The third study visit within the scope of SINC Project was held in Sweden on 30-31st of March and 01st of April 2022. Representatives of Yuva Association and Support Group Network (SGN), as well as representatives of Mölndal and Trollhattan Municipalities from Sweden, and Şişli and Avcılar Municipalities from Istanbul, attended this visit.
The main objective of the study visit was to give Turkish CSOs and municipalities the chance to see and learn on site how their counterparts in Sweden are finding solutions to the challenges in social inclusion issues like migration. Participants of the Sweden Study Visit had the chance to meet with people from both Support Group Network staff working with different target groups and Trollhattan and Mölndal Municipalities to learn about their projects in accessing employment, social welfare, education and social inclusion.
The details of the projects which were visited during the Sweden Study Visit in Trollhattan, Göthenburg and Mölndal and the contributions of these visits to the participants of the study visit are presented below.
Trollhattan Municipality Visit
The first day of the Sweden Study Visit was started in Trollhattan Municipality with a presentation of Katarina Nyman, Trollhattan Municipality Sustainability Strategist, about the Municipality’s projects. After the presentation, the study visit team visited the Support Group Network’s Office in Trollhattan.
Innovatum Science Center
One of the most inspiring stops of the Sweden Study Visit was Innovatum Science Center. The Center, which is partly financed by Trollhattan Municipality, has 4400 square meters full of interactive stations, creative playgrounds and fascinating experiments. Innovatum Science Center has collaboration agreements with several municipalities in order to increase interest in science and technology among children and young people and offers various educational packages to schools for visits, from preschool to high school (ages 6-19). The Center was a very good example in terms of both showing how different municipalities can cooperate for a common goal and also how disadvantaged children from different backgrounds can learn and play together to eliminate the discrimination.
Kronan Culture House
The next stop of the first day of Sweden Study Visit was Kronan Culture House which incorporates a library, meeting place, café, and leisure center for teenagers. In the house, there is also Kronan primary school from preschool to third grade, and after school activities for children whose parents don’t have a job. Kronan Culture House offers music performances, lectures, children’s theater performances, author visits, exhibitions and more. Kronan’s Café is a good example of a cooperation between a local authority and an NGO since it is driven by Support Group Network. Kronans Culture House and SGN have collaboration meetings on a regular basis about different activities they can offer together in the house.
SGN Intercultural Center Vänersborg
After Kronan Culture House, the study visit team moved to their next destination; the SGN Intercultural Center Vänersborg. The center is created in order to counteract discrimination, segregation and show the best effect of pluralism in the society by enhancing the intercultural dialogue to melt the borders between participants from different ages, situations and backgrounds through culture, art and society awareness sessions, events, etc. In the Swedish society today, there are a large number of asylum seekers and newcomers plus those who are already established Swedes, which means that Swedish society is now wider with different nationalities, cultures, mentalities and thoughts. Through activities of the SGN Intercultural Center Vänersborg, the participants will be able to practice Swedish language, get information about the society, networking, be active socially, build their capacity and in some cases it can lead them to the labor market!.
The second day of Sweden Study Visit started with a visit to YesBox House in Gothenburg. YesBox House is the City of Gothenburg’s investment in entrepreneurship, innovation and start-ups and part of the Entrepreneurial Gothenburg. The house creates conditions for the entrepreneurs of the future and contribute to sustainable business and community development. The House provides free meeting rooms with technical equipment both for individuals and CSOs which can realize their projects.
Studiefrämjandet (Study Promotion) Presentation
Studiefrämjandet is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-religious education association that conducts public education activities and provides support to thousands of study circles and associations throughout Sweden. Studiefrämjandet wants to give people the knowledge and power to shape their future. The support of Studiefrämjandet comes from the state and municipalities’ grants for public education. In all of Studiefrämjandet activities, they promote diversity and counteract alienation and racism. Everyone should feel that they are welcome to Studiefrämjandet! It was a very inspiring example of collaboration with state, local authorities and CSOs to empower the disadvantaged people to become self-reliant through education.
Pentecostal Church Second Hand Shop
The first stop of the third day of Sweden Study Visit was Pentecostal Church Second Hand Shop. Pentecostal Church is a free church and a part of the popular movements from the nineteenth century in Sweden. Director Daniel Lundin and supervisor Frida Netsner from the second hand shop informed the study visit participants of their work and about the collaboration between the free church as a representive of CSO and the Mölndal Municipality concerning internship and subsidized employment/ jobs. There was also a guided tour in the shop.
Mötesplats Åby (Meeting place Åby)
The last stop of the Sweden Study Visit was Mötesplats Åby (Meeting place Åby), which is located in the residential area Åby. Mötesplats Åby is the centre with different activities targeted to both youth and elder people as well as families. Michael Holmström Johansson (project leader) from the Mölndal Municipality and Nigar Ibrahim from SGN informed the participants of the study visit about the collaborations between the Mölndal Municipality and SGN aimed at new arrived immigrants to strengthen the chance at the Swedish labour market. Michael Holmström Johansson also informed about the work with the community run Language Café. At the café immigrants can come and speak Swedish with volunteers and thereby improve their language skills. Pontus de Salareff Månsson (social field worker at Mölndal Municipality) made a presentation about his work; to get newly arrived immigrants to become part of the social life in Mölndal. Pontus provides information to interested immigrants about what there is for different CSOs in the municipality’s different districts and what activities they conduct. He can also join the associations and thus become a bridge between the interested person and the association.