond Borders‘ starring Angelina Jolie, to which I keep coming back to. In this movie two humanitarians, one of them as a future UN employee, traverse the world to help people. They also reach beautiful Cambodia during the reign of Pol Pot. The movie shows that actions, which get worldwide media coverage are really a drop in the ocean. It shows how necessary continuous commitment is, but it also shows that humanitarian leaders are essential to awaken sensitivity of both world leaders and society and open their eyes to the world’s problems. This movie inspired Angelina Jolie to humanitarian activities. Today she is a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations and an International Ambassador of UNICEF. I learned about Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos by studying history, which I do from the earliest years. I learned very much about Cambodia’s problems, especially in the subject of mines, in the United States, on the occasion of my interview for CNN, when I was first invited to Forbes Summit. An American journalist told me about a material produced by CNN with an extraordinary hero, living near Siem Reap in Cambodia. That hero was Aki Ra, who has searched for landmines and has demined his country for all his life, despite the huge risk. I decided then to find him at all costs, to meet him and to visit mysterious Cambodia – the country of the great Khmers.
In the early 1990’s Aki Ra went to work for the United Nations clearing landmines around Angkor Wat. He decided that demining would become his trade and returned to the villages where he had fought, removing landmines that were killing and maiming his fellow Khmers. His Cambodian Landmine Museum and Relief Center, cares for dozens of at-risk children. They are housed, cared for, and educated. Today he runs a demining NGO called Cambodian Self Help Demining. As of 2018, his team has cleared over 155 minefields in small villages and put over 36,000 people back on land that was, in every sense of the word, killing them.
Mines, which are a threat to lives and health, prevent the development of agriculture and the economy. That was when I decided to see those countries in person.
In 2010, he was named a CNN Top 10 Hero out of 10,000 nominees.
It’s my greatest honor and commitment to be a patron of the Cambodia Landmine Museum, Cambodian Self Help Demining and the Landmine Relief Fund. The work done by those dedicated people is absolutely amazing and should be strongly supported by the international community and private donors.
I started to research the history of Cambodia. When I was still in the USA, I asked about Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Many Americans told me about a pointless war, where many soldiers and civilians died. Only in Vietman Americans dropped over 1.6 million tons of bombs. To this day many American aircraft bombs are found on the territory of their operations, and accidental explosions kill civilians, including children. It was then when I found out about a terrifying war, at which many inhabitants of Laos and Cambodia suffered. When I came back to Poland, I decided to deeply research Cambodia and its history. I learned about the saddest history of this country when, during the reign of Pol Pot, 3 million people lost their lives. In a country of 6 to 7 million people only half of them remained alive.
Everyone lost someone.
It is terrifying what this beautiful country had been going through. In my memory I would return to the Warsaw Uprising, in which many children fighting the occupant died. I was terrified by what was left after those wars. Millions of tons of unexploded bombs.
There was a period of wars which destroyed our country. Poland was in ruins. We paid a high price for our independence. But after liberation, communism came to power destroying, the democracy which tried to reborn. Thounsands of great Poles died, especially those who fought for the independence, who after many years of wandering at war found their families. For many years Poland had been arising from the ashes. People in horrible conditions had to rebuild the cities, sewage systems, bridges, railways and most importantly the economy. People still remembered the nazi death camps where Germans brutally killed millions of people. A death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau built by the Germans during WWII in Oświęcim is a history monument. There were many such death camps on the territory of Poland.
I thought to myself that our stories are very similar. Our countries are very distant from each other, yet the story of events brought them closer together.
A breakthrough in our country occured after 1980 when ‘’Solidarity’’ movement, headed by the future president Lech Wałęsa, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was born. Back then, thanks to hard work of the people and support from the USA we rebuilt Poland. Then after many years of transformation we joined the EU, which changed our country beyong recognition. We built new highways, railways, modern airports and stadiums. The cities revived. Poland had implemented many projects aiming to improve people’s lives. The most important thing was that Poles could freely travel abroad, and after joining Schengen Zone we can travel the whole European Union without passports.
I felt from the bottom of my heart a need of visiting Cambodia and a great will to help. Also for the first time I did not plan the date of return. My parents and grandparents were worried about my decision, but they knew that for me it was the most important mission.
I am a religious person, raised in a catholic faith. Raised in a country where different religions inhibited the territory. In a country where there was a place for every culture, raised in a family, in which we had a great respect to other religions and cultures. Cambodia has a unique history. It is a cradle of culture, a place inhibited by extraordinary people. I wished to go there, get to know and help the wonderful country of Cambodia.
What were your thoughts after meeting with King Norodom Sihamoni? What did you discuss?
