At the opening of the LLW, we handed out the SIAE awards for 2018 and premiered the video portraits of the winners. They themselves are proof that learning and knowledge change lives. They are a role model and an inspiration to us all to continue our own development. Through learning and knowledge, individuals, groups and organisations improve their position and positively influence their nearest and dearest, the neighbourhood, the entire communities in which they participate, and the whole of society.

Mirjana Debelak from Kranj received the award for the outstanding results of her direct work with vulnerable people and for her continuous willingness to learn something new.

The mission of this professor of Slovenian language and art history is to enrich the knowledge of those who are faced with difficulties in accessing learning: migrants, the disabled, the elderly, the rural population, special-needs persons … She mainly organises study circles and has carried out more than fifty over the period of somewhat less than ten years. She also published just as many publications with her participants as well as various Life Success Training programmes. She says: “People and hanging out with them is what enriches me, improves me, makes me happy and makes my work wonderful. But they probably taught me at least as much as I taught them.”

Nataša Horvat from Lendava received the award for proving once again that learning represents a way out of the vicious circle of poverty, that it brings progress to an individual and to all of their communities.

This Roma immigrant witnessed poverty and violence, which is why she ran away to her partner and became a mother. By the age of 29, she was a mother and housewife, after which she continued her educational journey as a result of her positive experience with non-formal motivational programmes. Today, at the age of 40, she has finally completed her vocational school programme and is in the process of completing the secondary school programme. She will be an economic technician and is thinking about further education. As a Roma counsellor sitting on the Council of the Municipality of Lendava, she is one of the first politically active Roma women in Slovenia. She is employed at the Lendava AEC and is active in the cultural society.

The Lipovci study circle from Beltinci received the SIAE award for overcoming stereotypes on men in AE and for the joint contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage and the cultural landscape.

A group of older men who practice community mutual learning, shared their experiences and socialised, thus preserving the traditions of their fathers by making wicker products. They create useful and beautiful homemade products made of natural materials. They have planted their own willow trees so that they do not run out of material. They have attracted young people and women to their ranks, and are exhibiting their knowledge and skills, and demonstrating them at various events.

The Iskraemeco company from Kranj received the award for investing in their own development and the attainment of high business standards, as well as the establishment of these values in local, national and global environments.

The company is a monument to technical culture as it has been manufacturing measuring, testing and navigation instruments, devices and services enabling efficient energy use to companies around the world for 70 years. They are focused on the challenges of the future, sustainable development, user satisfaction and efficient operation that are the crucial elements of building a smart network. They attain their high-reaching goals through the comprehensive educational policy of the company. By teaching their employees, partners and customers, they contribute to the attainment of global sustainability goals for the future.

The Jože Udovič Cerknica Library received the SIAE award because it emphasises the importance of lifelong education among the local population. Its projects include an offer for all generations. It is prudently inviting new target groups of users to its premises to learn and is increasingly establishing itself as a refuge for local inhabitants craving knowledge and culture. They are becoming a sort of creative incubator that encourages people and organisations to engage more; it is awakening their desire to learn new things and is inviting them to be tolerant and accepting of that which is different.

The opening event featured a video introduction, in which individuals reply to questions on what they learned last. What have you learned recently?

We added their video portraits on our website and the YouTube ACS channel.

Darijan Novak (darijan.novak@acs.si), SIAE

© 2017-2019 Slovenian Institute for Adult Education

The publication is co-financed by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

ISSN 2630-2926

Published by Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE), Šmartinska 134a, SI-1000 Ljubljana | Editor-in-chief: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (E: zvonka.pangerc@acs.si) | Editor: Ana Peklenik (E: ana.peklenik@acs.si) | Other members of the editorial board: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc,  Andrej Sotošek, MSc, Director of SIAE, dr Tanja Možina, Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MA, and Margerita Zagmajster, MSc, Computer solution: Franci Lajovic (T: 01 5842 555, E: franci.lajovic@acs.si) | Translation/proofreading: Prevajalska agencija Julija  | Design: Larisa Hercog | Corrective reading: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, and Mateja Pečar | W: https://enovicke.acs.si/en/home/