She attracts more women to Araby park arena
In November last year, Adela Sejdija contacted Araby park arena's unit manager Malin Richardson.
– I saw that there were not so many activities for young children and mothers in Araby park arena. So I talked to Malin about starting something, and she was really positive. In the beginning, only a few families showed up but as we grew more and more I started the association Arabys aktiva familjer (Araby's active families). Now we have several activities.
In the autumn program there are numerous points for women and children at Araby park arena. Girl evenings, language cafés and strolls are just some of them.
– For example, the association has afternoons with sports activities, some coffee and social information. Many of the women who live here may not come out as much, so we talk a little about what happens in the rest of Växjö. We also have an activity called Kvinnor för kvinnor (Women for women), where we talk about what rights women have in Sweden, and Älskade barn (Beloved children), where we talk about what it is like to have children and what opportunities that exist for them.
One of the initiatives that Adela Sejdija, who is also a volunteer on the Red Cross, has kept going this summer is when around twenty women learned to ride a bicycle.
– It started with the fact that I met several women who wanted to learn how to to ride a bike and in the summer we were maybe 25 women who learned it together. But now we have returned the bikes that we were allowed to borrow from the Red Cross and instead have access to bikes here at the arena.
Three other women who take part in various activities are Shereen Ghazzawi, Ayla Ekinci and Antonia Teisanu Aguilera. They offer belly dancing, self-defense courses and zumba. They all agree that movement makes you feel happy.
– I started the dance group three years ago and now we have become a bit like a family. For me, this has been a great way to integrate myself. It is the best job I have ever had. It is so fun to see that there are so many women coming here, says Antonia Teisanu Aguilera.
Ayla Ekinci, who runs the self-defense cure, thinks it is important to be able to defend ourselves.
– It is good for women to be able to self-defense. I am a boxer myself and became a Danish champion a couple of years ago. I did not train when I was married but now that I am not anymore I can practice it again. I have the opportunity to do something for women.
Adela Sejdija says that most women who have activities here in Araby know each other and that they are good at supporting and going on the activities that exist. And although the activities are an important start, Adela Sejdija hopes to achieve something even greater than getting more women to the arena. The goal for her is for more women to enter society.
– I read a master's degree at Linnaeus University before I became a parent, and then came to the conclusion that I wanted to start something for women. That is how it all began. Through the activities, I hope that more people will receive help with the language, internship and eventually jobs. We start small and build on everything. But the activities are not just for women in Araby but everyone is welcome here, no matter where they live.
The fact that more women choose to come to Araby park arena also pleases the head of unit Malin Richardson.
– In the past it was messy in the evenings and there was a behavior that is not okay here. But now it is not like that anymore and more women come with their children. It is a positive development, she says.
According to Adela Sejdija, more and more activities are also happening near the arena.
– We have many activities here but also at Tallgården. Among other things, we borrow books and run reading-promoting activities for children. We would like to encourage the mothers to read to their children no matter what language it is in.
Is it mainly new arrivals who come to the activities?
– It is women from different countries who come. Not only foreign women but also Swedish. Our association is not just for those who come to Sweden but for everyone.