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SIAE Awards 1997
The Keramika group from Ljubljana

SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2010

Awards to individuals for outstanding achievements in lifelong learning 

Janez Košir from Begunje pri Cerknici

Nominated by: Bojan Žnidaršič VITRA, Centre for Balanced Development Cerknica


When his employer went bankrupt, Janez Košir, better known in Notranjsko as Janko from Selščak, was able to turn unemployment to his advantage. He saw an opportunity in tourism, and - with help from the Employment Service of Slovenia - he began training as a tour guide. He studied public speaking, computers and other useful skills in workshops. After retiring, he began to dedicate himself to researching local history and folk traditions, natural science, and socialising with people.

Janez's activities were distinguished by volunteering and inter-generational cooperation. In study circles (Traditional Cooking, Rhetoric, Collecting Folk Tales), he was always full of interesting ideas, and he also ensured that all projects were completed. One outcome of the study circles was the tracing of the Cycle Path and Natural Science Learning Path routes. Both incorporate notice boards. He continues to maintain the Footsteps of the Bear route entirely voluntarily. In the Menišija Tourism Association, of which he is a founding and active member, brochures were prepared for all these routes. His work continues to attract numerous other volunteers - local villagers - to clean up public spaces and plant flowers. He enjoys using his wealth of knowledge to help young people prepare dissertations and seminar papers.

But even that's not the end of Janko's activities. He continues to be active in education. He feels great as a study circle mentor, as well as leader of tours and workshops. Each year at the UNESCO schools camp he runs a workshop entitled Nature for Us. He is the secretary of the Menišija Tourism Association. He is exceptionally sensitive to other people and groups.

"Janez Košir is an instructive example of a person who took the personal trauma of unemployment as a launchpad for life where he gives and takes with a 'big spoon'," wrote his nominator, Bojan Žnidaršič.

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