This last few weeks have been quite quiet on the LBA front… we haven’t produced much new content, it doesn’t feel like we’re keeping up with our usual social media storm. But, it’s all been for a really good reason. Behind the scenes we’ve been working on something which I (Jill) knew would cement LBA’s place at the grown ups table.
Late on Wednesday night we got word that LBA had secured the contract for our first lokal (venue). It’s utterly unbelievable. Despite it being something that I have been working towards for the last 4 years, it still doesn’t feel real. It’s utterly game-changing for us. It means that we can fulfil our potential in being truly effective for our community.
When I first started dreaming about LBA holding a physical space for international families in Stockholm, the primary goal was that it would be barrier free. The families wouldn’t have to fulfil some sort of criteria or be attached to a specific kind of business or even be in Sweden for a particular reason. The LBA space would be an “open door” for anyone, newly arrived in Stockholm, with a young family who required specific advice and support in that area. It would also act as a safe space, a place that would be held for accompanying families of working immigrants and expats. These accompanying families are so crucial to the success of these international assignments, but most often, totally over looked in the transitional period. I wanted to build a space, just for them. A place for accompanying families to start their integration journey, build the ever so important social and cultural bridges that would carry them through tricky transitional steps.
I’ll never forget a mum I met at playgroup telling me that she felt like she was living on the fringes of society with no way of getting in. I know what that feels like. It’s utterly bleak; the sense of hopelessness is crushing. How can you expect someone to thrive via integration if they can barely make it through their front door in the morning? I’ve always felt that the first steps in integration is to build on the self-esteem, self-confidence and self-identity of an individual. With out these basic ingredients of self-belief, it is virtually impossible for an individual to rebuild their lives. Why should be any different when starting out in a foreign country?
The LBA space is a long term project and we’re just at the very start of this exciting endeavour. We have a long way to go. Cliché? Yes, but also couldn’t be more accurate. We don’t even have the furniture for it. Which is why we need as much help as we can get. Fortunately, we’re working in partnership with another amazing international organisation called Little Echoes who will be sharing the space with us. We’re relying on both of our communities to pitch in where we can and turn this space into a modern, attractive and comforting place to be. If it’s also Instagrammable that would help, ha!
We’d also like to invite health and well-being practitioners to use our venue. It is a beautifully renovated dance studio/office space which is suited perfectly to yoga, group training, well-ness workshops, individual training and coaching services. There is a small kitchen with access to breakfast and fika.
If you would like to know more about the venue, it’s uses and our future services, don’t hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll be releasing a press release in the coming weeks once we have moved into the venue.