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Former beggars wrapping mall Christmas presents

Published tisdag 22 december 2015 kl 15.45
"We're happy to have jobs instead of begging."
(2:02 min)
EU migrants wrapping Christmas presents, Photo: Rafal Szoppe. SR Radio Romano
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EU migrants wrapping Christmas presents, Photo: Rafal Szoppe. SR Radio Romano
Brothers Burtca Torin and Burtca Kelimbar are two of those wrapping Christmas presents as part of the Stockholm City Mission project, Photo: Rafal Szoppe. SR Radio Romano
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Brothers Burtca Torin and Burtca Kelimbar are two of those wrapping Christmas presents as part of the Stockholm City Mission project, Photo: Rafal Szoppe. SR Radio Romano

In a shopping center in Uppsala, north of Stockholm, Three homeless EU migrants are wrapping customers’ Christmas presents. It’s part of an initiative by the Uppsala City Mission called “EU migrants as a resource”, aimed at helping them find alternatives to begging.

Mihaela Suleap is with the Uppsala City Mission:

“We’re trying to help EU migrants who have no source of income,” she tells Radio Sweden. “Those who are begging or collecting bottles for their deposits, to get a job.”

Mihaela Suleap says it’s important to give a chance to everyone who wants to work:

“They’re very nice people who are willing to work, who need a chance for a real job, even if it is short-term,” she says.

The migrants who are wrapping presents say they are happy to have the opportunity, even if it is only for a short period. Two of them are the brothers Burtca Torin and Burtca Kelimbar:

“We’re glad to have jobs instead of begging and collecting bottles,” they say. “But it’s too bad it’s only for seven days, before Christmas. But we get clean working clothes and get to shower and wash ourselves here in the shopping center. We hope other malls will do the same thing.”

There’s a long line of shoppers waiting to get their presents wrapped, but most of them probably don’t know the wrappers are EU migrants.

“That’s wonderful, that’s wonderful, I’m very positive,” one of those waiting says when we tell him.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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