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Bredsand's Bridge Builders – Successfully improving school results among Somali children

Bredsand’s Bridge Builders is a project created by two young people of Somali descent who wanted to build a bridge between one of the most marginalised communities in the Swedish municipality of Sundsvall—Somalis—and Swedish society. The primary focus of the project is to make sure that Somali children get help in their own language for school subjects.

Sundsvall city centre / Henrik Sendelbach / CC BY-SA 3.0


Issue/challenge and goal/assumption

The project’s aim is to achieve greater attainment of educational goals among Somali-speaking children, as they have lower rates of fulfilling educational goals than other migrant groups.


How does it work

The project, which operates at a school in Bredsand and a preschool in Draghällan in the municipality of Sundsvall, employs two people who function as coaches, pathfinders and role models for Somali pupils. These two bridge builders are also Somali. They speak the language and understand the difficulties that recently arrived Somalis often experience in Sweden. At the same time, the two bridge builders are well integrated into Swedish society and therefore able to provide guidance on the transition to life in a new country.

A major focus of the project is education—making sure that Somali children and young people can succeed in school. Besides providing Somali-language support for coursework, the project focuses on the involvement of parents, who are often illiterate or have very little schooling. The parents are invited to be present when their children get help with homework after school.



The project has reduced drop-out rates and increased trust between the school and the Somali community at large, especially the parents of schoolchildren.



The Municipality of Sundsvall has evaluated the project.


Who will benefit?

The project addresses the needs of Somali pupils and their parents living in Sundsvall.


Source of funding and Resources used

The project is funded by Sundsvall’s social investment fund in the amount of SEK 2,620,000 (approximately EUR 246,000).


Municipality of Sundsvall
Johan Karlsson

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