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New Europeans and Dress For Success Luxembourg

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ACT2exceed supports DFS Luxembourg

For the past two years I’ve been searching for an opportunity to contribute to an organization based on volontary work and support. During the summer, I found the perfect match for me. It has all the right ingredients and a great cause – to brighten the lives of women across the world. I am very happy to share that I am now one of the mentors on the Dress For Success Luxembourg team.

Annica Törneryd
Team member of the Luxembourgish Dress For Success; Isabelle Ringard, Jill Griffin and Annica Törneryd

Dress For Succes is active in 21 countries worldwide and have served over 925.000 women with their over 10.000 volunteers.

“Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” Official webpage here.

Today I had the honor to join the Dress For Success Luxembourg (DFSL) team to the mateneen conference. DFSL were invited to celebrate as one of the winners in the solidarity project to support and improve the situation for “new Europeans”, or more commonly known as immigrants. Solidarity, integration and togetherness; three very beautiful and important words.

The Prime Minister Mr. Xavier Bettel spoke in true words when he opened the conference, underlining the fact that no person would ever leave their home, their family, all their belongings, their job, their LIFE – if it wasn’t a matter of life or death.

Nine of the winners presented their mateneen projects to the audience; with Her Royal Highness the Grand-Duchess, the Prime Minister, the President of the Chamber of Deputies and the very multi-cultural competitors and supporting audience. At two occasions I got a big lump in my throat and felt so much happines for the winners that I was proud to be Luxembourg-ish for the first time in my life. That was an awkward feeling I must say. I don’t mean that one shouldn’t be proud of being Luxembourgish – it’s just that I am SWEDISH! But today, I am proud to be Luxembourg’ish.

Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess in the audience with ACT2exceed and Dress For Success Luxembourg
Prime Minister of Luxembourg talks about immigration to the winners of mateneen

My heart melted for Miss Lama Alokaili, founder of Radio Graffiti – Project Salam a Fridden. She hosts radio shows at ARA City radio, for the immigrant community of new Europeans to understand Luxembourgish culture and have a smooth integration, and also for the Luxembourgish community to have a better understanding for and learn about the culture of immigrants. Her sweet personality and joy of doing what she loves was very contagious and inspiring. Especially when she shared that she was quite a bit nervous to be up on stage before us.

Another favorite was the connecting project ASTI, coordinated by Miss Zina Menhal. She and her project have helped several persons find meaningful occupation. It was pure bliss to hear the very personal and heartfelt story of Mr. Mohammad Al-Aajeb, refugee from Irak, who is now very proud, very happy and very deserving of a traineeship at Arendt. When he thanked his Luxembourgish “family”, who were sitting in the audience, for their support I know I’m not the only one who had to blink several times to hold back the tears.

I wish everyone could have been at the conference, to hear the stories, see the people, feel the positivity and the will to create a better world – the hope that we can make it work. Do as best as you can to welcome people, be a good friend, lend a hand!

I will end this with a beautiful proverb that one of the winners, Mr. Jean-François Vervier, President of CESMI, shared.

Un arbre qui tombe, fait plus de bruit qu’une forêt qui pousse
A falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest.

ACT2exceed supports DFS Luxembourg
“New Europeans” and winners of “mateneen” celebrating with Her Royal Highness Grand Duchesse of Luxembourg and Prime Minister Xavier Bettel

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