The greatest summary of several months of my work was a meeting with His Majesty King of Cambodia, the most important and dignified person I could meet as a Peace Ambassador and discuss the problems I noticed in Cambodia. Meeting with His Majesty King was very important for me. I wanted to share everything I had seen and I decided to promise the King Norodom Sihamoni, that I will do everything in my power to help the Cambodians in the best possible way by humanitarian actions and in particular to help in demining Cambodia. It is wonderful that the reigning Monarch of Cambodia found so much of his precious time for me. In a symbolic gesture of kindness, His Majesty shook my hands and with a nod of his head thanked me for everything I have done for Cambodia. I was honored to gave my Coin of Peace and His Majesty the King of Cambodia said that he would support me. His Majesty thanked once again and walked away. It has beautiful and touching. When I was returning to my honorary seat, many people stopped me and asked what I was talking about with the King. What did I do that the King decided to draw the attention of the Khmer nation on me in such way. I was treated exeptionally. At first I did not know what those people, sitting around me in a box built especially for this national ceremony, wearing refined white general uniforms tried to communicate to me. In a while, one of the ministers came to me and said that His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni is pleased with my activities and that my work had been discussed at the government forum. I was astonished.
I just knew that I cannot let down all those people I had met for the past few months.
When I arrived in Cambodia, I wanted to stay incognito.
I did not want a media mess and applause which would interfere with me talking with people, spending time with them, getting to know their wonderful Khmer cousine.
And it worked out. I wanted to feel this country, get to know the people and their habits. I was told about Angelina Jolie and her visits to Cambodia, about the real estate she just bought in this country and about her meeting with the King.
For me this journey was completely different, magical.
I spent a lot of time speaking with monks, who told me about living in faith and the great history of the Khmer nation.
At that point I decided to stop and take time to understand, contemplate the meaning of life, its profound essence. To take a brake from this rushing world and look at it from a different perspective. From above. I used to believe that it was impossible unattainable, because I did not have an opportunity to step back and calm completely. I learned to meditate and I quited my activities, just to choose the most important ones. To this point I travelled a lot. I circled the globe a few times every year. I spent plenty of time on airports and airplanes. I often departed to the USA, Africa, Asia, Europe, I had frequent meeting under the projects of European Commission, The Three Sea Initiative, Forbes and numerous appearances at economic forums and summits, where I shared my activities and successes.
Angkor Wat was a perfect place to get some quiet. This wonderful place, filled with positive energy, stopped me for a few months. Sometimes I went to Angkor Wat
at 5 a. m. when nature started to awake to life. I decided to throw away my watch and I very rarely had my phone with me. It was time only for Cambodia. I had never been away from home for so long. My parents, grandparents, and friends were really worried about me. I decided to explore Cambodia, see a lot of places and to know the truth about the ancient land of Khmers.
I was provided with many valuable tips by Prince Noryvong Nikko Sisowath, with who I became friends. He told me the history of Khmers and his family during our walks in Phom Penh. He showed me the beautiful Khmer art. He told me why his father with all his family had to run to the United States during Khmer Rouge and about many years of his father work for the United Nations. He showed me numerous symbols of Khmers‘ culture and history. He told me about his ancestors, who had built culture of this nation. He took me to a temple, explaining how important buddhism is for Khmers. He explained what religion and faith meant to this world. A few times I was honored to be invited to the restaurant of Her Royal Highness, mother of the Prince, sister of the King of Cambodia. It was a truly royal restaurant. There were also ambassadors present at these lunches and dinners, with whom I had an opportunity to exchange opinions and informations about this remarkable country.
After meeting with Mercy Sister Denise Coglan who also won the Nobel Peace Prize, being internationally recognized for her efforts to ban landmines and cluster bombs. What did you come away with after meeting that wonderful person, who has devoted so much of her life to the country and people of Cambodia?
The meeting with Mercy Sister Denise was phenomenal. A few people cooperating with Sister Denise as well as a few people from my team, including a special guest –
vice-minister from one of the African countries – attended the meeting. Sister showed me the center, which she had been building for years. I was mostly impressed with the chapel with a cross with Jesus Christ on it. It was a big symbol for Sister Denise and all victims of landmines. Jesus on this cross was deprived of part of his legs, just like a human who stepped on a landmine. It truly moved me.
Sister Denise Coghlan, Jesuit Refugee Service’s longtime Cambodia director and Thun Channareth, JRS worker and former refugee who lost both legs to landmines are wonderful people who devoted their lives to clear the world from landmines, to clear Cambodia and make it safe for the next generations.
