Building Bridges

Building Bridges: working to improve the educational motivation and increase attendance of Roma children in primary and secondary school.

Helsingborg, SwedenHelsingborg
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Building Bridges works to improve the educational motivation and attendance of Roma children in primary and
secondary school by building a bridge between roma children, their parents, schools and social welfare.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Many roma children are not attending school making them vulnerable in society. They are not getting tools to create their own path and giving them opportunity to be a part in society. Many roma children are instead staying home which put them in risk for depression, low self esteem and not allowing to attend in activities with the major society. The families that we work with are not getting enough knowledge of their civil right and many children are been taking care by the social welfare based on wrong information many times. Many roma don't trust the major society which creates a negativ difference between roma and major society.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Building Bridges intentions is to interact with actors of society to make discriminatory norms and structures visible and create a better understanding of Roma culture and traditions and in that way making it easier for roma society to connect with schools, government and private companies. Roma families are getting help with family therapy, getting tolls in connecting with their children. We are also helping teachers and social workers reach out to roma families and helping them connect with the children and parents by establishing meeting with us from Building Bridges as a neutral partner. Teacher/social workers and the roma society trust us since the people that work in the organisation are roma with education and experience.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We work on three legs, leg one works directly with schools and the children attending school by helping the teachers and pupils interacte directly in the classroom Leg nr two: We help the parents with developing skills to approach their children in a way that allows them to grow as a family by having therapeutic conversations together with us. Leg nr three: We act as a bridge between Roma families and government officials as the social welfare, when the children are in some kind of danger or when there is a need for roma interpreter who knows the Roma culture and knows how the swedish system work to establish a relation between the different parties.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our organisationen works with the swedish government in establishing policy that sees to the need of Roma families and Roma culture. We will spread our model for working with roma people to 10 more municipals coming two years. We want the children that we work with to increase their attendance to at least 75%( today when they start the program they have 35 %).

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Other NGOs aproach this problem but they dont the national spread that we have. Our organization delivers services by roma employes to other roma families with a high knowledge in the social area, which other NGO do not have.


Our team consist of roma educated people who work directly with the families and children on the field, two advisor from Kinnevik group with knowledge in media. I also have a broad team from Reach for change with different skills where i can tap in ask them questions, from communications, social media and so on. We are also coached by top management from the Kinnevik group two times a year with focus on how to expand our organization and making it more efficient. By letting them know about our daily work can they give us advice as outsiders with a high knowledge in how to tun a company.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Reach for change
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Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)


Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name



Operations manager



Organization Name

Reach for change

Total Number of Full-Time Employees
Lead Contact First Name

Pär Wiktorsson

Lead Contact Last Name






Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, SK, Helsingborg

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact
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Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-Partner Reach For Change and Kinnevik Group
-Type of partner [business/social/public]social and business
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]Through outreach campaigns and other activities, Reach for Change advocates and builds public awareness for social entrepreneurship as a primary tool in realizing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They also provide our corporate partners with capacity development and strategic CSR support to ensure the realisation of children’s rights
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]Reach for Change and Kinneviks group believe that one voice makes a difference and that everyone has the potential to create change. They also believe that children’s rights should be universally respected, and that social entrepreneurship has the power to create lasting, systematic change for children.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]Reach for change are helping change leaders by helping salary funding and coaching in their Incubator program, and are matched with advisors and experts from a network of companies within the Kinnevik Group. They are strategic partners in developing the Building Bridges Program in Sweden.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

The main impact is that we changing biases about the Roma people. This is established by helping increase Roma childrens attendance in school. Today we are helping 58 families with getting their children to school, getting good economic status and housing. We help parents connected with work and children with activities outside school. We are spreading our work to different municipals mainley in south of Sweden.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Foundations, NGOs, Regional government, National government.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

We have reached a financial sustainability for know but if we want to reach more children in different regions we will need to sell more of our services, our main financial resource comes from social wellfare and schools who feels a need for our services. Our main partners( Kinnevik and Reach for Change) have a limit for three year contract with us.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

In year 2011 did i apply to Reach for Change incubator where i got selected to be in the incubator for three years. That year more than 1000 people tried to apply to the program with different ides in how to help children in need in Sweden, mine eas one of five that got selected. I think that the people in the jury saw a potential in our idea and that it could have a good impact for roma children. By sharing my own history and my path to a higher education and the people that helped me on way did i let them see how Building Bridges model could be applied on children in need. My story showed that with right people with right education and good culture knowledge could have a easier in establishing a relation with the roma community.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

One of our main barrier was how much we should show our selves in media as to not sell out our image against the roma community. By talking to ur advisor from the Kinnevik group and the staff from Reach for Change did we find a way of getting out information about us and our work with our own words, telling our story as we saw fit. We where also careful in letting our partners know that we this co work as a partnership with us working on the field and us having the best knowledge in social work and our partners the best knowledge in how to establishing a good company, meaning that we both could have a win win situation if we respected each others work field.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

We have a contractual relationship and a joint venture.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

Our partnership builds on the basis that we from Building Bridges inform our partners of our work and progress and are open about letting people from the partnership organization connect with us with ideas and knowledge that we dont have. By doing this are we allowed to get more knowledge in our organization and fresh yes on how we do our work. We are also open about our work and the children that we work with, showing by our blogg or lectures our media who reaches our partners and letting them know that the are a part of helping children in need.

How did you find out about this competition?

Nathalie Ahlstedt Mantel, Jr. Communications Associate on Ashoka Scandinavia encouraged us to apply.