Sisterhood in the forest
W(y)Puszczone are a group of women who met at the Camp for the Forest formed as part of manifestations to defend the Białowieża Forest. They were bonded by faith in female sisterhood and agency, and their love for untamed nature.
This is how they describe themselves:
“We organise forest camps for girls and women. The initiative is based on two pillars: feminism and ecology. (…) We discuss stereotype gender roles and encourage women to overcome them. We promote self-sufficiency and sisterhood-based co-operation, sharing indispensable tasks for the camp to function. (…) We also teach sensitivity to the world of nature. We bring our participants closer to the forest, teaching them respect for nature and how to draw strength, calmness and relaxation from its presence through daily encounters with nature, mindful observation, forest meditation, and handling discomfort – insects, variable weather conditions, and the dark. We teach everyone that nature is our ally, and that we are part of it.”
W(y)Puszczone used their first FemFund mini-grant to organise an empowering forest camp for over ten girls. They spent a week in the forest, sleeping in wooden huts, chopping firewood, cooking over open fire, and organising assorted workshops. The idea of organising another forest camp soon came up – this time for adult women and persons socialised for female roles. In just under none months after the girls’ camp, a similar camp for adults was organised in the Knyszyńska Forest.
“Our empowerment is the empowerment of the women and girls we are working with”
Following the success of their first joint initiatives, W(y)Puszczone want to organise more girls’ camps; they want to avoid parents’ socio-economic position to become a key factor in selecting participants, which is why they intend to use a part of the grant to cover camp attendance for thse who cannot afford it. The remaining part of the money will be used for purposes of organising empowering training courses for W(y)Puszczone members. They are planning to improve their competencies in areas of task sharing and decision-making in a non-hierarchical collective. They also intend to develop their discrimination preventing knowledge and skills, to become better at supporting the equality and diversity of groups they workwith. The in-house training courses for W(y)Puszczone staff will be delivered by a feminist and an ecologist.
Grant amount: PLN 8,800.00
Photos: Agata Kubis/ .kolektyw