By Jennifer Popplewell •
Updated: 03 Nov 2023 • 16:23
Director of SWEA, Elin Sundstrom with her daughter Isabella
With so much chaos currently happening around the world, a glimmer of hope currently shines bright within the sunshine coast of Spain.
On the evening of Thursday, November 2, The Swedish Women’s Education Association Marbella (SWEA) held their ‘Night Of Hope’. This night was a charity dinner to ‘celebrate the resilience of humanity’, and was organised to support the social welfare of the Swedish Church on the Costa Del Sol. The goal was to raise funds for the completion of a new centre for therapy and trauma treatments for Ukrainian refugees on the coast.
SWEA is a global network of over 6,000 Swedish-speaking women that spans across more than 30 different countries. It was founded in 1979 and is currently the largest non profit organisation outside Sweden that promotes the Swedish language, culture, and its traditions. SWEA provides a strong personal network, as well as valuable support to the Swedish industry abroad.
This non profit organisation grants over 200,000 euros yearly in donations and scholarships.
The charity evening dinner took place at Tikitano, a beautiful restaurant that sits just by the sea, offering spectacular views and filled with contemporary decor. A champagne reception awaited guests, as they each arrived in glittering dresses and shining shoes. They had the opportunity to chance their luck on a lottery ticket for certain prizes, and as the building continued to fill, many groups of old and new friends met and mingled in groups around the room. Some guests had even travelled a long way for the event, with one Swedish resident, Annica Stathaun, admitting to Euro Weekly News that she had already “fallen in love” with Spain and was planning how she might move here.
The intention of the evening was made clear with the blue and yellow colours of Ukraine popping up in touches everywhere. Blue and yellow ribbons were tied around the seats, the smart waitstaff donned these colours also, pinned to their shirts, and the hostess at the entrance even wore a Ukrainian inspired blue and yellow headpiece for the occasion. However, the most prominent and evocative representation of Ukraine came from the art pieces by Elena Mulyar that were on display. These images, which included a woman being blindfolded by the Ukrainian colours, served as a reminder of the purpose of all this glitz and glam, with them also being available to purchase, proceeds of which went to the fund.
Director of SWEA Marbella, Elin Sundstrom, went about each group as all were eager to congratulate her on this impressive event. Accompanying her was her daughter, Isabella, and both looked gorgeous in beautiful evening dresses.
As guests took to their seats, the event began with a welcome speech, thanking all for their attendance, before the compère, Nicole King, took to the stage in a fabulous gown. She introduced Anders Roos from the Swedish Church of the Costa del Sol, who delivered some valuable words to the audience, and as he exited to applause, the appetisers were served.
Nicole commented to Euro Weekly News that “the service was fantastic”, with plates of creamy croquettes, flame braised carpaccio and typical Spanish queso manchego being just some of the cuisine that was served.
Maryana Kasiv Gurak from MAYDAN and Elena Muylar, the photographer, then took to the stage and gave their speeches, before the lively music of ‘Jenny Velvet’ and her band was introduced and brought the already buzzing atmosphere up even higher.
Aside from the gourmet food, FASHION was the next thing on the menu, as ‘Gunnels Fashion’ began to strut their stuff. Nicole, who is clearly a fashionista herself, expressed to EWN that she was impressed with the fashion show, saying that the clothes were “fantastic”.
After the presentation of the raffle prizes, the marvellous mind behind this generous occasion, Director Elin Sundstrom was introduced. Elin deeply thanked all who had attended, expressing gratitude not just on behalf of herself and SWEA, but also all of those who would now benefit from the valuable work that will come from the funds raised.
Jenny Velvet and her band then returned to the stage, as a chocolatey dessert was served and many guests took to the dancefloor! Nicole described the atmosphere as being “all joyous, all dancing”, and as the band departed and the DJ started, the singing and swaying carried on into the night.
The evening was an immense success with around 5,000 euros being raised for this incredible cause.
SWEA Marbella continues its honourable work throughout the coast, connecting women and helping those in need. For details on the upcoming events in November or any further information, check out their Facebook, SWEA Marbella, Costa Del Sol, or their website, swea.org .
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Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.
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