Sister began working in 1988 in the refugee camps in Thailand near the Cambodian border – one of the most heavily mined areas of the world. Every day she met people maimed by the landmines, with missing limbs. That inspired her to become actively involved in the international campaign to outlaw the weapons.
She played a key role in the work of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) that led to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, an achievement for which the group shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sister Denise is a very warm and energic person. We fell into each other’s arms. It was a really wonderful time. I got to know the history of Sister’s life. It also turned out that Sister had cooperated with people with whom I work within the framework of humanitarian organizations and with soldiers of Blue Helmets, with whom I run SDG’s projects.
In a distant country we found out that we met the same people on our way.
I fell in love with Sister Dense immidiately. She showed me a number of memorabilia she gathered during her service in Cambodia. She showed me the Peace Nobel Prize.
Sister Denise Coghlan is a woman of great faith and great strength. She inspires other people to work, she supports women. A woman-angel. She also introduced me to her team and the people she supports. I was full of admiration for indefatigable Sister. A woman of great faith, blessed by the Saint Pope John Paul II and by the King of Cambodia.
I cannot wait to meet Mercy Sister Denise again. A woman who dedicatede all her beautiful life to bringing help to the people of Cambodia. She supported people injured by landmines and their families.
What other areas would you lend your voice to in Cambodia? With a myriad of problems from human trafficking, health, education to name a few, could you see yourself becoming more involved there?
Cambodia is a beautiful country. I had a pleasure of meeting a lot of people from big cities as well as from small towns and villages. Getting to know ordinary people stories and habits was a great experience.
I know that this country need supports from the great superpowers to build in Cambodia modern road system, modernize railways, airports. Many new schools should be built, staring from elementary schools to universities. We need to do everything to regulate rivers, build sewage treatment plants and install solar panels to produce environmentally friendly energy.
But it is neccesary that those who over the years mined Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, support the campaign to clear those countries of mines, so that people could live safely and the economy could grow. I am thinking primarily of Russia, the USA, China. Help should also come from the European Union.
Poland had gone through the same. It is clearly visible that the Cambodian government tries to attract foreign investors. In the capital Phnom Penh I saw a new forthcoming center, blocks of flats, parks and stores. I saw new galleries and restaurants. I found a lot of interesting places with plenty of tourists. I myself also stayed at different hotels and restaurants during my journey. I met a lot of friendly and kind people who accompanied me throughout this period.
We hear a lot about human trafficking and pedophilia in Asia – it is terrible and we have to fight it. Human right are the highest value and a top priority.
I know that the Cambodian government instituted harsh penalties for criminals involved in these practices.
Human trafficking affects mainly women worldwide. Each year from 500,000 to 1,3 million (according to UNICEF) girls and women are victims of the hunters. During the last two decades, the number of slaves sold for sexual exploitation could reach 20 million.
On a global scale it is estimated that 1 in 3 girls were victims of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. One in five boys were sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Statistically six children a day commit suicide. Many of them are victims of sexual violence.
It is necessary to develop a modern healthcare system in Cambodia. And even though I saw modern clinics, the healthcare system has to be available for all the citizens. It is necessary to develop a healthcare system in which every resident of Cambodia has an acces to proffesional doctors, profesional healthcare, paying for treatment with a statutory health insurance. This is how it works all over the world.
How did you become involved with the movie project 303 Squadron? Can you tell us more about that movie and any project that is connected to that movie?
Were you able to talk with any veterans who were part of that squadron?
I was strongly involved in production of ‘’303 Squadron’’ movie, which had its world premiere 2 years ago. As an international ambassador of the movie I took part in the whole movie production and my Foundation for the Remembrance of Polish Fighting Pilots in Poland and Abroad was responsible for PR of this international movie production.
I travelled the world meeting with the pilots from the Battle of Britain and with their families, I became an ambassador of the 303 Museum in name of Lt Col Jan Zumbach in Napoleon. I organized the meetings with Polish diaspora. I was invited to schools to talk about the story of heroism of the Polish pilots fighting in the Royal Air Force for the freedom of Europe.
I was always passionate about the aviation and the history of the aviation.
I’m a military sky jumper jumping on round canopies. I also dream to finish my pilot licence, which I had to postpone for later due to my work.
My foundation-supported historical education for children about the history of Polish pilots and also supported several charity auctions, hospital and events. Foundation donated several times unique objects connected with Polish aviation for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, and also for the Charity Ball in London under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Duke of Kent, where all the funds from the auction were given to the orphanage for children in Poland. I also give the unique plane from the movie with coins and gold badge for the auctions for the pedriatric ward. Foundation was also responsible for coordinating the promotion of the “303 Squadron” movie, which has its premiere at the 100th anniversary of Polish aviation.
