“Brave Kids on Brave Kids”, chapter 5: Maya

Today’s chapter is a text written by Maya Sawicka, who has been involved in the Brave Kids Project since 2012, as a host family, a volunteer and as a participant in Brave Kids in Warsaw in 2015, in Brave Kids Georgia in 2017 and in Brave Kids Reunion in 2018:

My name is Maya and i am a part of Brave Kids since I was very little. There are some people who are recognized in this project. You just know them because they are seen through the years and they are the faces. And i very much hope that I’m one of them. Not because I desire fame. I want to be the person they always come to with a problem or they trust because they know me for so many years. This year- 2018 I’ve been a part of Brave Kids Reunion which was like a dream come true. Over the years I’ve learnt to never say goodbye. The world is a small place and we meet again which is totally surprising when we thought “we are never going to see these people again”. So now I say “see you” and there’s hope in that.

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There’s this magic in growing up with people and meeting them every year. Here’s to my best friend who I adore so much. I could call him the story of my life. I thank him for the help sent through the countries and the feeling that’s he is sitting next to me telling me that’s gonna be just fine. I’ve met him this year also. Ran to hug him. Here’s to best friends you make in this project, who doesn’t care who you are, where are you from or what your religion is. Here’s to best friends you meet every year. It’s not said you will keep the contact. But what you keep is promise of meeting in future.

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There’s joy in remeeting people you thought you never going to like. And getting to know them differently. There are also people who we thought were fine, lovely and kind but they are not the person we wanted them to be. Still in Brave Kids we learn to never judge book but its cover. We fall in love and we fall out of love. We make friends and we lose them. But hate doesn’t come from religion, color skin or anything like this. It comes from fear.

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There’s so much courage in saying goodbye. Especially to people you care about. They come they leave. It’s never enough time. There’s this girl in Israel. I’ve been making goodbyes to her thought these years and I apologize. I know we meet this way or another. We met in Brave Kids Reunion and haven’t spent time together. At least not as much as I wanted. I’m sorry. I’m still here for you and I’m still caring for you. And I’m sure we are going to meet sooner or later.

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Boundaries aren’t existing in this project. What matters is now. We only have now. Why would be angry of something we can’t undo? We can’t change our countries or people in them. We are one. One country and one religion. Any other thing doesn’t matter. Sometimes in these three weeks we learn more than in our whole life.

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In Brave Kids 2018 for the first time I’ve heard that I’m strong. From a stranger. I shared something with a group of people. My feelings and problems. And they listened. But after that a woman came to me. And she told me I’m strong and that I’m gonna go through this. And that I’m a beautiful young girl and that I should never give up. There are more than one hundred people in Brave Kids and still you find a woman you don’t know telling you that you are amazing. I looked at her and started crying. I never felt better in my whole life. There were two people who believed. Me and that woman believed in myself.

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Here I also want to thanks people who taught me so many things. Love, patience, kindness and even pain. I want to thanks my amazing group and our leader who was a mother and sister for us. I want to thanks friends for making me feel so good and loved when I couldn’t feel a thing. And most of all I want to thank every and each person who are in this project. We all thank you. Keep doing that because thank to you we are the change in the world.

I haven’t exactly told a story of Brave Kids 2018. But I believe this is what important. Us. What we feel. One day it all will be just a memory. And we will become moms and dads and grandparents. And we will have pictures as old photographs with stories told to our children. But right now we are brave. We have now and we love that. These moments are what’s important to us.

Thank you so much.

Maya Sawicka.

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