I’m dedicating this post to Justyna, Kamila, Ala, Paula and Karolina – five women without whome all that would have never happened! ❤

The Congress of Women is an event gathering thousands of women from all around Poland once a year in Warsaw. I had a huge priviledge – maybe not the easiest and often a bitter one, but still a priviledge – to be organizing it for the previous three editions. That’s why this year has been quite different for me.

This year – together with Paula, Ala, Justyna, Kamila and Karolina, we have organized the Center of Young Women – the space for young women (like us) at the Congress to make them (us) feel good and welcome and at the right place. The space that has been missing at leastat the three last edition’s of the event.

For the last couple of months we’ve been working hard to make it happen. From very different places, skyping, emailing, meeting in person twice but never in the whole group. After all that work, seeing the result – our result, I can definitely say that I’m very very proud of us all. Despite all the differences between each other, despite very strong characters we all have, despite the distances (the physical ones!) – not only we have managed, but we’ve managed with a great success!! And the only thing I regret is that we have not made a common photo. That’s why I’m posting the collage below – to virtually connect us all once again. Girls – we rock! ❤

CMK team: Paula, Karolina, Justyna, Kamila, Ala and me
Center of Young Women team at the 7th Congress of Women: Paula, Karolina, Justyna, Kamila, Ala and me

But the Congress brought much more things I’m grateful for!

For Panna Pollyanna and that she had dressed me up for the event! A beautiful elegant light pink-coloured dress idea was quite tricky because it had caught everybody’s attention – especially those that are used to myself being dressed in jeans and t-shirt! The flowered-colorful-dress I got for the second day + the “I love my bike” badge was making everybody (especially me) smile. Really! Thank you, Iza!

Being a speaker at the Congress and talking about my experiences and fears connected with Girl on Bike project was a very new experience to me as well. And it also made me feel both happy and thankful. Many wonderful participants came to listen and ask the questions. And I could see their smiles and their warm eyes and I think that at least for those smiles and those eyes (and those hugs I was given after the meeting) it was worth making this project happen. Kamila who was speaking together with me has been one of the greatest inspirations for me recently and it was a pleasure to listen to her and answer the questions she had asked me. Thank you, Kama!

It’s been also amazing to speak and facilitate meetings with another women I had a chance to invite for the Congress. Edyta Kotowicz – the social innovator, co-founder of The Jillion – a new crowdfunding platform and an energy volcano and a great inspiration at the same time. Yael Vishnizki Levi – an artist and a curator speaking about her art project, how it did happen that she lives in Poland right now and how she does feel like in here. Iza Stawicka vel Panna Pollyanna – amazing, inspiring and extremely warm person that was speaking about her recipes for happiness. And Our Little Adventures at the end of the day – a meeting I was not facilitating but listening to – Karolina & Mariusz (and Mania) – a couple travelling with a child speaking about how to be partners, not only when travelling but especially in life. Thank you guys: Edyta, Yael, Iza, Karolina, Mario for your openess, engagement and sharing yourselves with us!

I’m also very happy that I had a chance to meet and see many – important in my life – women. The meetings happened in very different dircumstances (look at the picture below) – they were longer or shorter, on the couches or stand-up (or on the floor), while being tired and/or rested, in the morning and in the evening, in peace and in run, a smiles exchange only sometimes. But they did happen – and that is was what mattered!

With Gosia
With Gosia 🙂

Beata! I’m very very happy that you came and took so many beautiful pictures for us! And I’m super happy to have eventually a photo with you as well! ❤ Thank you for coming and supporing us!!

With Beata Lechowicz - a photographer and an author of many photos for this project!
With Beata Lechowicz – a photographer and an author of many photos for this project! (photo: Mariusz Zielonka)

It was a good time with good meetings and a lot of inspirations. This is how my piece of the Congress looked like. Hania, Agata S., Agata J., Julia, Dorota and all the other people I don’t personally know – thank you so much for creating that space. I know pretty well how much work it must have been for you. And that’s what makes me soooo very thankful to have those moments in my head now. Because these are the ones which easly transfer into a smile on my face!

photo by Beata Lechowicz
photo by Beata Lechowicz

Warsaw, 14 September 2015