Educator Profile: Jenny Andersson, Sweden
Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)
Educator Profile: Jenny Andersson, Sweden
“Together we are strong!” says Jenny Andersson, who attended YGAP in 2016. In this profile she talks with us about her work as a popular educator, co-ordinating and facilitating study circles – and exploring using creativity to educate on democratic practice.
I wanted to know how to work with solidarity across the borders, and learn from other people in the labour movement about union rights and political perspectives. It was very rewarding, I got to meet a lot of interesting people and get insight in the work of an organisation Heal The Hood that works with study circles like we do.
Working as an educator:
I work as a popular education developer at Arbetarnasbildningsforbund (ABF Sweden). It means that I meet organizations that we collaborate with, and we talk about what their needs are to develop their studies and also what they need to develop themselves as an organization: like how to get more members, how to work with social media channels and how to collaborate in a board. To give people the possibility to develop themselves together with others; to show that they can organize. To talk about and fight for union rights, social justice, anti-racism, feminism, environment and so on.
Working with study circles:
I meet all kinds of people, from political parties to elderly associations and friends getting together because they want to learn how to play Persian instruments, or reading and discussing about animal rights; or painting, writing poems, or almost everything. I also work with finding new collaborations, so that more people can participate in the popular education.
I also create study circles and cultural events for the general public, such as writers’ lectures, philosophy discussions and political debates.
The challenges facing popular education:
The majority of the ABF’s financing comes from grants from the government, county and municipal councils, and fees from the participants and the affiliated organization. But the financing from the government is changed, and many parts of ABF struggle with how to reach the economic goals. Another challenge is how to reach new people.
What I enjoy about education work:
I enjoy a lot of things about my work, among this to collaborate with all these peoples in the different organizations, and I enjoy working in an organization that has the same value as I have, an organization that want people to develop themselves, and that fights for diversity, justice, democracy and equality.
How YGAP has influenced my work?
Thanks to YGAP I now have a big network of people from all over the world. Of course all the YGAPers, and the IFWEA staff but also Heal The Hood where I did my internship. I can ask them questions about how to work with people from socially vulnerable areas – how to get people involved and inspired. I also got inspired by the way Heal The Hood talked about human rights when they had dance classes. Therefore, I could say to facilitators in dance circles, that if they want, they too could do something like that.
Working with young people and children:
I also learnt how to work with democracy for organizations that works with children. I learnt an activity from Heal The Hood, take a piece of paper with a cat, monkey and a dog on it, and the children had to choose which one of the animals that they wanted to vote for, and then the teacher/facilitator count the votes. A good way to practice democracy, to show that everyone´s voice is important.
Strengthening Solidarity through YGAP:
When I have had presentations about YGAP for my colleagues and for the board and in other groups, we have had interesting talks, hearing about the ABF work in South Africa. Also: when I’ve had those presentations, I’ve been singing the song ‘Malibongwe’ (that we learnt at YGAP) and that seems to be appreciated, and it helps people come together.
#ICANTKEEPQUIET” Song in Solidarity with Women’s Movement in USA and Globally:
I think that this song is a good way to mobilize people in an easy way. The Internet can be such a good thing for those campaigns, to get people together from all over the world.
Solidarity with women:
Because we live in a patriarchal world, where women are disempowered by all forms of violence, sexual harassment, abortion rights, pay differences and a lot of other things. It’s not easy if you are struggling alone, so you need solidarity from all over the world, both men and women. Together we are strong!
NOTE: In her personal capacity, Jenny has recorded a short clip of the #ICANTKEEPQUIET in solidarity with women globally – watch the clip here www.youtube.com/SolidarityJenny#
▶ learn more about ABF click here www.abf.se , or join them on Facebook www.facebook.com/Arbetarnasbildningsforbund/
▶ learn more about Heal The Hood, join them on Facebook www.facebook.com/Heal-the-Hood-Project