Friday, 15 April 2016

4. blog post ENG

People who inspire us

Lenka's story on our Facebook page here

- How did you meet Lenka?
Kuba: I met the lady on the ocassion of an international seminar Empowering Youth To Become Social Innovators” in Brno. A talk with Lenka was a part of the seminar programme.

- Where did it happen?
Iva: It was in a cool cafe called "Bajkazyl" which is an alternative cultural space built on a railway viaduct – the place thrives with a powerful cultural scene, also offering screenings and concerts, while running a bicycle workshop as a part of a youth rehab programme. If hungry, you can choose from a vegan menu and delicious drinks.
Kuba: There are also concerts of different music genres.

- When meeting Lenka, what did you think on first sight?
Kuba: The only thing I knew before meeting her was the fact that she was on a wheelchair. You can imagine all of the thoughts that ran through my head. During the talk, though, I found out she was really cool.
Iva: When I saw Lenka for the first time I had to think of how tiny she was. I didn´t see her standing up but she was not bigger than a kid, I guess. Sitting on her wheelchair, while she was talking about her life, she grew bigger and bigger in my eyes – just like the rest of us. You know, when you see someone with a disability, you feel obliged to help, but you are not really sure if the offer won't offend them, you don't want to look stupid. But the disabled are not that much different. They know how to speak with others and how to ask for help.

- What did you find interesting?
Iva: Lenka talked about her life – she had a dream to become a dressmaker but her parents wanted her to have an office work. She also talked about the life with her disability; about how fast she can ride her wheelchair and how often she asks her neighbours to come and hand her something from a shelf. She then talked about her dreams, how she founded an association helping the disabled. She did it from scratch, this tiny lady. Now, that association is big and well known and Lenka´s dreams have materialised. Lenka now meets celebrities and her work makes people around her happier. Tell me, how many people with no disabilities are that successful?
Kuba: Lenka talked about her life and then we could write questions to her on slips of paper. I found one moment unfair – Lenka described her experience before her husband and she bought a car: she had to use public transport but sometimes, the drivers did not want to take her on.

- What did you think at the end of the talk?
Kuba: I felt sorry for Lenka having to live with her disability but at the same time I realised that on the contrary, she is quite a jolly person. I had a feeling that she had come to terms with her disability and I wish her all the best of luck.
Iva: I had to think about my life, various possibilities around me and what I am actually able to do for other people. I could see the relativity of our own barriers: we may build them ourselves just because of having fears.. but what most of us can do is just to get rid of them – I believe that if we are not able to do that, there is always somebody who can help us. Similarly as Lenka - she had to do most of the work. On the other hand, thouse people around her were equally important – without them, she wouldn´t be able to leave the office work and look for a job she would like. That´ s exactly the point – there will always be somebody who has similar goals, dreams. And if their dream will be sufficiantly powerful, you can do whatever you want, united, no matter of hight or age.

This blog is a part of the project Empowering Youth To Become Social Innovators, realised under the Erasmus+ partnership programme. The project is coordinated by a Czech NGO DYNAMA, z.s., seated in Brno and an Estonian NGO Youth Club Active, seated in Tallinn. This project contributes to the development of non formal learning of the youth.

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