AC meeting

Sittin in the train, connected to internet (vivat SJ), satisfied after the IOGT International AC meeting. We managed the whole agenda for the meeting, we got updated on last happenings in alcohol policy, we discussed an international conference in Malaysia in december 2008, we decided about some representations at some congresses. I am impressed by enthusiasm and commitment, by knowledge and networking skills, by skill to see a bigger picture and have a longer time perspective. I have a lot to learn and these meetings are incredibly motivating for me. At the same time I feel that I understand more and more, that I see  different connections regarding the issue better than before.

Right now I am bit tired, slept very little. Was talking to Kristiina about Faroe Islands instead. I can sleep in the train =) Soon.

I just wonder how did the Melodifestivalen go ;-)


Is there a better way of celebraing international day of women than writing a Gender and alcohol booklet for IOGT International? OK I agree that there are many other nice ways to celebrate this day but I feel like I am contributing with my part.
I have been extremely busy recently so my interest in gender was put aside or better said I did not deal with that actively. But now I m sitting 5 hours in train having internet connection and that are just the best conditions to get back to my hobby =) I have several idas for a research. Would be cool to conduct it. One never knows - maybe once =)

Otherwise I am very happy that the days are getting lighter. Sweden looks very nice. All the lakes and the reflections of the trees in the water, grass still yellow..everything so calm and spring hanging in the air. Amazing.

Because of alcohol Part 1.

As promised..the first facts

4 700 000 - 9 100 000 children in EU (2004) lives in families adversly affected by alcohol

Alcohol is estimated to be a causal factor in 16% of child abuse and neglect

The intangible cost of alcohol dependence to family members has been estimated to 68 billion Euro 

(Source: Alcohol in Europe. A public health perspective, 2006, p. 202)

IOGT International rocks my world

Another meeting is over. I am very motiveted again =) Before going to Copenhagen I was working more than a month without day off and I could not imagine how I would survive the coming seminar and then the IOGT board meeting. But already the first evening of the seminar just recharged me. Arriving to Oslo I felt totally fresh. Had enough energy to go to Emil´s birthday party, to meet some nice people I have not seen for a long time, to play table football (air foortball) and to have the meeting the next day.
The agenda for the meeting was really full this time and I think we are getting better and better having more discussions and contributions. It takes some time to get into the things - WHO there, Eurocare here, GAPA, APAPA, etc etc etc. The names are familiar, one sees more and more connections, I can´t wait to another meeting =)
We also got green light for 25+ which I can now officially present =) Visit and you will see =)
While travelling by bus back to Örebro (5 hours) I was still so motivated that I had difficulties to sleep or do smth else than thinking about the things we were discussing. Then I opened a book I just got at the meeting "Världens baksmälla" from Pierre Andersson ("World´s hangover") and read it all at the bus. Great book! Great overview! Great arguments!
Am gonna use it for sure in my field trip in Slovakia and of course in general too .
Now I should sleep but still can´t. Body is tired from 5 hours sitting on the bus but head is totally fresh. 

PS. Have I mentioned that I started Afro Power Dance? =)

actio2552 presents

Let me present my "actio2552" friends..(I am very happy i am getting older and I belong to this group)
Let me start with two of them:

Nils Johan.. from Norway, has travelled all over the world, right now lives in Mexico and likes swedish cookies dipped in chocolate.

Pauline also my collegue that finally (after one month) showed her real face =)


Sitting here with cup of tea, being a bit sick (read sneezing and feeling cold and warm waves) but in spite of that I´m feeling wonderful because I am almost constantly thinking of the last weekend and our 25+ project which is not called 25+ anymore. The new name is "actio2552" and you can find everything in it. It is a project of Active and IOGT interrnational and it is aimed on people older than 25 years up to approximately 55.

The meeting was about "bridging the gap" between youth and adults in temperance movement. It was lots of brainstorming, defining, thinking, having broad perspectives and coming "back to Earth" to make it realistic. It was the best IOGT International meeting I have ever had and it is in top 5 of Active events as well =)

The task was serious and the project is important but when discussing, we found a great way to solve the problems and have fun at the same time. Moments of laugh and jokes shifted with serious talks.

When coming up with a name for the project, peoples´ sense of humour got to speak loud =) I was not able to throw away the flip chart sheet with our brainstorming due to its funny content. That would be a crime. I took it home and I guess I will have a look at it from time to time when feeling a need for laugh. Suggestions as: Active seniors, The lost generation, Middle aged people, Second spring, or (and that was the highlight) Too old to rock`n`roll, too young to die popped up on people´s minds.

Another funny thing was that half of the participants brought their pills and took out their glasses when reading. Then we realized..yes.. we are getting old. The evening programme ended before midnight and several people fell asleep twice untill then (for example while waiting for dinner in a restaurant or while chit - chatting..ehm..that was me). All people were asking for having a nap after lunch but the sitution was not that bad and we overcame the tiredness by having a short walk in the town.

