2017-04-18

The Childhood bracelet – in many ways, the most valuable bracelet in the world

The money raised through the sale of Childhood bracelets goes to support our work to prevent violence and sexual abuse of children and to help people with disabilities find jobs. Childhood bracelets are manufactured at Samhall’s production unit in Spånga, outside Stockholm, creating job opportunities for approximately four people every day. 

Samhall’s production unit is located in an industrial park outside Stockholm. The unit is responsible for producing goods for 40 customers. This is where the colorful Childhood bracelets are made. Over the years, nearly 170,000 bracelets have been produced. Sales of Childhood bracelets have not only generated SEK 13.6 million, which has been reinvested in Childhood’s work to prevent violence and sexual abuse of children, but also helped to create numerous job opportunities. Jimmy Wallmo works as site manager at the unit in Spånga and it is his coworkers who are responsible for the production of the Childhood bracelets. On an average day, there are usually four people working on the bracelets. “Making these bracelets means a lot to us. Samhall and Childhood represent something that is good and altruistic. The work is also a great fit for our employees,” says Jimmy Wallmo.

Focus on individual development

Samhall employs and trains people with functional impairments. The aim is for the employees to develop as individuals and be able to leave Samhall within three years and continue with their working lives. Samhall currently has 23,000 employees and units located across Sweden. All employees have a manager who assists them in their training and development and ultimately in finding a job outside Samhall. Jimmy Wallmo is responsible for 40 employees at the production unit in Spånga in northern Stockholm. “No two days are the same here. The best part of the job is helping people to develop, seeing them succeed and start to believe in themselves. That’s what warms my heart the most. I get along brilliantly with my employees,” he says.

All systems go at the bracelet factory

In one of the premises at the unit in Spånga, the beads are flying off the shelves. The work benches are covered with beads, sorted by color to make it easier for the employees making the bracelets. Dan Fredriksson has been helping to make Childhood bracelets for a couple of months. “I have to be able to sit while I’m working after being involved in a car accident. The best part about the job is being able to organize the work myself, work at my own pace and work on my fine motor skills,” explains Dan.

On a good day, he makes 30 to 40 bracelets and then passes them on to the person responsible for tying them. There are usually four people working on the Childhood bracelets every day, three doing the beadwork and one tying the bracelets. Juana Olave has worked at Samhall for 20 years and has been involved in making the Childhood bracelets since production first began. One of Juana’s jobs is to tie the bracelets, which she does quickly.

“Sometimes, when necessary, I can tie as many as 300 per day,” Juana says and laughs.

Along with Azehar Afetakteh who is training to become a supervisor, Juana is responsible for all the practical details involved in making the Childhood bracelets. “We try to create the best possible conditions for everyone involved in making the bracelets. So everyone is given a task that suits them. That’s the most important thing,” says Azehar Afetakhteh.

Text: Sofia NIlsson