Livstycket: An inspiring project on integration

Livstycket (“Piece of Life”) is one of the most inspiring projects on integration that I have ever come across. It was therefore a very special evening when the organisation held their first London exhibition at the Swedish residence in London.

At Livstycket women from all around the world have the possibility to learn the Swedish language. Creative activities such as sewing, embroidery and textile printing are taught and combined with theoretical education in Swedish, civics and computer skills. Livstycket is a place where women learn how to make fantastic designs, but maybe more importantly, Livstycket teaches women how to gain their self-esteem and gives them the tools to become more informed and more active citizens in Swedish society.

Livstycket was founded in 1992 in the Stockholm suburb of Tensta by Birgitta Notlöf, now Managing Director. Birgitta is one of the most creative and dedicated people that I have met and I was delighted that she was able to make it. Personally I first came across Birgitta and Livstycket a few years ago when she visited me in London and showed me Livstycket’s “The whole world in one bag” exhibition. This is an exhibition that moved me immensely.

The flight from war and insecurity often begins with one single bag. When women were asked to draw a picture of the one bag that they brought with them it resulted in so many different moving stories that Livstycket decided to make a pattern. It is this pattern that is referred to as “The whole world in one bag”. That is a pattern that I will always remember. Livstycket’s vision to help women that have fled from war-torn countries is truly inspirational.

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