To sum it up: 
- almost all people made it to the meeting
- almost all people made it till the end of the meeting
- we finally took the first step in for such a long time requested project (we actually took 2 steps)
- we are having three concrete things planned (more info will come after the IOGT International AC meeting)
- we all are still willing and motivated to continue working with it

I could not wish for more =)


Sitting here...trying to concentrate on writing administrative grant application and at the same time having 1000 things for 25+ on my mind. Some of them very practical as reimbursements etc, some of them just ideas and what to do in the future.
This weekend is THE weekend for 25+ project - project that will bring some answers for the question: How to bridge the gap between Active and IOGT International. How to have keep people who reach age of 25 still involved in fields of our work and how to use their knowledge and experience? And how to inovolve new people of age 25 and more?

I think I´ll know more already on sunday evening =)


Youth in IOGT Guinea Bissau is making stones/bricks to build a center for their meetings, skill trainings and camping. I am impressed. In some countries one has to beg people to take part in activities. In some countries youth come and build their own house to have place to learn.


If you want to read more, check:
And if you want to contribute financially, you can do that as well. Just check the link above. I will do that for sure!

ICAA part no. I or "quotations"

The ICAA conference in Stockholm was another battery charger for me. I was really longing for some new imput. Writing applications, visiting organisations, helping with the seminars is lots of fun but at one point I find myself missing new information given in form of lectures, via discussions (as I was used from the university). So now I got a huge present by being there.

In this entry I want to share a story which was a part of a great great presentation held by Hans Rosling from Sweden telilng about his neighbour who is an expert on wine and knows about 200 different sorts of wine. Hans said he knows only 2 sorts of wine: red and white. But on the other hand the neighbour knows only two types of countries -developing and industrialized compared to Hans who knows 202.
The sentence he said afterwards still resonates in my ears: "We know wine better than the world (...) Our slogan should be Absolute shame"

IOGT International board meeting


Esbjörn Hörnberg (Executive Director, Sweden), Sisira Kodagoda (Sri Lanka), me, Jan Jobmann (Germany), Sven Olov Carlsson (Sweden), Ginny Wortman (USA), Nils Kohl (Denmark), John Kimiro (Tanzania), Tanya Salyuk (Ukraine), Liv Karin Slåttebrekk (Norway) is missing 

The first IOGT International board meeting went well. I got to lead it the first day because Sven Olov had to be at another meeting. It was a good new experience. I think the board consists of experienced people bringing their perspectives and opinions. I liked the way we worked and I believe it will be better and better. We have just got to know each other. We also have to understand our tasks better. But as said..we are on a good way! I liked it a looot!

Back home..

..after very full days am back to Sweden again. I woke up early in the morning on sunday and drove car to Arlanda (I liked iiiiiiiit..) because there was no train on sunday morning . TFrom there I flew to Helsinki because of the  Bridging the Gap conference organized by Eurocare. The main topic was alcohol and all the things related to that - national alcohol policies, alcohol related harm reduction, drink driving, marketing. I will write about it more. I have 6 pages notes only about my ideas provoked by the presentations and by people present there (those who know my handwriting know that 6 pages is a looooot). The days were really great. Full of presentations - most of them fruitfull. Evenings were a bit shocking. The explanation will come in next blog.

The good part, except of the presentations was to meet great people. You maybe noticed that I wrote "back home.." and then I mentioned Sweden. Yes..other Swedes at the conference (those coming from IOGT-NTO) were treating me as their and that was great feeling. It was nice to come to them and do not feel like disturbing them. It was nice when they came to me and didnt feel like disturbing me. And of course ACTIVE people! Then some new people - youngsters and adults as well. Some wanted me to explain them what the word "temperance" means. It suprised me cause i would expect that people working in this field would know. However I know now that explanations are never wasting of time.

And I like Helsinki a lot although I did not have time to see much of it.  But Stockholm is still number one for me!!!

Alcohol industry - a golden cow vs. pure conscience

I met a friend in Slovakia. We were talking about his future a bit. He would not mind to end up working for alcohol industry just to earn some money. It was maybe half joke  - meaning: It was half truth which made me not let be.

Alcohol has no positive effects, is for no good, brings many problems for individuals and society. That means that producing and selling alcohol, making it a sign of high social status and neccessery part of daily life is just careless manipulation of people to earn lots of money with no thought of peoples good on mind. I would never have that conscience to do that. Seems my friend neither =) Yupiiii...I hope he will find a nice and honest way to be rich.

Alcohol can make it to the second place..wheee

EU comissioner for health and consumer protection Markos Kyprianou says that alcohol in small, moderate amount is good for heart.

Hmm..let me think a bit...Alcohol is on the third position in risk factors causing disease burden in developed countries. On the first position is tobacco and on the second is blood pressure.

Now I have a solution how can alcohol make it to the second position in the ranking. If those who suffer from blood pressure problems would drink more alcohol, their heart would get better and the problem would be solved. At the same time more people would suffer from alcohol related problems and ta daaaaa...alcohol is serious threat for tobaccos first position.

Every year in European Union (only 25 countries) die more than 100 000 people because of alcohol. Other 9 000 000 children to alcohol abusers suffer everyday. Alcohol costs European Union 125 billions Euro every year. Sustain using leads to addiction. Not mentonind all the accidents.
Moreover it is prooved that it is not alcohol itself  which has a beneficiary impact on heart but other components of let´s say vine. So yeah - let´s eat more grape instead.
Alcohol causes more damage than profit (which is minimal)...and this should be mentioned each time when it comes to positive sides of drinking alcohol.