In 2015-2016 The Order of the Teaspoon enables for teachers of eight graders (14-15 years old) to stream, directly and with no cost, the documentary film “Nice people” (Trevligt folk). In all 100 000 students will be able to see the movie! The film focuses on the Somalia bandy team, in the Swedish small town Borlänge, and their eventful journey to reach the World Championships. The film shows how good examples of integration can lead not only to friendship but also to cohesion in society.
We should all be feminists
This powerful and personal essay by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is based on her TEDx Talk of the same name. The question at heart is: What does feminism mean today? With humour and levity, Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century – one rooted in inclusion and awareness.
In December 2015, together with Bonnier Publishing, The Swedish Women’s Lobby, UN Alliance of Sweden, The Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO), The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO), Unizon and Gertrud Åström, a copy of the book along with a teacher’s manual was distributed to all second-grade high school students in Sweden.
WHO ARE YOU? CHILDREN AND TOLERANCE
TRILINGUAL EDITION OF WHO ARE YOU? A BOOK ABOUT TOLERANCE.
The Order of the Teaspoon has worked a great deal with the successful book Who are you? A book about tolerance. This book has been a success with children, parents and teachers, and because of that, The Order of the Teaspoon wanted to make the material more widely available which has resulted in a trilingual edition, with Swedish, English and Arabic.
In connection with the launch of this book on the Swedish national day, a family event was arranged at the National Historical Museum of Stockholm. This successful event was a collaboration between The Order of the Teaspoon, the National Historical Museum of Stockholm and The Voice of the People (a music project sponsored by The Culture Bridge), where together we showed that diversity is not something new in Swedish history and that we shape the history of tomorrow together. During the day, which was full of games, arts and crafts and performances, 150 books were handed out to children of all ages, among them students of Swedish for Immigrants. Jasim Mohammed, the book’s translator for Arabic, presented the work and intention with the translation and Behrang Miri, a Swedish entertainer, rapper and writer, offered improvised rap. The event also offered more music when the Swedish national anthem was performed in four different languages: Swedish, Arabic, Kurdish and Assyrian.
The Order of the Teaspoon is working with the Swedish Agency for Accessible Media to produce the trilingual edition into an audiobook. This will be carried out during 2015 with English and Arabic separately. The audiobook is already available in Swedish.
DISTRIBUTION TO SCHOOL LIBRARIES
At the beginning of the autumn semester 2014, The Order of the Teaspoon distributed two copies of the Swedish edition and one copy of the trilingual edition of Who are you? A book about tolerance, to Sweden’s 3,485 libraries of nine-year compulsory schools. This received positive responses from librarians, who, by a follow-up mail from The Order of the Teaspoon, responded that they were grateful for the gift.
Another collaboration has been carried out with the media and democracy centre, Young Storytelling, who have used Who are you? A book about tolerance, in creative book projects in Stockholm schools. Two of these projects were carried out in the same school where all students in six intermediate level classes read the book, and participated in different workshops.
The first workshop was on the nature of reading encouragement, where the students read Who are you? A book about tolerance and other books on the theme of tolerance. They then discussed the content in groups and with a library pedagogue. The discussions ended in book trailers (animations) that would work as book suggestions for other students. A theatre pedagogue also worked with the project by teaching value exercises to the class that were connected to concepts of tolerance.
In the other workshop the students created animations of scenarios from their personal experience, where they themselves or a friend had been unjustly treated. For example, they listed bullying, racism and cases of discrimination.
COLLABORATION WITH THE SWEDISH PEACE AND ARBITRATION SOCIETY
The Order of the Teaspoon has entered into collaboration with The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, which is partially financed by The Swedish Institute and the United Nations Development Programme. The collaboration concerns a peace education in Moldavia, which is designed as a school course where the idea is to change different groups’ views about each other and strengthen relationships by teaching children about different cultures in society and to appreciate and cooperate with different ethnic groups. The long-term purpose is to diminish suspicion among segregated people and to increase the possibilities for contacts and positive dialogue across conflict-borders. As in the case of Who are you? A book about tolerance, resources are spent on younger children, to teach them about different cultures – and to be part of them – in order to change what is unfamiliar and frightening into something new and exciting. It is hoped that the course is to be used in several other countries and regions, to prevent conflict situations of different kinds.
As part of the project, The Order of the Teaspoon’s project manager, Lovisa Fhager Havdelin, attended a school conference in Ukraine in July 2014. There, she shared The Order of the Teaspoon’s experiences surrounding the project, Who are you? Children and tolerance, by giving a lecture with the book as a reference point. All conference participants received their own copy of the trilingual book. In early December that same year, The Order of the Teaspoon acted as host to visiting project participants from Moldavia and the Ukraine in Sweden. The reason for the visit was to learn from Swedish experiences in Stockholm by lectures, workshops and an educational visit in a Swedish school. The Order of the Teaspoon’s positive experiences from this knowledge exchange has resulted in The Order of the Teaspoon planning a similar visit to Moldavia during spring 2015.
