Board Met for Productive Workdays in Stockholm

October 13, 2023
By Magdalena Wernefeldt

The new AWoN board, elected at the annual meeting in Budapest, met in Stockholm, from September 30 to October 2. It was days of productive work, and an impressive amount of energy, love, wisdom and effort put into this beautiful unique network.

The main task for the days was to look at the five focus areas the Annual Meeting agreed on and determine actions steps towards the organisational goals.
– A very important conversation took place on the interreligious aspect as being an intrinsic part of the AWoN identity and in everything that we do. This had us bring back the five priority areas to four: Circle of Trust, Professional Support, Community of Practice and Storytelling. In each one of these, the interreligious practice should play a role, says Rikko Voorberg, director of AWoN.

Onboarding process and outline of handbook for members
Recruitment and the recruitment process of practitioners to the network was discussed at length.
– We want to be open to new members and organisations, nurturing a bond of trust in the meantime, says Rabbi Rebecca Lillian, chair of the board.

The aim is to grow to 120 core practitioners within the next years, whose main role would be to share the AWoN vision and methodology to other practitioners and organisations in the wider AWoN network.

New projects coming Up
The beta version of AWoN Connect, a ‘LinkedIn-variant’ for Humanitarian workers, is set to roll out in early 2024. Aida Moayedzadeh is at the helm, and the progress is exciting. Another promising project is in the hands of Faiaz Dowlatzai who has spotted the need for A Young AWoN; young leaders training young leaders across Europe for ‘convivenz’ and accompaniment.

A young man and woman are having a conversation at the dinner table outside.
Parwana Amiri and Faiaz Dowlatzai, Budapest 2023. ©Maria Takacs

A prerequisite for the continuity of our work is that the AWoN network can secure its financial situation in the coming years.

– We are extremely grateful that we have been granted another year of considerable support by the Church of Sweden. We are also glad to share that we have received a grant dedicated for communication by Lunds Mission Society and we are looking forward to other funders joining our essential work in Europe, says Jean Duff, head of fundraising.

Jean and Aida Moayedzadeh are localising funders, grants and companies who might want to join our work. An open invitation is out to anybody that is working in line with the AWoN Vision to join as funder or partner.

A woman dressed in coat and colorful scarf.
Jean Duff. ©Magdalena Wernefeldt
Women smiling.
Aida Moayedzadeh and Amloud Alamir ©Magdalena Wernefeldt

Local promising practices
As always, we also took the opportunity to visit our local practitioners. In fact, the meeting was held at Stockholm Mosque and Café Medkänsla, where the interreligious integration programme Good Neighbours meet with hundreds of people every week. AWoN practitioner Helena Hummasten is engaged in this work.

We also got to see Fryshuset, working with youth in the areas of culture, education, social work and work and entrepreneurship. AWoN practitioner Maria Kjellsdotter Rydinger worked at Fryshuset for many years and initiated the interreligious programme Together for Sweden within Fryshuset.

The meeting concluded with a visit to Muslim Aid Sweden where AWoN practitioners Mehmet Kaplan and Kajs Atallah described their humanitarian work abroad and the agile social work in the local community, together with the church, other organisations and the municipality.