By my foundation, I created coins which commemorate 100th anniversary of Polish and British aviation and badge of “Godło Kościuszkowskie” – symbol of 303 Squadron. I was honored to give them to the pilots, General Commander of Polish Armed Forces, Royal Air Force Air Chief Marshal, members of the Royal Families, meritorious people, who actively supported aviation and promoting the history of aviation. Most of the coins and badges I donated for several auctions for children and veterans, also on the balls and events which were dedicated to support veterans.
I was very actively involved in that project for two years and my foundation officially supported the 100th Anniversary of Polish aviation.
I’m honored to be an Ambassador of Colonel pil. Jan Zumbach 303 Squadron Museum – incredible place, where we can see enormous amount of the war memorabilia of Poles fighting in the Battle of Britain.
I was an ambassador of the “303 Squadron” Movie and I helped the production to promote the history of legendary Squadron 303 of Polish pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain during the Second World War.
I was inspiring and took care of the meeting of our movie team with His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent. That was a great privilege to present our movie to His Royal Highness in the Kensington Palace.
I combined film and aviation environments, museums, culture, pilots and families of Polish fighting pilots from the Battle of Britain. I met during that time with the witnesses to history, which was a great honor for me.
I always say that we were racing against time, to commemorate these wonderful heroes, people with principles and honor.
This year marked an 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Most of the pilots, which I was honored to meet during the last years, have passed away.
For many months I was corresponding and had calls with Major Jerzy Główczewski. He was a brave pilot of 308 Squadron and architect of post-war Warsaw, patriot. After the war, as an architect, he worked in a team that rebuilt the most valuable architectural monuments in Warsaw.
After many months I was privileged to meet with him in his New York apartment.
We talked the whole day.
During these years, I received from Major Jerzy Główczewski priceless information about the war and the time after the war. He passed away this year and it was a very painful experience. I met with many wonderful veterans and was honored to hear their stories.
I also met with the families of the pilots. Many of the people connected with that history are my closest friends – the grandson of the 303 Squadron leader, the Fielder family – Polish writer Arkady Fiedler’s 1942 book Squadron 303 became a bestseller. He met with Polish pilots and wrote a book which now inspires generation.
My mission was to unite people and encourage them to join their forces to commemorate that beautiful history. I travelled with the movie producer and actors around the globe. Everywhere we had wonderful meetings with people, who are passionate about that history.
Especially in United States the meetings were remarkable. We travelled to Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and meet with the hundreds of people. The movie was in the cinemas across the whole USA and Canada.
Do you know of any efforts from your country to record and preserve their memories?
In my family collection there is many works of Polish artists and swords, which is a great passion of my family. My father Janusz Jarosławski is an expert, publisher and swords collector. He published many books about swords, sabers and bayonets. All his publications are enriched with stories and pictures of a given period. His books are sold all over the world and a TV Channel History took the patronage over our publications.
Another movie I was involved in was called: ‘’Born for the Sabber’’, and had its premiere in Poland last year, and then was released to 34 countries. I helped to finance this production and was the ambassador of the production as well. I conducted the grand premiere in Poland, but I resigned from the tour with this movie for a journey to Cambodia.
What are you currently working on within your own country?
For a few years now we’ve been working on strategic projects on inland waterways, shipping, environment protection, economic projects, which are the foundations of the ‘’Three Seas Initiative’’. After my return from Cambodia, I took part in many meetings concerning humanitarian actions, especially dedicated to demining.
I often raise the subject of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. I also have a lot of materials from the Halo Trust organization. I also had a chance to meet their dedicated team back in Cambodia.
For over two years now I’ve been working on my own brand Royal Militare, which is going to have a civilian-military characteristics, also there I’m inspired by the Cambodia. I ordered from the musicians a special composition, which will be an anthemn of the anti-landmine campaign.
Also my foundation works very actively.
How has Poland coped with the covid-19 pandemic?
Fortunately, the situation is not bad. Soon, due to the anti-landmine campaign, I plan to travel to Africa. After that, to Asia and USA. I will walk through the minefield in Africa to raise awareness of international community about the burden of landmine.
I’m truly looking forward to come back to Cambodia for my humanitarian activities.
In the future what would you like to achieve? What do you see yourself doing a year from now, five years from now?
I’m an International Peace Ambassador, I take part in many initiatives concerning humanitarian actions and also in the anti-landmine campaign – this is my top priority. But I will also do everything in my power to help the world to oppose violence and human trafficking. I also participate in the UN activities for sustainable development.
“The planet does not need more successful
people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.