Why in XXI the slavery still exist?

In the past year, I came across human trafficking issue, called also a modern slavery, a forced labor. This is beyond the dream job. The fact that still in XXI century people kidnap and trick others to show their power and gain lots of money made me angry, sad and hopeless. 

Somewhere in the spring of 2013, I went for brilliantly organised by students Conference at The Hague University (HHS) “Global Capitalism and Modern-Day Slavery Conference 2013 – From Forced Labour to Labour Force”. I was able to listen to the debate between professors regarding the economic, cultural and global aspects of the modern slavery.  IMG_0650 

Moreover, students prepared very entertaining, interesting and knowledgeable workshop brining us to the early days of the Dutch slavery showing the cruelty and dehumanisation of the man kind. One of the unresolved discussion, was shall the Dutch royalty still be using the Dutch Golden Carriage. The decoration includes slaves elements.

Here is a thought, we did not change at all. In a different way, more subtle and under other circumstances we bring even more harm and agony to those who are not able to defense themselves, especially children and women. Unfortunately this problem occurs all over the world. It is  not only the problem of small or poor countries.

The final drop to my sadness during this conference was the presentation done by Saskia Wishart, who was representing Not for Sale organisation, helping those who entered into the prostitution.

On the same topic, one of the ToP members, is also working for years helping prostitutes. Both are silent fighters against the human trafficking.  Listen to all the stories made me sad, however also it made me happy that there are organisations like Not for Sale which are actually having a concrete idea while helping those who got into the prostitution / human trafficking world. 

I was thinking of writing this post after the conference as I was under a huge impression especially of the actions of Not for Sale, but as usual the life is happening and I was too busy to really clearly and passionately write about it.

Than one day I was browsing on Ipla.tv (the portal with Polish series) and came across ”Na Krawedzi” (”On the Edge”) which is very much connected to the topic. The main women character was raped years back, and those who supposed to help her (police, judge etc…) were actually doing everything in their power to made her look bad. Humiliated and hurt she is coming back after approximately twenty years as a powerful woman. She runs a foundation for women who were abused by men, who were human trafficked. At the same time, not recognised by the oppressors, she is seeking the revenge. I was nicely surprised by the fact that normally while watching the criminal series we tend to guess what will happened next and who is actually guilty. This time till the end, till the last thirteen episode, I was constantly surprised.

Finally, last week I was reading an article in ”Wysokie Obcasy” (”High Heels”) a Polish weekly women magazine, an addition to the daily newspaper. The article was again regarding the human trafficking and prostitution. Actually it was about a woman, a journalist, a feminist fighting for years with those who try to earn tones on the misery of others. It was a story of brave Mexican Lydia Cacho who writes about sexual violence against children and women.

All together, it is too much, why slavery, human trafficking, forced labour are still in place and who is actually going to stop it. After all the above, talking about the dream job it seems so surreal and inappropriate. While some are struggling to survive in pain, humiliation and in captivity far away from the loved one, others are seems to be miserable when they have to work for a profession / company out of their desire. Does that make any sense…? 

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Why do you need networking for?

New in town, looking to do business with new people, searching for a job, getting new friends or simply finally have a chance to meet people you have not seen for a long time…?

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There are a lot of networking events you may experience during the whole year long. Some of them are very expensive, for some you do need to be a member or be invited by such. And there are networking events when you simply do not need to pay at all the only thing is to enjoy. Repetitive networking event is one of my favorite one, as you are getting the familiar, friendly feeling of knowing almost everyone there. 

One of such event in The Hague is THIN (The Hague International Network) it used to be organized by the KVK (The Hague Chamber of Commerce) and now since last summer it is run by Andrew Van Esch owner or The Guest Card.

The beauty of the THIN is that first and for most it is in English. Furthermore, great concept of this network is to meet each time at different location / business. That way all participants not only meet new people but also get to experience and discover new businesses in The Hague. And finally what I like about it, it is a friendly atmosphere. See you at the next THIN

Dream Job Diva

When the women get together…

Couple weeks ago I went for a morning meeting with women entrepreneurs in the lovely area of the Old Rijswijk. It was not a general networking meeting as you could suspect. upward spiral logo (2) 

It was more a business meeting where two businesswomen: Cathy Delhanty and Jolanda Adrianus, were introducing to us their vision of a new event to come at the begin of March, 3th March to be precise.

Their vision is to create an event for 500 women. They are already succeeding. It is an event made by women for women.

Who said that women cannot do anything constructive? Women are strong, creative, daring and passionate. Even though women may be more jealous of each other once they believe in a better cause they will give their soul and heart to create and bring to the reality their vision.

