Friendship without borders at Tamam Café
Faiza is going to Tamam Café in Lund more or less every week, even though she lives in Malmö.
- When I first came to Sweden I didn’t have any friends. Everyone is so nice here; we’re hugging and laughing together, says Faiza, 14.
Vean agrees, he came to Sweden eight years ago and has been involved in the youth organisation Tamam ever since. At the café he’s enjoying himself and gets to try new activities. Both newly arrived youngsters and youngsters that have grown up in Sweden come to Tamam Café. Here they can play games, watch a movie, dance, bake, get help with homework or just hang out. The café started to give youngsters a firm meeting point.
- The café works more or less as a youth centre, everyone that wants to come is welcome, everything is free and the participants themselves choose what they want to do, says the leader Erik Rubaduka.
- The difference is that there is no grown ups here, the café is run entirely by the youngsters themselves.
Tamam has borrowed a location in a school where the café is open every Monday after school hours.
- Since there is a ping pong table, a pool table and other things at the location we don’t have to arrange any major activity each time, it’s enough to open up and have some coffee, says Erik.
Faiza and Vean got information about Tamam at school when they recently had arrived to Sweden and went to preparation class. Every week Tamam members are sending an e-mail to teachers in Lund and tells them what’s going on, so that they can forward the information to their students. Tamam members are also visiting schools to talk about the association. Marie is 25 years old; she studies at Lund University and has come to the café during one semester. A friend of hers was involved in the association and brought her along.
- It’s both funny and heartwarming to be here. I like the atmosphere and you get to know new people, says Marie.
Marie, Vean and Faiza all think it’s good to have different activities that don’t demand so good levels of Swedish, like ping pong and pool. Like that the language is no barrier. In the meantime the café is a good place to hear and learn Swedish the way it’s spoken in everyday situations.
- I’m planning to arrange own activities after summer. I’ve just finished high school and I haven’t got any employment yet, so I have a lot of time to be involved in Tamam, says Vean.
- I want to come up with new and funny things, which make a lot of people come. If 20 persons are here I will try to make it 40, he says.
Marie is also planning to continue her Tamam commitment;
- The café activity is really important. It inspires to new meetings both for newly arrived youngsters and integrated youngsters. It’s definitely needed, says Marie.