Stowarzyszenie Projektów Międzynarodowych „INPRO”

Born to survive

Written by Ewa Szpyt

A few hundred years of history in walls and frescoes, intense sun, charming Italian old town. Such scenery accompanied participants of the beautiful project in Abbiategrasso. 

Throughout the week, we gathered our thoughts around topics of great importance, such as human rights, social minorities, the excluded. Although the world around us looked truly dreamy, we remembered it is not the case everywhere, for everyone. Thus, in an international company, we engaged all our resources, experiences, knowledge, so as to come up with solutions, give ourselves a starting point for actions meant to enable all of humanity to live their lives according to a history of their own making. Not one forced upon them, determined by financial conditions, skin color, social status, beliefs and last but not least, place of birth.

Discussions initiated during the workshops were continued long into the night, a starlit sky over the monastery. The peace we felt, joy of cooperation and this incredible feeling of no borders even in the face of our diverse lives and views. It’s something wonderful. In such conditions, each one of us, with set intention to help those less lucky, there surfaced an atmosphere truly magical. There’s no need for much sleep in order to go on at full speed because it’s the people who emit more than enough energy and share it with each other. We give strength to one another. What’s beautiful is that the feeling stays there even after the exchange. It stays forever – due to being born in such powerful circumstances.
People from Italy, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain. Each of them extraordinary, each with a colorful individuality of their own. The openness I had witnessed gave me the strength to do my best at being human in each situation. In a city, I study currently, dehumanization is not uncommon.

Rational, calm dialogue is achievable in the most diverse community. Beauty is created through collaboration. Divisions kill us slowly but surely. Us and the planet we live on. That’s why the outcomes of international exchanges are so essential. What happens in the process seems like another dimension. But it’s most crucial to remember that it’s just as much a part of reality as our everyday. Returning to our responsibilities, work, university – that “another” world, we carry on within. We’ve talked about human rights with local residents of Abbiategrasso, we created forum theatre to show many situations in which they are broken and how to fix that, we recorded an informative video to spread the knowledge about them – coming back to “our” places around the globe, we will introduce these topics to our friends and associates, or even “incidental” people. More often we will act to spread awareness.

More importantly, a sense of having a tangible impact was rooted in us. Reacting to situations in which we see human rights violated is vital. And if any fear would have crept into my heart upon witnessing such circumstances, as if an invisible chain preventing me from taking action – it will now be easily broken.

We can change the world if we do it together. We start with ourselves. Then, we meet people, one person at a time. And it continues. It doesn’t stop with them, never does – they maintain what we passed on to them, as we perpetuate what we learned. The scale of the impact is vast, although it may not seem as such at first glance. But you can sense it. And that’s what matters most.