Quilemane and Lidingö promote youth inclusion

In 2008, Daniel Broman moved to Mozambique’s capital Maputo to work as the principal of the Scandinavian school. Today, 14 years later, Daniel is the City Director of the City of Lidingö and is part of a Municipal Partnership via ICLD with Quilemane in Mozambique with a focus on his heart issue – youth inclusion!

The City of Lidingö is one of Sweden’s most successful municipalities when it comes to youth inclusion. Together with the city’s students, the City Council has created ELD, Lidingö’s student council. ELD is made up of two representatives from the municipality’s primary and secondary schools ‘student council and together they work independently to raise students’ issues to the local political level. Stefan Anderman, Lidingö’s operations manager for the primary school, explains that they have seen a willingness among the city’s students to take on more responsibility in their local democracy. He sees it as a good way to include the children’s perspective as a natural part of the city’s work, as well as to promote the development of the country’s future politicians, which is appreciated by Lidingö’s students.

“It’s fun to be able to be part of and change for the better! You really feel that it will be a real change,” says ELD’s chairman.

When the partnership between Lidingö and Quilemane was initiated, there was a drive to use their knowledge of youth inclusion in Mozambique.

“When we applied for a municipal partnership we had a very strong drive to create better, not to make a huge project but to think ‘how can we contribute?’. It’s a bit like the teddy bear Bamse says ‘if you are strong you have to also be kind ‘, not for your own good self-esteem but in fact because you want to. It’s about creating a better world. We strongly believe that in creating something new, you have to do it via children and young people “, says Daniel Broman.

In Mozambique, the partners found the same drive for change in Quilemane’s students. Through school visits by teachers and the Lidingö steering group, as well as visits to Sweden by the Mozambican party, Quilemane has been able to create its equivalent of ELD.

”When they have been here, we have been around a lot of places and sometimes it has also been just as important to convey and let them see things that they themselves can bring and reflect on that ‘this is something we can change’ or ‘this we could do’ or ‘this we could apply for funding elsewhere to be able to implement’ “, explains Daniel Broman.

Future prospects in the partnership

The work is also profiting the City of Lidingö. They have had to reflect on how they can develop their own operations and it has raised awareness among teachers and steering group members who have visited Quilemane. Entering its third year, the partnership desire to develop further areas of focus that have not previously been possible to work with. Among other things, Lidingö wants to invest time in creating a circular economy of plastic recycling in Quilemane.

“There is a plastic factory in Quilemane, I have visited it. They could benefit from it. Instead of buying everything – get young people to collect plastic so that they get some form of what we have here, a ‘pant’ mortgage. We have not yet succeeded, but when we discussed it there was great enthusiasm”, says Daniel Broman.

At the top of the agenda this autumn is the plan to organize a digital meeting between the two municipalities’ student councils and to involve a plan on how they can involve Agenda 2030 in the partnership, to take responsibility for more sustainability goals. There is a will from both partners to increase the exchange of knowledge to promote a positive change in both municipalities.

”What is good about working with ICLD is that we don’t invest with money. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about creating something”, concludes City Director Daniel Broman.