During the preparations for the initiative 'Powerful pieces for the powerful' we talked to Cathrine Edblad, Somayeh Cardeijn and Mary Juusela about making a difference, changing and daring to dream. Somayeh and Mary are women who through their life journeys stand as strong role models for us and the initiative. Below you can read about their background and drive for change.
But first to the nice response we got when we asked women in our network to describe other women who are inspirational, have greatly influenced or changed the situation for them or others in society. We collected some of the nice words that were shared!
Edblad's co-founder and creative director, Cathrine Edblad has been trying to make a difference ever since the company was founded. It started with small projects to improve working conditions at Edblad's manufacturing units in China and to buy school supplies for a neighboring school in Sri Lanka. But pretty soon the Helping Hand help project came to be a recurring part in each collection, and since it was started it has generated 2.3 million to various charities Edblad has collaborated with.
'Being a part of making a difference is a big driver for me and our employees'
Since Cathrine has a background as a teacher, she has education and questions about children who father badly laid her heart on. Education and knowledge are important keys to change and therefore education has become the focus of this year's collaboration with Plan International Sweden and their Agenda for girls
Somayeh Cardeijn was born in Iran but came to Sweden at the age of 6. The family settled in Leksand, which came in great contrast to Iran. She then moved to Stockholm and after several years in training and health she decided to take a Master's degree in Human Rights.
Her desire to change comes from all the injustices in the world. Seeing and experiencing injustice has always created a great frustration within her, and it is the power and energy of the frustration that has created the drive for change. Among the first memories of commitment to others came as a child in Iran. She had difficulty accepting poverty and wondered what she could do to make a change.
'In my dream world, everyone regardless of gender, color and origin should live in harmony and justice. Women all over the world should own their bodies and their sexuality and they should choose life partners themselves'
With her academic background and personal experience, she now runs her own company that works for a better world for women, children, the environment and animals and has also started to sketch her first book on women's health.
Mary Juusela is the author, lecturer and founder of the educational company Lika Olika. She was born in India but came to Sweden as a year old when she was adopted by Finnish parents. Her entire upbringing was bordered by racism and alienation and one day it had gone so far that she wanted to end her life. But that was the turning point, instead she made a drastic change and got out of the exclusion and started helping others. She founded Lika Olika, which works according to the Lika Olika method, which aims to increase social knowledge, tolerance and empathy.
Her drive for change comes from the self-perceived alienation that she wants to counteract that someone else will have to suffer.
'We humans are flock animals and it affects us greatly if people in our vicinity walk past us, not smiling, not greeting or not seeing. Or ask if you want to join'
Crucial to her enormous commitment has also been to see change. For Edblad's part in contributing to awareness and raising the issue of inequality, she sees it as an invaluable step and as an inspiration to others.
When women support each other, amazing things can happen. This is an initiative to empower women and girls. Share your experiences and knowledge to inspire and support others, be brave and make a difference!
Helping Hand is Edblad's charity project that every year collaborates with a non-profit organization. A piece of jewellery is designed specifically for the collaboration and in 2020 we proudly work with Plan International Sweden and their Agenda for girls.
The necklace 'Believe in her' has been designed for the benefit of the collaboration and SEK 50 for each necklace sold goes in full to the Agenda for girls.