Fundacja Wyobraź sobie
We want to answer the challenge of women discrimination, including domestic violence, by creating time and space where women from different social and cultural background can meet together, develop, build strong relations and a support network, start to believe in themselves and take lead on both their lives and the community around. While the support programs available in our region often see women as victims we believe each and every of them is a changemaker. Our action starts there.
Skawina and villages around, south of Poland
Our challenge is the discrimination of women and their tendency to respond passively to it.
Girls and women are raised to follow, they tend to avoid setting limits, protect themselves, act for their rights and safety. They have lower salaries for the same position, they do most of the house duties, including child care, their opinions are valued less both at the workplace and at home where, still too often, they experience different kinds of domestic violence, which has consequences in their lives and the lives of their children. There is no proper help system and very low awareness, domestic violence is considered a taboo.Women are left alone and unable to share their struggles with people around, who tend to blame them or complain to their husbands, which makes the situation even worse.
We invite women from different social and economical backgrounds who usually don't have contact with each other, being women with low or no income, often uneducated and unemployed, women working in factories, women working in corporations, public sector, private sector, female migrants, etc. We invite both women who experience domestic violence or are at risk of it and women who (in theory) don't have such a kind of experience. Being women means, though, that they face discrimination of different kinds on a daily basis. We saw in previous projects that a diverse group has bigger potential for change and empowerment. We don't want to create a network of victims, our aim is to build a community of women with various experiences who can support and become role models for each other.
Our approach is to gather women from different backgrounds and empower them to become changemakers - to have impact in their lives and in their community. During a carefully designed 6-day (48h) training we equip them with skills, we create a space for building deep relationships with other women who become their support network, we provide time to share, develop and dream together. We treat participants as potential changemakers, not as victims, and that's the key difference with other programs proposed in our region.
Within this project we organize:
- 3 editions of the 6-day training for women. We will do it in 3 versions, to reach women with different needs and participation possibilities:
1. Offline training with parallel empowering activities for participants' children
2. Online training
3. Materials for self studies for women who for various reasons don't want to or can’t participate in regular workshops.
- regular monthly meetings for women, participants of this and previous editions of our training
- one-to-one consultation with a specialist for women in need
Next year our local government will consult new documents related to violence. We will involve women from each training group as well as their friends to consult the documents together and prepare a feedback based on their suggestions, making sure that the voice of women from our region is heard
Participants of our project are empowered to:
-set limits and protect themselves from physical violence
-understand what gender is and how it influences their life
-recognize different kinds of violence and look for help when needed
-recognize their own strengths, dreams, values
-recognize, name and adequately react to different emotions
-manage time effectively, finding space for own interests and needs
-verify domestic budget and manage it in an efficient way
-create and implement actions supporting the local community
-pitch their ideas to others to involve them into social actions
-receive and give valuable feedback as tool to further development
-build strong relation with women from different background
-express their opinions and take active part in political discussions
Our idea strengthen active citizenship by:
-Encouraging women and creating space for them to express opinions about public documents and share their view with politicians.
-Developing participants’ skills related to planning and implementing small projects directly linked to problems faced by their community.
The first two weekends of our training are focused on women directly, developing their resilience toward physical and mental violence, building their skills and self-confidence. The third weekend is centered on community. We discuss how with the new skills and knowledge we can support other women and children. We encourage women to share and get involved in social projects (or organize their own). In this way we shift the paradigm, turning victims into actresses of change.
Our foundation was opened by 3 sisters who experienced violence as children. We came from an alcoholic family and we still struggle with the consequences. That is our power. The ability to connect to both victims and oppressors. People, knowing we experienced violence ourselves and we come from the same town, are more willing to open up. Our team is composed by educators and psychologists. During the latter years we already organized activities for women experiencing violence and they were a huge success. We want to develop our work to reach more women and children and to influence politicians bringing a structural change. As children we dreamt about a world in which everyone has a safe space to live, develop and create. Now we are determined to make it come true.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Coordination: 6000 EUR
Administrative cost (+ accountancy): 6000 EUR
Offline training (6-day/48h): 8000 EUR (salaries, room, stationary material, food, workshops, children care)
Online training (48h): 5000 EUR
Edition with materials for self-studying (+ mentor support): 3000 EUR
Supervision/individual consultation for women and trainers: 2500 EUR
Promotion: 500 EUR
Development materials (written by us or bought for our library): 2000 EUR
Regular monthly meetings for women: 2000 EUR
What are strong and weak points of the project? Which parts are difficult to understand? How could we enrich our concept to bring even more value to women who join our program and to the local community?