• Sweden edition
 

Sweden 'uninterested' in volunteers: charity head

Published: 03 Apr 2012 15:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Apr 2012 15:44 GMT+02:00

"I can't understand it, this is unprecedented," programme coordinator Veronika Westermark told The Local.

The group, which is set to arrive in Sweden on April 16th, has also not had enough offers from host families for housing. Forty of the group's members, coming from 22 different countries, are still "homeless".

"Up with People" is a global education organization, which, along with a "spirit of community and service" sends groups of 17-29-year-olds around the world to volunteer their help and showcase their performing arts.

Westermark added that the program has been an enormous success worldwide, with companies in Mexico, the US and Asia all eager to host and be helped. However, the trend has not continued in Sweden.

"The culture is so different in Sweden, there is more structure here. Perhaps this is why no-one wants help, and no-one wants to sponsor us – even though we're asking for nothing in return," she said.

She points to the possibility that Swedish companies prefer professionals when it comes to giving aid at child, animal, and refugee centres, and may be put-off by the concept of recently graduated high-school students doing professional work.

Westermark says that the team has been refused by companies including the Ronald McDonald house, the Salvation Army and Amnesty International, among others.

Sweden's Volunteer Centre (Volontärbyrån), while sympathetic to the project, has stated that timing was a big factor in why they could not help out.

"We only received their requests fairly recently, and these things take time to sort out," said Vanja Höglund of the Volontärbyrån to The Local.

Höglund adds that while there is possibly a difference stemming from country codes, with Sweden being more "traditional" than "community based", this does not mean there is no interest.

"But people are definitely interested in volunteering here, and people do need help. Our website is full, and we have even expanded recently into an English volunteer program," she said.

Meanwhile, Up with People will perform in Stockholm at Södermalm's Göta Lejon theatre between April 16th and 22nd.

Westermark says that the team members are still looking for host families, and anyone who can provide a place to sleep, three meals a day, and a safe environment should consider contacting the organization.

Oliver Gee

Click here to follow Oliver on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:55 April 3, 2012 by EP
I think we need volunteers to clean up the litter and make cities clean in Sweden. Nothing gets done here on the weekends or after 15.00 on weekdays. The streets are filthy and full of rubbish on the weekends, bring in the volunteers to clean the streets at the very least ...
17:04 April 3, 2012 by be reasonable
@EP

Don't try to conclude all volunteers have similar/same as job as yours(cleaning the litter)...lol
20:18 April 3, 2012 by Migga
@ EP

These aren`t volunteer cleaners. They sing, dance, preform and do shows as volunteers. Perhaps they have some workshops and the odd inspirational talks. The "help" they offer isn`t needed.

Also I don`t get the statment that Veronika Westermark made when she said that they offerd "help" even though they weren`t asking for anything in return. But that obviously isn`t true. They are asking for sponsors, host families, anyone who can provide a place to sleep, three meals a day, and a safe environment.
21:42 April 3, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Up With People is still around?! Haha! They were the laughing stock of every Super Bowl halftime show in the '70's. Good for Swedes to not want them! They are just goodie-two-shoes annoying Christian teenagers.
08:34 April 4, 2012 by Grokh
doesnt everyone work as a praktikant in sweden nowadays isnt that non paid volunteer work ?

people can run a restaurant only using 0 paid or low paid praktikants -_-x
09:51 April 4, 2012 by robban70226
Good,

"Up with People" charity organization are just mascaraded propaganda organization hidding under a charity organization. We do not need those here,

Nice to see that somebody can see who they are and what are they after.
10:02 April 4, 2012 by Cephalectomy
Grokh praktikant is paid by the state or another place, otherwise you wont find people working apprenticeships
15:07 April 4, 2012 by Puffin
@ Cephalectomy - not sure the point you are making - there are many different forms of praktik both paid and unpaid

Perhaps the organisation should do a little homework before it arrives in a foreign country
17:09 April 5, 2012 by NickJT
I also think they should do their homework first before simply imposing themselves on Sweden and then expect families to house them and organisations here to simply take them on to do in some case work where they are not qualified to do. How naive of them even though they probably are well intentioned.
Today's headlines
Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

991
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN