MARTA -BRZEZIŃSKA HUBERT
Trainer and Coach
WHO IS MARTA BRZEZIŃSKA-HUBERT?
Marta is a woman, wife and a mother from Warsaw where I had the pleasure to got in touch with her some years ago during an international meeting.
She in fact works in a dinamic and international environment as independent trainer and learning facilitator.
What she loves the most about her profession is the opportunity to reciprocally give to and receive something from her learners:
“I love what I do, what it gives me and what I'm giving to the others”, she says.
Marta's Contact :
HOW DID THE PASSION FOR LEARNING AND TRAINING START?
Working in multicultural projects allows Marta to never stop learning from the others, through the interaction both with co-trainers and partcipants too.
“Most of the trainers I’m working with are also people with whom I share the passion for learning, but at the same time they have also other interests such as online learning resources, coaching, human rights, sports, etc. So I constantly get inspired thanks to their passions”.
When this project started what I precisely wanted to highlight was the opportunity for women to empower themselves by doing something they really love to do. What finally makes the difference between being economically independent and passionately employed is the feeling of being inspired and motivated everyday in doing something we are educated for in order to bring success to our lives. With such positive stories other women and young girls might feel encourauged to follow their dreams and passion, as it happened to Marta:
“I'm so lucky that my work is my passion! I often have a feeling of real happiness while working. Of course there are hard moments too, but my work gives me a lot of joy, development and satisfaction. What also matters for me a lot is that I can feel that I bring something meaningful for people both on their personal and also more social level”.
Marta has been leading trainings, workshops and projects for 12 years now. She usually works with young people, youth workers, students and teachers both from Poland and abroad. Marta is such a passionate person, not just in the profession but in her whole life as she admits:
“I'm passionate about learning, music and art. I enjoy moving around my city and discover the beauty of people and places”.
She communicates her positivite attitude in all those activities she is involved in. She explains for example the last project she worked on, called "Design Yourself", which aims to explore how youth express themselves through their clothing style. This kind of project allows Marta to work in a multidimensional perspective involving the theoretical side, through the researches, and the practical one too, using her creativity and the non-formal learning approach. Marta’s profession has a lot to do with culture since she works with people coming from all over Europe: she is an expertise of intercultural communication and she deals with cultural differences too.
Marta basically works as a freelance trainer in Poland and sometimes abroad as well. She usually leads learning activities in cooperation with different partners, such as local or national institutions and organizations, but she also generally builds up the whole activitiy.
We could image three steps in Marta’s profession: she first develops and designs the methodology and the contents of the activities, she secondly runs the training and finally she works on its evaluation. According to these different tasks she can manage her work both from home and on the field.
Another interesting aspect of Marta’s work is the opportunity to work sometimes as solo trainer and someothers as co-trainer:
“I love to work with other trainers, both Polish and from other countries. We often have one prep-meeting "in reality" and later we communicate on skype. I also have a team (5 people) with whom I work on a regular basis. We share experience, training methods, inspiring books, tools, etc..”
Working on educational activities gives Marta the opportunity to share her knowledge with other trainers, cooperating with them at new inspiring projects.
It worths mentioning that a big role in her daily organization is played by her family and her child needs although she does not separate her private and professional life as they are interconnected.
“I'm so lucky that my work is my passion! I often have a feeling of real happiness while working. Of course there are hard moments too, but my work gives me a lot of joy, development and satisfaction"
HOW MUCH IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A PERSON TO COUNT ON?
Marta confirms how much is important to feel surrounded by supportive people, not only in her professional life but especially in the private one. She has a child and when he was very little she could have some help from her partner and her family. In that moment her presence was so important for her child’s growth, mostly for the breastfeeding, and thanks to her family she was able to work as well. As mentioned before Marta leads workshops and activities in different cities and with that precious support she managed to do everything.
She also emphasizes another important point related to the fact of being a working mother: she was able to take up new professional challenges and she was free to take decisions. Being mother shouldn’t affect women’s freedom in any sense, it should not mean being “less” something but it must give a “plus” to them.
WHICH DIFFICULTIES MARTA FACED IN HER WORK?
Stereotypes and prejudices never helps in life. Marta speaks about the importance of working with professional and open-minded people (trainers and co-trainers) in order to reach the common goal in the best way possible. Despite she had mostly good working experiences she tells about some unpleasant situations where she was evaluated not because of her competences, she was instead judged for her appearance:
“it happened to me few times that I felt "judged" by the organizers because of my age and look. Once it happened also that the director of the school where I was supposed to run workshops for teachers told me in an impolite and discriminative way that I was not dress properly for her teachers, although I was, and that she assumes that I had not enough competence..”.
With this only exception Marta usually did not face discriminations. As in any other work she may feel challenged by her profession, especially when it comes to prepare the activities with other colleagues who have different approaches in the whole organization of the trainings. Nonetheless she usually enjoys working with other trainers.
What it might represent a real difficulty to Marta is the work-family balance, mostly concerning the care of her child while she is leading the activities:
“As the trainings are often out of my city I need help all day long. And it is the most stressful part although my parents help me a lot with it”.
“I'm passionate about learning, music and art. I enjoy moving around my city and discover the beauty of people and places”
ARE WOMEN TODAY TRULY FREE TO CHOOSE THEIR DESTINY?
