Swedish Delegation input to the 2015 European Meeting of People experiencing Poverty
On the occasion of the 2015 European Meeting of People experiencing Poverty, the Swedish delegation handed out a publication they produced specifically for the meeting. Monica and Jonathan, two members of the Swedish delegation present at the meeting introduce the publication with their own testimonies. The leaflet goes on presenting the AlltMöjligt Verkstaden (“Everything is possible”) workshop and social enterprise for work training and rehabilitation with concrete stories of people on different topics. The leaflet ends by a presentation of the hearing “Everyone has a voice – use it!” organized by the regional network of EAPN Southern Sweden, with politicians in June 2014. Tackling the topics of Refugees, Jobs, user influence, Law and rights and Cooperation, the policy proposals are backed by concrete examples. The publication gives a good insight on what is going on the ground and what is done to tackle poverty and exclusion in Sweden.
I am 55 years old and live in a flat in the south of Sweden. Before that I worked at my husbands company during several years. When we separated I didn’t have a work no more. I have been unemployed for more than 6 year and it is no fun at all. After that Stefan (the boss) at AlltMöjligt Verkstaden asked me if I want a work… YES I said! But during the time I work there I got cancer and stayed home for over one year. Now I am well and back again doing work training. For the future I only want a work and most of all in the new big beautiful Second Hand Shop that AlltMöjligt Verkstaden runs.
So Stefan, when do I get a new work ?
I am 35 years old and I live in the south of Sweden. I am the father of two wonderful boys, Alvin and Benjamin. I have been experiencing poverty and exclusion most of my life. For many years I was addicted to heroin and other drugs and lived a criminal lifestyle. I lived as a homeless both in Sweden and Denmark and trough that I experienced the stigmata this kind of lifestyle brings you. Today I am clean and sober and I want to do my best to change the attitude in society towards people living in exclusion.
Right to minimum income – Right to housing
An example from October 2015 A family from Romania: A father, a mother and two small children. The parents of the father. The father and the mother are in Sweden begging in the streets. They lived in Spain, and worked there. They had to go back to Romania to take care of the sick father of the mother. After that they had no work in Spain, so they went to Sweden. The children and the grand parents live in Romania. The grand parents are sick. The grandfather receives a pension of about 150 euro each month. They rent a house in Romania. The rent is 400 euro a month. As they worked in Spain they spent a lot of money renovating the house. In Sweden the couple lives in a car. They have to gain 700 Euro a month in order to maintain the whole family. Now the owner of the house in Romania died, and the children want to sell the house. The grandfather has the first right to by the house. If someone else byes it, they have to leave the house with no other place to stay. The house has a value of 17000 Euro. The owners agree to sell it to the family who lives there now for 15000 Euro if they can pay 10000 Euro in cash within some weeks. No bank will give them a loan. Now the couple in Sweden within two months has to find 10000 Euro. The rest they can pay later. If they own the house, they need only about 100 Euro a month to maintain it. Now they pay 400 Euro in rent. So they will save 300 Euro each month if they can by the house. If they do not solve this problem the grandparents and the children will have no place to live. How shall they find 10000 Euro?