I hear footsteps… Eric Chacana, one of the founders and the driving force behind the social enterprise Global House, happily sticks his head out of the stairwell on Kronborgsgränd. He makes a welcoming gesture towards the premises, its entrance is decorated with colorful hats, mannequins in playful aprons, bags made from jeans and tiny, tailored dog outfits. All the items are designed from recycled garments and are for sale at Global House’s online store.
Together with The Kloud, Global House has been tasked with enlivening Kistagången. “It's a fun project where we work on reusing jeans that people have donated,” says Eric. He holds up a flag made from recycled jeans and matching floral fabric. “No, not that one, that was just a test,” laughs Nancy Salgado, the designer who develops their sewing patterns. Instead, she fetches a pile of new flags, sewn from denim fabric and edged with six different colors. She spreads them out like a fan on the table in front of her, pointing out the details and how all the seams are so neatly done.
Jobs that make a difference
Global House was founded to help prevent social exclusion and mental illness for at-risk groups in society – especially young people and women with a foreign background. “One way to counteract long-term unemployment is to create more job opportunities. We call ourselves Kista's most useful company,” says Eric. The business idea is simple: Get the job done with social responsibility – a win-win. This means that Global House, together with people who have had difficulty establishing themselves in the labor market, offer their services to companies in and around Kista with things like business support, tailoring and housekeeping.
“The idea is to make everyday life easier for companies and their employees by providing services that they don’t have time to do,” continues Eric, who is passionate about initiatives that promote inclusion and integration in society. “It can be simple tasks such as buying flowers, mending clothes, making coffee for a meeting, collecting packages or dropping off dry cleaning.”
No matter the person’s background or experience, Global House is interested in creating meaningful assignments, jobs that make a difference for the employees. Thanks to cooperation with Arbetsförmedlingen, Jobbtorg, businesses, property owners and new initiatives such as Hållbart Kista (a network for companies that want to make a difference in Kista and its surrounding areas), Eric hopes to get a large number of the long-term unemployed into working life in the coming years.
“Our talented seamstresses have helped out in the studio and have made close to 300 flags now,” Eric concludes. “Yes, it's teamwork,” says Nancy proudly. “It has taken two weeks and now the flags are hanging on display.”
So, the next time you are in Kista, take the route through Kistagången, look up and give a thought to all the work behind the beautiful, hand-stitched flags waving in the air.