Three zealots of the old tribe have left us. We continue to work to ensure that the work they started and for many years continued to develop further.
During the winter / spring, several very sad and sad news reached us at MyRight and our member organizations. Three leading and very important people for MyRight have passed away.
Barbro Carlsson was Secretary General of MyRight from the fall of 1994 -2000.
She had a long career behind her when she came to the then Shia (now MyRight). She was a manager who put the business in focus and worked committedly to strengthen the business both in the south and among MyRight's affiliates in Sweden. There was then only one country office and that was in Sri Lanka. Through his work in the current Functional Law, then HSO, Barbro had a close collaboration and good knowledge of the member unions' work.
Barbro also had good contact with both government representatives and people with great influence in various authorities. The then Minister for Development Aid Maj-Inger Klingvall told how she received Barbro and Birgitta Andersson, then chairman of Shia, when they discussed how development assistance for people with disabilities could be developed.
Barbro felt extra for women and children in the work Shia did then. She initiated a women's delegation with participation from many countries where Shia participated in the conference in Beijing in 1995 - the first meeting where women with disabilities are found in the final document with recommendations for follow-up.
Barbro left us on February 18 surrounded by his loved ones.
Lars-Åke Wikström, also called LÅW, sat on the board of MyRight 2009 - 2011.
Kerstin Kjellberg, who worked a lot with projects for SDR projects within SHIA / MyRight, writes: “LÅW worked a lot with WFD (World Federation of the Deaf).
LÅW was passionate about Deaf Awareness and his ability to get deaf people in SDR's projects, often repressed, to feel proud of his deafness and language was fantastic. You could actually see how deaf people grew. His slogan "Deaf CAN" was known in all our projects and has contributed a lot to the deaf becoming stronger ..
LÅW had an incredible ability to get people to listen. I have been with him in meetings with high-ranking people - decision-makers - in the various project countries. Often they were staunch opponents of sign language and considered the deaf to be uneducable. But after listening to LÅW with his empathy and ability to get his message across, many of these decision-makers changed their minds. We see the result today: strong deaf groups in most of SDR's projects and the sign language accepted as the deaf's first language in many of these countries.
LÅW's efforts have meant a lot to SDR's / MyRight's work and to deaf people all over the world. ”
Let his slogan "Deaf CAN" live on.
Lars-Åke Wikström left us on May 5, surrounded by his closest.
Roland Håkansson, chairman of MyRight 2008 - 20012. Lars Lööw, former board member of MyRight, says: “I sat on the board for seven years with Roland and he was vice chairman when I started, but immediately after the annual meeting, Maria, who was then chairman, became ill and had to leave the board. Roland then had to take over the responsibility as chairman at short notice. He was then chairman during all the years I sat on the board.
It was in many ways a difficult time for economic development cooperation for voluntary organizations. The Alliance Government's demands for short-term concrete results and financial muscle in the voluntary organizations meant that SHIA / MyRight was constantly questioned.
This was also a time when we had many difficult priorities and savings. Some resources had also been moved from Sweden to the seven priority partner countries, so the chancellery resource in Sweden was severely depleted. But Roland still tried to drive development forward and worked hard to ensure that the disability perspective was represented in general work for human rights and economic development cooperation. We nominated him on various boards to implement it, including the UN and UNICEF.
Roland was also an important factor in the name change when he dared to start the process. Roland also put a lot of energy into meeting the members to hear what they thought and to get as many as possible to be active members in both the internal work and as project owners.
I myself got to know Roland when he worked at the National Board of Health and Welfare and he studied law. There have been some conversations about LSS and more over the years and Roland was always committed, clear in opinions and had great integrity.
A fun event was when we had a meeting all day so I was going to an anniversary dinner for a big foundation in the evening. I told it during the day because I would meet people who might be good for MyRight work. Roland looked a little cunning but said nothing and in the middle of the dinner a choir was presented that would perform. Last of the choir members, Roland came rolling in. Then I learned that he was a committed choir singer for a long time. ”
Roland left us on May 10th surrounded by his family.
I wish that these powerful people now have their peace and that we should be inspired by their commitment.
Göran Alfredsson, chairman of MyRight
Board and staff at MyRight