'Hej Främling!,' which translates into 'Hello Stranger!,' is a Swedish run club for refugees. With many European countries facing the task of integrating refugees into existing communities, this initiative demonstrates that physical activity can be a great way to bring people together.
Hej Främling! was founded by Emma Arnesson and Anne Lundberg, who originally began volunteering to help refugees learn to cross-country ski. After noticing how sport and social activity helped asylum-seekers adjust to their new life in Sweden, Arnesson and Lundberg decided to team up with Christine Hagglund to start a running club. The club currently has about 40 regular runners and its success has spurred similar clubs in other parts of the country.
The project has not only helps refugees stay fit and active, but more importantly, it has fostered a bond between Swedish citizens and asylum-seekers from countries all over the world.