“We believe in a society which is open and accessible for all, where families of different cultural backgrounds can meet and exchange their experiences. We want those who are new to Sweden to feel welcome to their new home where they feel included and appreciated as well as Swedes to take part of this cultural meeting place.”
Svenska med baby’s goal is to create a meeting place for parents and children from different neighbourhoods and from cultures all over the world. With their children as the common denominator, through our open parent groups and activities we aim to bring together new and established Swedes for them to learn from each other’s unique perspective and grow together.
What we strive for is to create unity, break free from segregation and offer help in practicing Swedish through our meet-ups and social networks. To join is free of charge out regular groups requires no pre-registration.
Svenska med baby was founded in Stockholm in 2012 and has since had 49 188 visitors of both parents and children from 323 different neighbourhoods with the origins of 110 different countries. Through our many satisfied participants, large media presence and expressed want for expansion all over Sweden, it is evident that Svenska med baby makes a difference and is a needed force in society for many years to come.
The founders of Svenska med baby are Karin Bruce and Ylva Strander, who were on parental leave at the time. It was then run by Anna Libietis until the summer of 2016 together with the organisation Internationella bekantskaper. Following, since the autumn of 2016 Caroline von Uexküll has been manager of operations.
From its start until today, Svenska med baby has grown into a national organisation which operates in 10 municipalities all the way from the northern Umeå to the southern Malmö.
Noticeably, in 2014 Svenska med baby was awarded twofold by “Årets Wendela” and the county of Stockholm’s award for outstanding work against xenophobia and racism. In 2015, Svenska med baby was also awarded with the “Martin Luther King priset”.
Why is Svenska med baby important?
Parent’s and children’s opportunities in life become limited, prejudice grows and social understanding is poor when people within a society live divided. The situation of parents, their networks and knowledge all have a heavy impact on their children and their future growth. Open day-care centres, where many of our meetings are held, otherwise struggle to attract people from outside the community in which they are situated which presents issues of social integration. SFI (Swedish education for immigrants) offer their education of the Swedish language; however, parental leave of previous participants makes it difficult for them to continue attending the classes. Other groups for parents are only available for parents of the same BVC (child-care centre) and some are even excluded, as they are not granted participation.
The consequence of all this is that many new parents and their children, particularly those new to Sweden, are forced into isolation during a time of their parenthood. Svenska med baby aims to break this circle with a focus on meeting places and social exchange between people of different backgrounds and cultures. We offer a platform where participants can have conversations, expand their networks and practice their language. What we offer is a place where everyone feels welcome regardless of place of residence, BVC and language level