Mentoring programme for young people
In 2018 and 2019, we ran a pilot mentoring programme for young people at the Art of Freedom Foundation tasked with expanding the horizons of the Foundation’s mentees and increasing awareness that we all co-create the world we live in – from our rural environment, though the commune and county administrative districts, the State, right up to European Union level and beyond.
The European Union is not the mythical “Them” but you and me, too… from Idzbark, Olsztyn, Warsaw, wherever we are from. Our awakening – us, as Citizens of the World, is the very moment we realise this.
The first mentee of the Foundation’s pilot programme is teenaged Maja Wojtczak, who has now graduated from Idzbark primary school. Maja, who wields a five octave vocal range, dreams of becoming a singer and actress. She is considering pursuing a career path as an actress in musicals.
The mentoring programme at the Art of Freedom Foundation that Maja is involved in creates safe and favourable conditions for young people to broaden their horizons and aspirations through contact with environments associated with broadly understood art.
What and how?
Within the mentoring programme, the President of the Art of Freedom Foundation, whose role is to mentor Maja, regularly meets Maja to discuss topics that they share an interest for – music and cinematography. They also went on numerous trips and excursions together.
In July 2018, Olga and Maja visited Paris, where Maja not only had the opportunity to familiarise herself with everyday life in Paris, but also visited the Louvre and Grand Palais, saw Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, strolled the streets of Montmartre, and tried dishes from cuisines from around the world. Maja also had the chance to meet a true Parisian and official of the European Commission, whose pleasure it was to answer Maja’s questions concerning life in European metropolises.
During the course of the pilot mentoring programme for young people, the Art of Freedom Foundation also acted as a liaison between Maja and the Cosmos for Girls Foundation based in Warsaw. Maja Wojtczak, as one of the girls who were in the focus group assessing the prototype of the first edition of the Cosmos for Girls magazine, was an ambassador of “The Power of Force” poll organised by Cosmos.
In October 2018, Olga Żmijewska and Maja Wojtczak took part in the poll gala awards ceremony and Maja accepted an award on behalf of one of her friends who could not attend the gala. During that visit to Warsaw, Maja and Olga went to the Resort Komedia improvisation theatre where they were warmly received by its Director, Agnieszka Matan. This experience allowed Maja to gain new knowledge on the theatre and learn about a new area of the arts in the form of improvisation. The Warsaw trip was also an excellent occasion to get to know some exceptionally resourceful, active, and inspiring women who make up the Cosmos for Girls Foundation and Resort Komedia. These encounters turned out to be highly inspiring for the young teenager.