For more than five years I have been part of several women clubs: Connecting Women and ToP – Association of Polish Women to mentioned only few. Each of them have different approach, each of them have a networking purpose but I have never seen a vision created in such a short period of time to be happening. More and more women are joining on the ”upward spiral” Facebook page, it is amazing – I have not met all of those women in person and yet I have connected with some of them a big time. Amazing.

In Poland there is a proverb:” where there are six cooking women there for sure will not be anything to eat”. Nothing further from the true – I truly believe where more than two women get together, there will be something amazing and powerful happening.

I dare all women to come together and support each other, either you are business woman and need another business woman to brainstorm and make your business grow; or you are two mothers who do need a helpful hand with each other kids, or you are women who are searching for work or simply willing to go shopping together. Do it! Get together and assist each other. We do need other woman in our life as only they can understand and know why we do what we do… 

Others writing about this event:

”Women who work together grow together”

Dream Job Diva

Stress reducing activities – Dancing

Cold, rainy day what is better than staying at home with hot chocolate, comfortable on the couch. Well there are some other options to meet new people, to do what you love and at the end to forget about anything and everything…

We are all busy, sometimes too busy to stop for a moment and reflect what makes you happy,  what brings you joy and in a stressful situation helps to survive. I know it, as when I was stressed, especially while searching for a job and not getting any positive reactions back, instead of doing what made me happy I was focusing more and more on being stress…

More stress creates more problems, you get a headache or a stomach pain and you became angry and frustrated, start being unpleasant towards your loved ones… Not the nicest person ever, and if you are in such state do you think somebody else who just met you and is able to receive your negativity is willing to have you around, is willing to hire you…??? Absolutely NOT. 

Therefore, start right now – look around, ask yourself:

  • ”What makes me happy?” or
  • ”What can I do to forget my problem at least for few hours?”

For me the best way to reduce stress and become free and happy person is dancing. I simply love dancing regardless of the style. Put a music and my body does the dance if I want it or not:). Even my mother used to say that when I was little each time the music was on my whole body was moving in the rhythm of it. 

Last night friend of mine and at the same time my belly dance teacher Zahara, was organising Arabic Night Party.

Last night was cold and I was not really in the mood of going out, ready to crawl on my couch and watch some TV. However due to the fact I have already experience Zahara’s party last year and she is my friend, therefore I didn’t want to disappoint her I put myself together and went, with a plan in my head I will be back home within an hour. Nothing further from the truth, seeing so many familiar faces and the most important hearing wonderful Arabic and Latin music (forgot to mention my belly dance teacher is of Venezuelan origin), I couldn’t resist I needed to dance. I am so glad I did come to the Arabic Party – it was the best present I could give myself, moreover I received so many positive comments on my style of dancing that it made my day. 

The final culminate moment of the party was when Zahara began to dance into accompaniment of the drums  of Sattar. Unforgettable, and even better as Sattar was kind enough to let me play with him. Well I was just improvising but again I am good at it following Improvisation Theater.Dia1

Dream Job Diva

ToP – creative Sunday

Last Sunday, I had a pleasure to be a part of a new, for me, women organisation, which is not so new, as next year it will be celebrating 15 years of existence.579054_405606306178746_1168761870_n

Recently, it seems that everything I do, I do around Polish community, starting with Miss Poland, following with POLONUS, to discover ToP, which is actually very an eye opening rediscovering my roots again from a different perspective being abroad. Even so long away from home, I am still closer to those new women, I met on Sunday, as we have the same history, background and humor. It is nice for a change to hang out with women from a different generations, from different environments yet from the same country, which made me feel at home.

Thanks to my wonderful friends, I met lately, I went to Amsterdam to meet even more extremely intelligent and interesting women from Poland, formating ToP – Vereniging van Poolse Vrouwen. Its another women organisation, trying to connect Polish speaking women within The Netherlands.

The meeting was under the creative umbrella. One of the members, was giving us some guidelines regarding drawing, perspective and horizons on the paintings. I must say it was a funny experience as I do like creativity, however this time I was so excited to meeting new people that I was focusing more on the chit chats than on drawings/paintings. That is why my draw of a simple pot, become a Christmas ball:), and I end up drawing colorful hands. 

Already the localisation of Amsterdam made it special adding laud Polish speaking ladies, just made my day. Therefore, without further thinking I became a member of ToP. 

2012-12-02 ToP

Dream Job Diva

My impresion as PR team member of POLONUS 2012

As some of you might know, I have been volunteering as a PR member / coordinator and workshops / groups facilitator almost for five years now for many different non-profit organisations: ACCESS, Connecting Women, POWERtalk International, Academy for Counselling and Coaching, Miss Poland and now POLONUS, here in The Netherlands.

