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YOU CAN DO ANYTHING IF YOU HAVE ENTHUSIASM

From an early age, I have always liked to explore other cultures. Interesting history, art, music and language are topics that I have always loved getting introduced to. A couple years ago, I had a chance to learn about a culture that completely captivated me. My first encounter with the Jewish culture was during the Jewish Culture Festival „Singer’s Warsaw” when I had the opportunity to see the theater play „Violinist on the roof”, I tried Jewish Chałka and listened some Jewish piece of music. 
Luckily this year, as part of the Humanity in Action Warsaw Fellowship Program, alongside other participants, I had the opportunity to explore Jewish culture more thoroughly. 
The Jews were always present in the Polish society. Before the war, Poland was a country where three million Jews lived, and it was one of the largest congregations of Jews in the world. Jews constituted about 10% of the general population. Unfortunately, mainly due to the execution of the Holocaust, the plan for the mass …
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LOOKING FOR THE NEW MEANING OF THE POLISH HOSPITALITY

GośćInność – initiative created by Nina Bilal combining education with fun of cooking and uniting teenagers and migrants at the table. And us – three women passionate about making the world more conscious about migrant and refugee rights (and also women who love to eat!). 

Us! Małgosia, Anna and Nawojka, credits: Alicja Szulc
Opening the envelope and getting to know the possible challenges was exciting. And once we found out - we couldn’t decide. All three of them were interesting and to we felt we could somehow contribute to all of them. After consulting with Nina, we picked the education challenge – to prepare a workshop scenario which combined learning how to cook from a migrant (a trademark of GośćInność’s initiative) with different educational activities providing pupils the basic knowledge about the topic of migration, with a special focus on women’s rights.
Where did we start? From our target group! We created a survey to get to know what teenagers aged between 12 and 16 years o…

THINKING OUTSIDE (AND INSIDE) THE BOX

Often, it seems business frameworks are used at the expense of human rights in the world. It only takes examples like Standing Rock, Rana Plazaor Apple’s conflict minerals to see business in opposition to global justice. Our team - Onur Aksu, Chelsea Racelis, and Malgorzata Zurowska - was challenged with the question: How can we use business approaches to support human rights and social justice? 
With Humanity in Action Poland as our output phase organization, our team was tasked with developing a new, sustainable revenue stream that would bring the values of human rights and diversity to more people. It was a unique challenge, especially while our peers’ had tasks such as “How do we combat hate speech on the Internet?” or, “How can we reduce stigma toward the LGBTQ+ community?” We had something very tangible to work with, yet lots of room for creativity. 


In our design thinking workshop earlier in the fellowship, we learned the value of entertaining “crazy ideas” - putting out all of o…

FROM THE TUMMY TO THE HEART

Daisy Astorga Gonzalez: The first moment I stepped into Kitchen of Conflicts, I thought of my mother and grandmother. They could have easily been working there as immigrants; the joy they would have had to share our Mexican cuisine. 
Larissa Weiss: ‘... the act of volunteering creates an empathy that creates conditions for peace.’ (Syd Boyd) When deciding to enlarge the community of the Kitchen of Conflicts through a volunteer application form, I immediately thought of this quote that was published by the United Nations Young Peacebuilders. To build community means to build freedom means to build peace. 
Rozanna Bogacz: I entered Kitchen of Conflicts confident about the change that we could bring there, but the first try at the conversation without common language showed me the actual challenge they are meeting. After two weeks, I have become only more impressed and inspired. 


Kitchen of Conflicts (KoC) is a social enterprise and foundation that employs immigrants and refugees. They cook…

THE THREE P'S: PLANNING, POWER, AND POSITIVITY

Ten days and three women from three different countries. The task: design a social entrepreneurship product addressing the challenges of teenage girls in contemporary Polish society. One of the most immediate and obvious challenges is apparent from the very beginning: only one member of the team comes from Poland. 
Will we be able to create something Polish teenage girls will like, use, and (most importantly for a social entrepreneurship challenge) actually want to buy? How will we find data and research on our target demographic or develop content without relegating one member of the team to doing nothing but translating Polish to English (our common working language) all day? How could a Ukrainian and an American possibly know what Polish teenage girls find engaging, trendy, or cool? 


Within minutes of our first brainstorming meeting we came to an important realization: our experiences as women, and more specifically as former teenage girls, were markedly similar. From Ukraine to th…

THREE CHALLENGES, TWO WEEKS, ONE TEAM

“You have the magic within you, now go change the world.” This quote was written for us in the program book of the HIA Fellowship. This phrase helped guide us throughout the process of the output phase of the fellowship. 
At the start of the output phase, we were presented with three challenges to choose from. After a great deal of brainstorming and several consultation meetings with HIA Poland, the organization we were working with, we chose to take up the technological challenge in order to best meet the needs of HIA Poland, who aimed to use technology to combat hate speech online among youth. Our main assumption was that if gamers use less hate speech online, they will also use less of it in the real world. 
Working on the project was challenging, mostly because we were new to the field of chatbots, especially when it came to using chatbots toward a topic with as serious implications as hate speech. We first found challenges with improving the effectiveness of the chatbot and finding…

#SEXISEQUAL - SO LET'S TALK ABOUT IT

Teenagers. They’re angsty, awkward, and sometimes angry, often for good reason. Teens are the chronically misunderstood, the frequently patronized, and the often ignored of our society. Their youthful ambition and adolescent, singular strength of mind will soon propel them (and, whether we like it or not, us too), into a future where they, at last, are the ones in charge. They represent the imminent future, and yet older people often do not know how to talk to teens—whether about their emotional lives, or merely what they want for supper. 
Our group: Kamil Kuhr, Kenny Martin and Larysa Panasyk
Photo Credit: Alicja Szulc
These contradictions and difficulties of teenage life hit queer teenagers especially hard. In the input phase of the 2018 Warsaw Humanity in Action Fellowship, we had a session with Slava Melnyk from Kampania Przeciw Homofobii (Campaign Against Homophobia, Polish abbreviation KPH) that illuminated some of these problems—problems that are specific to the queer teen communi…