For the past few years, our club's business plan has included two goals: to carry out a major fund-raising activity every biennium to raise money for the Zonta International service projects, and to work on a local project every other year.

In the spring of 2011 we decided that our local project would be to volunteer to participate in "Medspråk" – an evening study circle for immigrants. Swedes meet immigrants to help them practice Swedish, and both parts get to know more about each other's cultures. During the fall of 2011, a few Zontians from our club were given preparatory training and made plans for the start of the next study circle.

In early January, we met some timid Somali women in an immigrant-dense residential area of ​​our town, Nyköping. Since then, we have been meeting them one evening a week, for about two hours. Each week, 5-9 women usually attend, and three Zontians. Our Somali friends appreciate these meetings; now, at the end of the semester, they have become more open, more frank, and have become better at Swedish. We have fun together and laugh a lot! Two Zontians - mothers with small children - have also started a "homework group" which meets about once a week.

We Zontians gladly give these women our time, and in return we have learned more about their life stories, the conditions they live under, their culture and aspirations. Words cannot describe how rewarding these meetings have been!

One Saturday in May we went on an outing to the town of Oxelosund, where we spent an enjoyable “outdoor evening” in a nearby nature reserve. When asked if they would like to continue to meet with us this fall, all the women answered YES!

For more information about our project, feel free to contact us.

Ulla-Britt Höjer

Nyköping-Oxelösund Zonta Club II
ulla-britt.hojer @

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