I must say, being a volunteer is an unforgettable experience. During all those years, I have met the most amazing people from all over the world and I have learn quite a lot. I had a chance to be on TV as well as on the radio, which otherwise it will never happened.

Needless to say, most of my PR and Facilitator tasks I master on my own, which I should be proud of. Moreover, all those years paid off last August, rewarding me with an exciting, challenging new job I do next to my coaching, and only because I have had years of experience with people and public relations.

So do not hesitate and if you do have a chance to do some volunteer work (in your area of expertise of in area of your interest) do it, you really never know when you will get rewarded and recognized for it.

My last voluntary task was within PR team for promoting POLONUS. An non-profit organisation working on improving the image of Polish people in The Netherlands. What more closer to my heart being Polish woman here in this country of tulips… I will not discuss the behind the scene daily PR tasks as most of you may know what it encounter, what I want is to share with you the last moments of it, as POLONUS was ending with a Gala announcing elected Pole of the year 2012.

Those who are far away from home, will understand my nostalgic feelings towards the wonderful Polish artists who decided to be a part of that evening and play for Polish people. 

Kayah a beautiful, warm woman, recognised as a fantastic singer. She grown in my eyes after seeing her twice, first the day before the concert in the Polish embassy, where she was acting as a normal person, discussing her shopping preference and the most important not being a diva and the center of attention (which she was anyway due to being a star). During the concert she was a star, a singer, a dancer and a stand-up comedian, which I never know about her – therefore she is official my favorite Polish artist. At the same time she was giving a space and time to other artist to shine. One need to be very much grounded and knowing him/herself well enough to be brave and smart to make jokes as she was making and letting go so others can be seen first – excellent. 

Marcin Wyrostek a lovely, young man, who won Poland Got Talent  – I must admit till the concert I did not know his talent at all. However due to the fact that since I was a child my father is playing almost at every family event the accordion and / or piano, Marcin was close to my heart with his music. His music immediately brought me closer to my family and my father. And again, very normal, humble person, constantly smiling and willing to talk to everyone, wonderful.

The concert itself was a combination of a huge talent of every each of the person on the stage, seriously everyone was giving its best, presenting on a high level. Combining with the act of the lights, emphasizing even more the music and /or the musician who was at that moment actually playing.

And last but not least, I admire Redbad Klijnstra  for his language skills. Most of foreigns don’t take time to learn my language as in most cases they are able to communicate in English. Seeing Redbad navigating in between Polish and Dutch on the stage gave me an inspiration to be as good as he is in his language – Dutch – thank you for that.

My most memorable moment was few hours before the official concert. Sitting in the empty theater and seeing Kayah, Marcin and Coloriage band on stage in their daily cloths, making jokes and preparing for the concert.    It was as they were singing only for me. One fantastic night! Thank you for that. 

One more thing to add to all this, is that I never known there are such smart, intelligent, professional and wonderful Polish people, who were taking their time and effort to do voluntary job as myself. I am glad to meet them and I am proud I can call some of them my friends now. 

 

Dream Job Diva

Do or not to do…a business in Poland?

On 8th of November 2012, ING bank organised an International Business Conference in Eindhoven. As always the conference was in Dutch, taking into consideration that I was able to follow and understand what it was all about, I am proud of my language skills and that I was able to be a part of such business minded event without missing anything.

Not only, I had a chance to go to this conference with my lovely friend, and had an opportunity to admire the architecture of the Evoluon building the conference was held in, also I was nicely surprise while at every seminar and / or presentation during the whole day Poland was mentioned often enough to make an positive association it is a perfect place to do business with.

Almost every presenting person was in some way referring to my country. Some of them where showing statistics of the years when the crises hits the most and Poland was not affected by it.

Others where showing the economic growth of my country. To be only followed by those who were telling that lots of Polish people left the country to gather international experience and / or education and they came back and now they are helping to put the country on the top level. Moreover, the presenters were pointing out the fact that in general Polish people are well educated, sometimes having more than only one University degree, with great language skills.

Sitting and listing to those little remarks regarding Poland my hear was singing with happiness and proud. Poland is being viewed as important partner  and place to take an example from. 

To be even more satisfy with what I have heard, all of the above was said by the Dutch businessmen, politicians and famous people.

So do not hesitate come to visit Poland and do business with hard working Polish people, it is worth it. 

Of course the conference was not only about Poland, in general it was about East Europe and how to do business in those countries. Some tips were given on how to make first impressions, how to negotiate and finally how to maintain relationships with Eastern European countries. One thing for sure, we are all different than the Dutch and people do need more time in order to get to know you, to trust you in order to do business with you.  

Dream Job Diva