STN Sweden Base is a Reality!
Aloha! Today’s blog is particularly exciting because not only does it announce the official launch of our base in Sweden but it comes from one of our awesome committed volunteers who is part of pioneering the base! Josefine Friberg is a student in our SLS program and upon graduation, she will be relocating back to her home country to make this long-held dream of STN’s become a reality!
As many know Surfing The Nations has always had deep and strong connections with the beautiful country of Sweden. From the beginning, Swedes have been an integral part of the foundation of the organization. It has been a dream of many for a long time to have an STN base running full-time in Sweden, replicating the work being done on the islands. That dream has been kept alive with help of some hardworking Swedes for many years through events and a strong network, but the hope has always been to expand and establish permanent roots in the nation.We are thrilled to announce that we are there, we made it, we officially have an STN Sweden base!
STN has bought a property in a village called Särna in central Sweden. Särna is about 30 minutes from Idre, one of Sweden’s biggest ski resorts. The Swedish base will be centered around snow-based adventures like skiing and dog-sledding, as well as hiking and of course giving back. The final goal is to have everything that STN is in Wahiawa also in Sweden with many of the same programs (like Internship and SLS), outreaches and a coffee bar. We will, of course, need to adjust some of the outreaches to match the needs in Sweden but STN will always be STN. Exactly how things will look is something we can only dream about right now, but we know where we are coming from and where we want to go.
To launch the base we have some trained staff from our headquarters here in Hawaii who will be transferring to the base in Sweden in January. They will be joining the Eriksson family who are already setting up the property in Särna and together they aim to build STN Sweden starting with their first Surfers Leadership School in February 2018. Helping make the dream become a reality are Zach and Charis Ifland, our Global directors in Hawaii who have the training, the plan and the commitment to see the country of Sweden touched by the message and lifestyle of giving back!
My name is Josefine Friberg and I am one of the staff who will be transferring to work with STN Sweden. I did my internship in Fall 2016 and right now I’m part of doing the Surfers Leadership School. When I graduate in December I will go back to Sweden and start my staff commitment on the base there. To be a part of the first crew in Sweden is an incredible honor and I am so excited to be part of the team. For me as a Swede it is crazy to have “found” an organization that I love, literally on the other side on the globe in Wahiawa, Hawaii! To be a part of bringing it back to my home country is just surreal. Even though Sweden is one of the most well developed countries in the world there is still a need, a need for love and community. We want to continue the mission of giving back, however that looks. When you live in a country where you get so well taken care of by the government it is easy to forget about the community around you, I want to be part of reminding my generation how to love our neighbors, how to notice the hurting and broken – even if they look ok on the outside. The high rates of loneliness, depression and isolation speak to the fact that we need to reach out more and care about each other. We are not strong by ourselves, we are strong together!
If you are interested in joining us in Sweden, please feel free to email me personally and I will help you find a way to be involved!
And check out the website for more details.