The King and Queen of Sweden visit Give Something Back to Berlin

Give Something Back to Berlin was honoured to receive some very special guests last week: King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

In their first state visit to Germany in over 14 years, which they’re doing to highlight and strengthen the Swedish-German collaboration and innovation, they decided to make a stop at our Neukölln office as part of their program. A combination of GSBTB’s founder Annamaria being Swedish, our award winning method and (hard hard) work, and Sweden and Germany’s role in welcoming refugees last year, made a visit to GSBTB a must.

GSBTB Founder Annamaria Olsson speaks with King Carl XVI Gustaf.

The delegation included Åsa Regnér, the Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality in the Swedish parliament. We were joined by Dilek Kolat, Berlin Senator for Work, Integration and Women, as well as the founder of Sharehaus Refugio (where GSBTB lives), Sven Lager, and the Berlin City Mission Director Joachim Lenz.

Queen Silvia meets a family living in Sharehaus Refugio.

We invited our guests to join a GSBTB Open Art Shelter workshop, where volunteers and families were painting and making crafts. Queen Silvia was presented with festive paper flowers and decorations, as well as her very own paper crown from one of our youngest community members.

We then invited the delegation for a chat with our kick-ass Syrian volunteers Rama, Kamal and Wael from Aleppo and Damascus. Together with the King, the Queen, Berlin Senator Dilek Kolat minister Åsa Regnér, we talked about GSBTB and what better integration can and SHOULD look like.

It was very exciting to have welcomed such distinguished guests and we feel very proud to have been recognised in this way.