Community development, Social inclusion

Women of Change shortlist

From victims to leaders. Women of different walks of life coming together to create a better world for themselves and their community.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Aneta Rokicka

Fundacja Wyobraz sobie

http://wyobrazsobie.org.pl/

Poland

Idea

Idea pitch

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.

Where will your project idea take place?

Skawina and villages around, south of Poland

What is the local challenge?

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 on the same positions, they do most if not all house duties including child care, their opinions are valued less both at workplace and 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 topic.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 situation even worse

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

We offer women from local communities a safe space and a group to belong to. They join us by participating in a 3-weekend training, adjusted to their needs and schedules. The first two weekends are focused more on themselves, developing their own 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 around in the form of social projects and social businesses, which combine both social activism and financial sustainability. We encourage women to share their knowledge and get involved in social projects (or organize their own). In this way we want to shift the paradigm, turning victims into actresses of change.

Who are you doing it for?

We invite women from different social and economical background 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 international companies, 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 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 which can support and become role models for each other.

How do you plan to get there?

Our approach is to gather women from different backgrounds and empower them to become leaders - both of their lives and of community around. During carefully designed 3 weekends training we equip them with skills, we create a space for building deep relation with other women, who become their support network, we give time to share, develop and dream together. We treat participants as potential leaders and changemakers, not as victims and that's the fundamental difference with other programs proposed in our region.
Within the project we organize:
- 3 editions of 6-day (3-weekend) training for women. In parallel we will propose empowering activities for their children
- 1 edition of training of trainers
- Regular meetings of women to ensure long-lasting effects, support and motivation

What are the expected results?

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 and those of their children
- recognize different kinds of violence and look for help when needed
- recognize their own strengths, dreams and values
- recognize, name and adequately react to different emotions
- manage their time more effectively, finding space also for own interests and needs
- create social business, which answers local needs while providing financial stability and dignity to its workers
- pitch their ideas to others in order to involve them into social actions
- receive and give valuable feedback as tool to further development
- build strong relation with women from different background

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Democracy cannot exist without equal participation of men and women. Bringing together women from different social and economical background, creating with them a safe space to develop, experiment and build relations, we give them voice and empower them to change the reality around. Strong, aware citizens, involved in social actions are the basis of strong democracies. Once we, as women, understand our rights, we gain the strength needed to act for them and a network of people to support us, we are enabled to not only change our life and the life of our children, but slowly also those who are around - family, community, our town, country and the Europe itself.

What is your story?

The foundation was opened by 3 sisters which experienced violence as children. We came from an alcoholic family and till today we struggle with the consequences. That is our power. The ability to speak and connect strongly 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 main goal is to prevent discrimination and violence against women and children. We know how difficult it is and we experienced the flaws of the actual support systems. That's why we want to change the paradigm. We dream about a world in which every individual has a safe space to live, develop and create. We dreamed about such a space as children and we take a chance to create it today as adults.

€ 49000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 49000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Coordination - 6.000
Administrative cost - 6.000
Each edition of 6-day workshop - 5.500 (salaries, rent of the venue, stationary material, food, workshops and children care) x 3 editions = 16.500
Training of trainers (8 days + 2 days + 2 online meetings, accommodation, food, rent of the venue, salaries) - 13.000
Individual consultation for women and trainers - 2.000
Promotion - 500
Development materials (written by us or bought to our library) - 3.000
Monthly meetings for women - 2.000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

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 around?

Team

AnnaKsiazek

aneta.rokicka

Katarzyna Lebiecka

Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on Aug. 3, 2020

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