Swedish charity seeks to employ ‘beggars’

A Swedish charity has placed an ad in a magazine, looking to hire beggars to work the streets of Stockholm. The idea is that it will be lucrative for both the charity and the employees.

Swedish charity seeks to employ 'beggars'

“It works just like crowd funding,” explained co-founder Jan Persson to The Local.

“We hire people to beg, they decide how they want to do it under our coaching, and then we pay them a wage of 100 kronor ($14.9) per hour. Plus they get to keep 50 percent of the money they are given.”

The company, Persondesign, is a newly founded company in Sweden’s charity sector.

They have placed an advertisement in the Situation Stockholm magazine, sold by homeless people on the streets of the capital, calling for 50 beggars to work the busy central Stockholm street of Drottninggatan on August 18th for four hours.

“We’re hoping to hear from all sorts of people. Those who may already be beggars, students, unemployed people – anyone really,” Persson said.

According to Persson, the response has already been large, with 30 people already signed up for the shift, although not all the feedback has been positive.

“We knew the idea would be a bit provocative, and together with the positive responses we have had a lot of negativity. Many people don’t want any more beggars on the streets of Stockholm.”

And how does Persson anticipate the outcome?

“It’s impossible to say, we don’t think this has been done before, but if it works – it works. We’re running a business and we want to make the world a better place,” Persson told the Local.

“Why not do this through begging?”

Oliver Gee

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Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).