7th December 2014 Christmas Concert
Last Sunday 7th December together with the friends and the families we participated in the Christmas Concert of our past and present grant holders of the Music School in B-B. Young musicians played very nice; we have been listening to good music in a very pleasant mood which made the meeting really friendly.
It was a great pleasure to notice that Adriana Willman, our past grant holder but now the member and the soloist of the Philharmonic Orchestra in Rybnik performed in it.
Polish Soroptimists Met in Warsaw (22-23 November)
From 22-23 November 2014 the assembly of Polish SI Clubs took place in Warsaw. The sisters from almost all Polish clubs participated in the meeting. Eight sisters from SI Bielsko-Biala Club took part in it.
We hosted the representants of SIE Federation with Tonny Fieldt Kok-Weimar, 1st Vice President Extension Eastern Europe, Carolien Demey, the governor of the Belgian Union, and Gerda Rosiers, Past President of the Union of Belgium. The programme focused on the communication between soroptimists (within the clubs and between the unions), the ability of the leadership, the motivation to act as soroptimists.
We are specially grateful to the sisters from SIE Federation and Belgian Union for their presentations on the most important tasks running by the Federation, e.g. the elimination of violence against women and girls (November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women), the prevention strategies which is possible and essential but still ineffective, how to conduct awerness raising initiatives against violence, etc. There were also discussed the legal aspects of SI clubs’ activity and fund-raising problems of the NGO’s.
The next day Polish clubs presented their the most important projects and achievements.
We have a new President of Polish Union for 2014-2016 - Anna Szeremeta took over the presidency from Anna Wszelaczynska.
It was fruitful and necessary meeting which should be systematically repeated in the future.
17-19 October 2014 The Meeting in Krzyzowa
At the end of October (17-19) the SI clubs from Gdansk, Berlin-Mitte and Potsdam organized the meeting in Krzyzowa (not far from Swidnica and Wroclaw). Five soroptimists from SI club in Vilnius and three sisters of our club in B-B (Ewa Sum, Anna Szabert and Kasia Brykowicz) took part in the event.
The main goal was to enhance the friendship between soroptimists from East and West. The small village of Krzyzowa is a historical place where in former estate of count Helmuth James von Moltke, a civil resistance movement against the Nazi regime was active during the War World II. The main objectives of the „Krzyzowa Circle” was to develop plans for the future of Germany and Europe after the defeat of the Nazi regime. They focused on building plans for democracy, political and social consciousness, and responsibilities of every individuals in the future world. They payed the highest price for that attempt to oppose the Nazi regime– many of the members of the „Krzyzowa Circle” were executed in 1944-1945. When twenty-five years ago the Krzyzowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe was established they decided to transform this devastated estate into a place which will serve to bring closer people from East and West. The Foundation initiates and promotes activities that develop peaceful relationships between nations, social groups and individuals. Its aim is to build communities that integrate people of different world views, beliefs and political affilliations. Krzyzowa is a place to bring together specially the young people who speak different languages and held different world views. They organize training sessions and workshops for various professional and social groups.
Soroptimists took active part in it. Since a few years the sisters from Gdansk together with their partnership club from Potsdam have organized the workshops of young girls from Poland and Germany to stimulate their social activity and resourcefulness.
On the initiative of Gdansk and Potsdam Clubs’ about 80 sisters from Germany, Poland and Lithuania met in Krzyzowa this October. The aim of this meeting was to deepen mutual relationships between soroptimists from Eastern and Western Europe. We have discussed what do the ideas of „Krzyzowa Circle”– tolerance, opening, respect - mean nowadays? How to instil the ideas to the youths? How the young people have to draw on the experience of previous generations to develop their future? It was a stormy but fruitful discussion. There is an awful lot left to do because nothing is given us once and for all.
Now the Krzyzowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe is organizing twenty-fifth anniversary of the Reconciliation Mass between Poland and Germany which took place there in November 1989. First democratic Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki and German Chancellor Helmuth Kohl participated in this historic event
A New Friendship Link has been Set Up
A new friendship link has been just established between SI Bielsko-Biała Club and the SI Uelzen Club in Germany.
It is our great pleasure to inform that after a few months’ correspondence all formalities has been completed and our Friendship Link has been confirmed by the SIE Federation. It became officially recognised on 9th March 2014, and registered in the SIE lists.
During SIE Congress in Berlin in 2013 Claudia Lindner, vicepresident of Uelzen Club, proposed to establish close co-operation between our clubs. SI Uelzen Club has been chartered in 2000 and has 30 members.
It is just the beginning. The time will come to fulfil the duties resulting from this Friendship Link and to know each other better as well as to exchange experiences. Last July we have visited the sisters in Uelzen and it was unforgettable stay. Their hospitality was overwhelming. The sisters from Uelzen will pay a return visit to us in May 2015.
How about Uelzen? It is a town in the northeast Lower Saxony and a capital of the county of Uelzen of about 35 thousands inhabitants. Situated on the Ilmenau river and the Elba Lateral Canal the town is characterised by timber-framed architecture and also has some examples of North German brick Gothic. In the Middle Ages it was an active member of the Hanseatic League. There are nature parks with moors, woods and lakes in the nearest vicinity of Uelzen. But the county town earned fame when Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser was selected to redisign the railway station for Expo 2000. Renamed as „Hundertwasser Station” it became one of the town’s popular tourist attractions.
15th February 2014 Charity ball Caravan on the Silk Road