After having watched the Swedish TV program “This Is Your Life” featuring Kjell Bergqvist, Linnéa Aaro decided that she would support Barnhem Muang Mai as her student project.
She collected all that money by redeeming empty cans for money, baking and selling cakes, printing leaflets, collecting money on the street, contacting local organizations, and arranging a photo exhibit with her own photographs.
What a drive – once again we at Happy Child are at a loss for words to convey our admiration!
Thank you, Linnéa, for choosing us!
Read Linnéa’s own story of her work.
My name is Linnéa Aaro and I’m currently 18 years old, I live in a small town called Boden, which is in the Norrbotten County. Just like all the other last-year students at Björknäs High School I had to do a student project. I quickly chose to support Barnhem Muang Mai after having seen the program “This Is Your Life,” starring Kjell Bergqvist, who spoke of his friend Sussi Janson, who lost her children in the devastating Tsunamiin 2004. Sussi entered the studio and spoke about her difficult time and Barnhem. Her story deeply moved me, but it also inspired me and motivated me to do this project; she is so strong and became my role model even though I’ve never met her.
Many children lost their dear and near ones to the strong forces of the water in 2004, I have many close friends who have grown up without one or both parents and I have felt their pain. I cannot say that I know what it is like to lose a parent or a child…but I lost my grandmother to cancer and that was very painful. I have experienced sorrow, I’m experiencing a loss. This is also a contributing factor to why I chose to support Muang Mai in particular.
I think it’s very important to help children have a good childhood, since the children are our future. All children have the right to live and to live a dignified life with love, heat, food, education, shelter, and much more.
I did not carry out this project only to help others and to contribute to a “better world,” rather, I did it to a great extent for myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could handle this project on my own and that my strong will can take me far. Through my project I’ve gotten people to provide help and to experience that they are actually contributing something. I have inspired younger students to collect money for charity and have tried to influence those who only talk without matching their words with action.
Initially, I drafted a plan and according to our school we are supposed to spend 100 hours working on the project but I’ve used about 200. It involved a lot of planning and tons of setbacks… I learned for example that you have to take things as they come and not plan every little detail, anything can happen.
I chose to take my previous fundraising experiences and then upgrade and modernize those methods. I arranged a photo exhibit to benefit Barnhem, I took photos and sent the picture files to two companies, jagsyns.se and kbfoto.se, that enlarged the 20 photos to A3-format, which I then sold at the Cultural Center for SEK 200. I really enjoyed being able to weave my greatest interest – photography – into the project, I raised good money, and made good photography contacts that may be useful in the future.
My goal was to reach SEK 6,000, but I was able to reach SEK 10,000, which I never thought when I begun the project, I’ve always heard from my parents that you can handle anything you want…those were just words to me. But now I’ve proven to myself that it’s true, you can actually handle anything you want…
I used to be a bit shy about calling and making contact with people but now I don’t have any problems with that at all, I actually enjoy it. As I thought at the beginning, doing a fundraising that requires you to be active socially every day has boosted my self confidence and self esteem.
There are many people who have helped me with this project! Among these are the Red Cross, which contributed with as much as SEK 3.000; my mother, who donated her beautiful water color artwork to the exhibit, ICA, kbfoto.se, jagsyns.se, Fagernässkola, Bo Strömbäck, who lent us the Cultural Center; private individuals who helped with e.g. the exhibit and provided support when things looked bleak; Hans Almqvist lent us his bakery; Stadins Glas in Boden supplied passe-partouts for the water color artwork; Swedbank; my childhood friend Emma Nilsson, who helped me with technical things and with editing the leaflet. And last but not least my advisor Helena Carolin and obviously Sussi Janson, who made this possible from the very beginning. THANK YOU!