Welcome to the series #EVERYDAYHEROES in which we introduce exceptional members of our network. Through pop culture, we discovered that heroes fly, have superpowers, come from another planet, and wear capes and costumes, but there are other, real heroes. Heroes we are surrounded by every day, who raise their voices in times of injustice and fight for the rights of all of us. Who look the same as us, who express their superpower by fighting every day for a better and democratic society. Everyday heroes, that we have to talk about. Follow us on our Instagram to catch the next interview among the first ones.
Another Everyday Hero is Agata Czyżewska from Poland.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Agata and I’m almost 30 years old. I was born in Gdańsk, I have studied here and now I live and work here. I have spent some time studying in Sevilla and did 2 traineeships in Brussels. I consider myself a citizen of Europe, and I am a great fan and supporter of EU cooperation. This month I started a new job at PwC in project management, previously my work was more connected to politics. In my free time, I focus on my closest family – my boyfriend and our two dogs. I like traveling, water, and winter sports. I also enjoy knitting and crocheting – I have my own beanie brand called “Hel Yeah” (as of Hel peninsula, a water sports spot in north Poland). I am active in several NGOs focusing on youth rights, youth politics, and EU values. I believe that “the more, the merrier”, so I try to make my life as full and active as possible.
What do you consider your biggest success?
That’s a very difficult question. However, I would probably go with finding my work/NGO-life balance and being satisfied with my life. Recently when I was finishing my second Brussels traineeship I started having mental health issues and due to that, I started focusing more on myself and my needs. Having that in mind I enjoy building a life together with my boyfriend and our dogs.
What does the word DEMOCRACY mean to you?
Democracy is like freedom+ to me. It is feeling safe and empowered to be who you want to be, to say what you want to say, and ability to successfully advocate for matters important to us.
Who do you consider your Everyday Hero and why?
I consider women fighting for abortion rights and people fighting for LGBT+ rights my Everyday Heroes. Nowadays it is a struggle for both here in Poland, especially with the ruling party’s propaganda and actions against them. Just a few days ago a woman was sentenced for providing pregnancy termination pills to another woman in need. Both women considering being mothers and LGBT+ people don’t feel safe in Poland. I believe in a democratic country there should be no room for taking someone’s rights away.
What does the concept of Everyday Hero mean to you?
The concept of Everyday Heroes means acting not only for yourself (or sometimes not for yourself at all) but for people who don’t have the courage or possibility to advocate/fight for their rights. It means not being afraid and believing that despite difficulties a cause is worth fighting for, even if sometimes it is probable that during your lifetime there might not be such change. It’s bravery that I probably am not strong enough to show.
Why did you become a member of EDYN?
I have become a member of EDYN before the pandemic. To be completely honest one of my hopes was to meet with other members from various countries, exchange experience, and grow through trainings. The reality was a different, it took us a while to build our chapter, but now we do it for ourselves – we exchange experience, support each other, organize activities together and most of all we are among ambitious, talented, and brave young people focusing on changing our world for young generation.