THEATRE: VARIETÉ TOLERANZA
The theatre show Varieté Toleranza was created at the request of The Order of the Teaspoon and is based on Who are you? A book about tolerance. By adapting the text for the stage, the message of the book was made available to more children. Children with difficulties in reading, writing and/or concentration, reduced eyesight as well as children with special needs were, with the help of the play, given the opportunity to discuss issues about tolerance and inclusion. Varieté Toleranza became a successful part of the project, which is evident from the school’s responses to our evaluation survey. All the schools in question considered the theme of the play to be topical and very important to work with. Varieté Toleranza was performed five days a week in schools between November 2013 – January 2014, and at the Swedish football team Malmö FF’s theme day Fotball against racism during spring 2014.
FOOTBALL AGAINST RACISM – MALMÖ FF
Because of the collaboration that The Order of the Teaspoon has with Malmö FF and their venture Fotball against racism, the theatre show got a chance to reach a wider audience, made up of approximately 40 children and staff in the city of Malmö, during their theme day in April 2014. All children in the audience received a book of their own. The Order of the Teaspoon also participated during the day of the finals in September the same year, where the book was distributed in 1000 copies to participants in the tournament and their relatives.
THE TOLERANCE PROJECT
The idea behind The Tolerance Project is, by using conversation and a year-long commitment, to meet young people who carry ideas and worldviews that are extremely intolerant, in order to help them change their views of others – and themselves. Anton, a participant of The Tolerance Project during the autumn semester 2013/spring semester 2014 in Skurup, in the south of Sweden, phrased the importance of participating in the project as: ‘The Tolerance Project saved my life. I am not the only one to sometimes say the wrong thing. I can be myself there’.
The project continues to grow and during 2015 came to include approximately 70 municipalities that are in the process of implementation. Because of its success The Tolerance Project has received government support for educating teachers about the method. The advocacy efforts for a national resource centre for work against intolerance, has continued during the year and moved closer to its goal. This was especially evident when it was mentioned as one of the goals in Stefan Löfven’s government declaration, effective 3 October 2015.
ALL OF US
COLLABORATION WITH ALL OF US
Behind the network All of Us are: Jan Scherman, journalist and previous CEO for the Swedish Channel4-group, nowadays strategy adviser and debater; Anna Ryott, CEO for Swefund; Ingela Edlund, second vice-president of The Swedish Trade Union Confederation; Navid Modiri, public information officer and artist; Karin Ludvigsson, CEO of Rippler; and The Order of the Teaspoon.
The Order of the Teaspoon has entered into collaboration with All of Us, which is an initiative started by a group of human beings who wish that everyone’s children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to grow up in a country where diversity is an asset. It is a politically and religiously independent network of human beings who with fact, empathy and respect want to show the way to a Sweden for all of us.
On 21 March 2014, the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a research report was published in the debate pages of DN (Swedish newspaper), which debunked the ten most common myths about immigration, including the myths that immigration dumps salaries, contributes to increased crime and creates financial losses in society. The report Dare to take the debate for a Sweden for all of us (The Order of the Teaspoon’s translation from Swedish), has been developed with help of the Reform Institute foundation, which is supported by the industry and the think-tank Arena Idé, which is financed by, among others, The Swedish Trade Union Confederation and The Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees, as well as the Swedish Postcode Lottery.
THE PREJUDICE MIRROR
The greatest prejudice is that we do not have any prejudice. All human beings have preconceptions about different groups or persons, which lead to intolerance and racism in society. By identifying our prejudice we can eliminate them and to help doing this, The Order of the Teaspoon has developed the Prejudice Mirror.
The Prejudice Mirror was developed during autumn 2014 and is designed as a deck of cards. The game lets the participants match a certain amount of portraits with the same amount of describing words, one describing word for each portrait. Subsequently, issues for discussion follow to evaluate the result, preferably with someone leading the discussions. The Prejudice Mirror has been developed by educationalists as education material for teachers to use in education of upper-secondary school students and was distributed to all first time voters in the election of 2014.
TO WALK IN SOMEONE ELSE’S SHOES
The project is an initiative, which together with B. Wahlströms Publishing house, intends to observe the consequences of intolerance. At three occasions during spring 2014, three school classes in met in three different cities in Sweden with lower-secondary schoolteachers to discuss issues about prejudice and tolerance. The purpose of these meetings was to attempt to find new ways to work together over the long-term, and how to deal with these important issues. Readings, lectures and film screenings were used as aids in the discussion. The expectation of the project is that we, together, will be able to find a stable way of contributing to a more open and tolerant generation of youth.
Another important project, which The Order of the Teaspoon has been a partner of during 2014, is the EU project Good Relations. It was initiated by the domestic ministry of Finland and was headed by the Ministry of Employment in Sweden. The overall purpose of Good Relations is to counteract xenophobia and other types of intolerance by promoting good relations between different groups. In Sweden and Finland, information about good relations is gathered, and methods to promote good relations are tested through different activities. Participants in the working group are: the County Administrative Board in Västra Götaland, the municipality of Malmö, the municipality of Borlänge, the municipality of Jokkmok, the Red Cross, the Expo Foundation, The Order of the Teaspoon, Forum for Living History and the Authority for Societal Protection and Preparedness. The project has resulted in a framework for good relations as well as a practical guide, which can be used to promote good relations and can be used by local actors in all EU member-countries. In Sweden the project focused on emergency preparedness against xenophobia within the frame of the risk and vulnerability analyses of the different municipalities.