New volunteers are on board, business cards have arrived, meetings have been set with some of Stockholm’s international community’s key members, but what Claire is searching for this week is a little more patience.
She writes “When I first moved to Sweden I used to joke that I should have the word ‘patience’ tattooed on my forehead so that every time I looked in the mirror I would be reminded that I can’t do everything at once. It takes time to build a life in a new place, learn a language, make friends and get a job, but I wanted to be able to wave a magic wand and make everything complete and perfect…now!! Being patient and remembering to be patient wasn’t easy. And I feel a bit like that now.
Let’s call it the ‘project-setting-up dance’. The steps are very easy and involve taking one step forward and then one step back. This is repeated over and over again. If the dance is going really well then it’s one and a half steps forward and one step back, and this goes on for quite some time, while I wonder whether I am ever going to get anywhere.
Obviously I believe that if I keep plodding away with my dance practise then suddenly it will all come together and I’ll find myself in the midst of something amazing, beautiful and which works very well – that is, a fully functioning and funded volunteering project. But sometimes that goal seems a long way away.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of positive things going on and an immense amount of good will towards The English Volunteering Project. I had a lovely conversation with the British Ambassador’s wife the other day – she was wonderfully encouraging, as was the chair of the International Women’s Club philanthropy committee. The volunteer who is helping me to explore possible funding sources from foundations is going to report back soon, and hopefully we’ll then be able to start making some funding applications. I’m also looking forward to attending the American Club’s ‘Third Thursday’ mingle for the first time. And, I’ve just found a volunteer to help me with my Swedish conversation – this isn’t strictly relevant to The English Volunteering Project, but speaking better Swedish will definitely help.
So maybe my glass is actually half full, rather than half empty, and I just need to be patient and wait for it to fill up completely.”
By Claire Thomas
Check back in a few weeks to hear more about Claire’s progress.
Claire Thomas was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Northern Ireland and has lived in Scotland, England, Germany and now Sweden (where she hopes to stay for a good long while). In this blog she shares her experience of setting up a project focused on helping non-Swedish speakers to find volunteering opportunities with non-profit organisations in Stockholm.
If you are interested in the project you can contact Claire by email at [email protected]
Like us on Facebook to follow the project’s development – go to ‘The English Volunteering Project in Stockholm’.
The project is part of Volontärbyrån www.volontarbyran.org