Looking for a friend?
Moving to a completely foreign city in a completely new country can mean fantastic opportunities - but it can also be a great challenge. That is why Vän i Skellefteå (Friend in Skellefteå) was created, a network that helps people to meet each other. The purpose is to give newcomers a sense of belonging and community.
Vän i Skellefteå was started in the spring of 2019 and will provide opportunities for people with different backgrounds and cultures to meet around common interests. The network consists of various associations, activities and study associations that together want to work for a better Skellefteå.
Brita Melin has been working at Svenska kyrkan (Church of Sweden) in Skellefteå for six years. In her work, she has previously had a strong focus on helping asylum seekers, but now it has become natural for her to take the next step - to work with integration.
- We saw a need and a will from both newcomers and those who already live in Skellefteå to get to know new people. I think most people find it interesting, but find it difficult to take the first step. This initiative will be a natural way to dare to contact each other, says Brita.
According to Brita, there are several reasons to get involved. She believes that a small effort is required, and that at the same time there is an incredible amount to be gained.
- You get a chance to develop and do things you yourself are interested in together with others. It can even lead to a lifelong friendship.
Integration through relationships
One of the most important parts in the network is ABF, where Ramy Ibrahim is the business developer. Ramy himself has experience of coming to Skellefteå as a newcomer. He explains that social relations play a major role in the integration process. By creating a social network in Skellefteå, more people will be able to get a sense of belonging beyond housing and work and establish themselves in the community. Brita and Ramy believe that the path to successful integration is relationships.
- We all depend on community and togetherness, and meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures makes it even more rewarding, says Ramy.
Do you want to join?
Vän i Skellefteå is still in its start-up phase. The goal right now is to spread the message to as many people as possible and encourage the people of Skellefteå to become involved. Brita would like to reach out to all readers:
I want to urge everyone who is curious about new people to contact Vän i Skellefteå and dare to try. Do you dare?
Facts / participating in i Vän i Skellefteå:
- Expats and friends
- Rädda Barnen
- Röda Korset
- SISU – Idrottsutbildarna Västerbotten
- Skellefteå kommun – Biblioteken
- Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan
- Svenska Kyrkan
Do you want to know more or contact Vän i Skellefteå? Visit the network's Facebook page External link. and send a message.
Skellefteå is better together
Expats & Friends Association (EFA) is a non-profit organisation that creates opportunities for both new and old “Skelleftebor” (Skellefteå settlers) to meet and connect.
There goal is to create a vibrant business and social forum in the Skellefteå Municipality area by providing information, support and services to professionals or non-professionals, self-employed, companies, organisations or associations who have recently moved and/or plan to move to Skellefteå.