Some key dimensions can make the difference in women lives. Women grown up in rural areas, with low cultural family background and poor education might have a very different path if compared to women lived in the opposite conditions. In Marta’s opinion, being free to choose it’s a matter of where do women live (big-small city/village), their social and cultural profile (high/low education and poor/middle/high level of opportunities) and the relationship with their partner.
Although having a baby changed completely Marta’s life and the way of thinking about her own freedom, she nonetheless always had the opportunity to follow her professional needs, mostly thanks to the support of her partner and family who take care of her child while she works. She also mentioned how the institution she had worked for helped them covering travelling and accomodation costs for Marta’s mum and husband at the time Marta needed to be very close to her baby for the breastfeeding, for example. This valuable understanding towards worker women is not that common among employers, according to Marta’s opinion in fact it seems to be quite rare in Poland. Speaking about freelance women, the maternity leave is not entirely negligible: even if the situation is getting better at the time Marta gave birth she could get only 100 euros per month. Many women Marta knows had to choose the most suitable situation taking in account the economical side instead of their child’s wellness.
How women may be really free to choose their destiny if their governement does not allow them to be economically independent in a so delicate period of their life?
A part from this, Marta enjoyed coming back to work after the fourth month of her child: “It was exhausting but at the same time this was the way I wanted it to be”.
IN YOUR COUNTRY, POLAND, DOES THE RELIGION OR THE CULTURE AFFECT SOMEHOW WOMEN'S INDEPENDENCY?
I asked this question around September 2016 when a huge civil strike called “Czarny Protest” (Black Protest) took place in Warsaw and in other big Polish cities like Crakow, and Wroclaw. Also in some cities in Europe women and men too organized non-violent protests in solidarity with Polish women.
Law and Justice The reason of the protest was the proposal law of a complete banning of the abortion that ruling party, which is supported by the Catholic Church, was almost up to make real the last September. Fortunately that proposal did not pass at the Sejm (lower house of the national legislature of Poland) but the law still remains one of the most restrictive in Europe, after Malta and Vaticano.
Women in Poland are allowed to have an abortion only in case of danger for the woman’s life or health, in case of rape or when the fetus is seriously malformed. We can say abortion right in Poland still doesn’t exist for women, at least legally because abortions are still ongoing illegally, around 150,000 per year.
Global Index of Religion and AtheismAfter the comunism religion has always been a big role in Polish society. According to the last Gallup International Report: “RELIGIOSITY IS HIGHER AMONG THE POOR: People in bottom income groups are 17% more religious than those in top income groups”. by Win-Gallup International (a global opinion poll which measures global self-perceptions on beliefs) Poland is one of the most religious country in Europe and this fact is highly connected to some hard issues related to women rights, for example the reproductive rights. They way religion rules women and men’s lives depends on different aspects, as mentioned above: for instance the more people are undereducated and poor the more they are religious as reported in the Win-
Back to Marta she answered this: “It is such up-to-date question! If you had asked me a year ago I would say not everywhere in Poland and not every woman. But now, with our new government (Law and Justice) unfortunately I have to say so and it affects all women in Poland. The church authorities have regained even more political power so it is not only on cultural or religious level, but on political and law level..”
Marta is an independent woman, she has always taken her decisions and during her experiences she has been supported by her family:
“Me personally I was not directly limited by religion and culture, nor many my friends. It depends a lot of parents, school, etc. I was mostly supported and treated equally. But I grew up in a liberal family in a big city, and in Poland it still differs a lot according to the place and a family”, she says.
Marta speaks also about the taboo on gender and sexual education among the people:
“Gender education is perceived as "evil". And in my opinion this education is still needed, there is still deeply in the culture and religion this division that girls are for this and boys for that, when it comes to expression of emotions (boys don't cry, girls don't shout) interests (football is for boys, jumping for girls, etc)”.
As Marta claims in Poland, as in other societies, women and men need to be focused on their skills, passions and dreams in order to overcome any kind of cultural or religious restrictions. Education is one of the most powerful tool for girls and boys to be open-minded towards human rights and to able to build up a more democratic society. Being also awared of women rights is the first step for a girl to be free to choose the best solution for her own life.
It is the path we should take in schools, but as Marta admits most of them are not focused on this. The change in Poland is coming and Marta’s non-formal educational activities are part of it.
WHAT DID MARTA DREAM WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD ?
When Marta was little she dreamed of living abroad and travelling around the world, but she also wanted to become a tennis journalist in France.
Somehow she realized those dreams along her life, she in fact lived abroad for long period in the past years and by working with foreigners keep her “visiting” new places and cultures. Moreover she plays tennis with her kid, even in not in France!
DREAMS AND FUTURE PLANS?
Marta has no doubt about the role of dreams and personal development in life:
“As Amadeo Modigliani said , "Your only real duty is to save your dream". Although our dreams may develop and naturally change as result of our experience and inspiration, I believe it is very important to have a dream or at least the feeling which is close to our heart, the direction in life we want to go...and to care about this dream”.
MARTA BRZEZIŃSKA-HUBERT IN BRIEF?
Energetic, dynamic, colorful.