SIS plays host
SIS has been committed to the Erasmus+ programme for some years, and this month it was our turn to play the role of host as the Spring mobility brought international visitors to us in Stockholm. Co-ordinators Anneli Thompson and Andrew Ioannou reflect on the week, and offer their thanks to all who helped make it a success.
Not only did Sweden receive a week of sunshine, but 26 guests from Romania, Greece, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Andrew and I spent over 12 hours at Centralen on a Sunday, to welcome the Erasmus+ teams that arrived throughout the day, and into the homes of the families of SIS. They graciously welcomed the students who went from strangers to friends in the days that followed.
Thanks to Kimberley Akester for leading her choirs and singers to welcome the teams with song and music on Monday, as we began our introduction of, not only Sweden, but the SIS community and more.
The SPC board helped us lead other families in providing FIKA for the teams which was a HUGE success as you can imagine. Fika was a quick word added to their vocabulary this week and we did our best to deliver.
A HUGE thanks to Wandi, Ken, and Kristine to making 80+ sandwiches on the Monday for the teams and the SIS students who volunteered to join the Erasmus+ football tournament at Östermalm IP that Antonio C of grade 9, Magnus F, Andrew, and I organised for the afternoon. The teams were mixed of all the nations and SIS students and though some were wary to begin with, everyone got into the spirit and it was a huge success.
The SIS students did us proud as they reached out to the Erasmus+ teammates to encourage and get to know them despite the language barriers at times. Thank you Felix, Christine Öram and Asaad for your support on and off the field.
Tuesday, Jamie Snell led a workshop to make Dalahästar out of clay while I led drama workshops in the morning before Rebecca Maroko led the digital walking tour around Södermalm to Gamla Stan. Thanks as well to Katalin Pongo for helping Charlotte D and Annika O of Erasmus+ to set up a successful digital scavenger hunt which was rewarded with a bag of ¨godis¨ which my sons and father had helped pack the night before!
Wednesday, the teams presented their posters and video interviews with local businesses based on the UN SDG 12 goal. We then took them on a tour of Skansen which they enjoyed, especially the parks!
Thursday, we welcomed guest speaker Pascale Brun, from H&M who is also a father of daughters at SIS. He led a workshop on sustainability in the fashion/clothing sector which was educational.
To the VASA and VRAK museum we went before we had lunch on the boat to Ropsten which they enjoyed greatly under the sunshine. They did not enjoy the 3km walk to Norra Djurgården to begin with until they realised they were going to take part in five stations of outdoor living led by David Hume and his team of Susan C, Ellen L, Zora, Asaad, Marcus, and Helga. A HUGE thank you to these amazing teachers who gave up their afternoon to lead our teams in orienteering and much more. The same kids who had complained about the 3km trek were all smiles and laughs throughout the stations and they were rewarded with ‘korv med bröd’, grilled to perfection by Chef AI. No BBQ is complete without smores which brought even more smiles. The teams were skipping back to base that evening unlike the dragging on way there.
Friday was our final day. We had guest speakers, Rosella Cardone, (another mother at SIS) and Simon Bradford (Stephanie Bradford’s husband!) from the sustainability departments of Jaguar and Electrolux respectively. AI then led workshops where the students prepared ‘couture’ outfits out of recycled material.
Our final evening began with a buffet dinner prepared by the host families and the lovely SPC mums organising what else was needed for everyone to satisfy their appetites as we shared stories of the week. Erasmus+ Mobility certificates were then distributed, the catwalk show of the recycled couture was a huge hit and of course, lots of great memories were shared before it was time to say goodbye to not just each other, but to this Erasmus+ project, ‘Save the E.A.R.T.H’ which is now complete.
Thank you to everyone for your support and understanding during the week.