“You meet people who influence you for life.”
The project Jalla för Alla started as an initiative focused on involving unaccompanied young boys on the verge of getting caught up in negative behaviour. Now it’s grown to become a large project funded by the Swedish Inheritance Fund and led by Oumie Njai, and it’s open to both boys and girls who have come to Sweden alone.
Tell us about Jalla för Alla!
“The project is about trying to reach as many unaccompanied young people as possible in Stockholm county, and to offer them a course in social studies to increase their understanding of how Swedish society functions. At the same time, it’s also a forum where young people can grow, make a stand, and be strengthened in their identities as individuals.
We work with various themes and topics each time we meet and talk about what’s important to an unaccompanied young person. We’ve even adapted Jalla för alla for use in schools and with new arrivals, and it’s worked very well. The groups meet once a week for two hours and go through subjects such as health, group and individual focused perspectives, here and there, love, sex, gender, and the future.”
What made you decide to get involved in this project?
“I want to be able to help people, in particular young people who have their whole lives in front of them. When it comes to an especially vulnerable group of people like this one, I thought this project seemed great.”
What have you learnt over the course of the project?
“How much is being done for this group of people to improve their circumstances in Sweden compared with other countries, but also how little people really know about these young people. It’s been an amazing journey being able to work with these young people close up, to see how they dare to believe their future will be better despite dark periods, and to see how they have a positive impact on one another. It’s been an incredibly educational experience where I’ve met individuals who have made an impression on me for life.