‘The People’s Daughter’
Focus on members of Centrum för Alla
Anna Idell – Chief and Founder
Part 1 – Understanding the world as a child
As a journalist I have been taking a look at Centrum för alla, what it is, what it does and who are the people behind its success. As part of my focus on members of CFA, I tried to give an essence of everybody here, the people that are the core of the organization.
So that I and everyone else can know more about them and what drives them. Today, finally in one of my last installments of the series I have the queen herself, Anna Idell, which is not only the main chief and founder of Centrum för Alla but is the direct manifestation of this company.
It’s her dreams, thoughts, visions, tears and energy that has taken form into what we see today. It has been a pleasure being by her side and taking in a bit of who she really is, going inside the mind of someone truly unique and different.
Now without further ado here is our very candid conversation with her. Anna gives a voice to everyone it seems, time to give her own! After all, who can better to explain about her and her ideas than herself?
Understanding the world as a child
As I tried to follow Anna on her day to day activities, it was a bewildering experience to say the least! For example today she is having meetings with political heads from the municipality, yesterday it was separate meeting with a new LGBTQ group to be formed as well as newcomers to Sweden from that community trying to find different accommodations and adapting to their new situation. Running around with her I decided I didn’t need to enroll into a gym, I am getting all the physical and mental exercise right here with Anna!
Editor: Welcome Anna Idell to our International Media office. Great to have you and finally we get to talk with the queen herself after focusing on other members of Centrum för Alla. We got to know everybody and what they were doing and now we get to the real treat. For our international readers can you tell us who you are and describe yourself, who is Anna Idell?
Anna:- Thank you Milly! Well, I am 41 years old, living in Söderhamn with my son, Phillip. I have two dogs and 4 cats. I really love animals, ever since I was a little kid. My father always said, when I was little child, “Anna you can’t be the entire world’s ‘Florence Nightingale‘,” cause if I find a sick animal, even if it was just an injured bird, it didn’t matter what it was, I brought it home. It’s true, I even had frogs, everything that needed to be taken care of, I brought it home. Poor, poor Mama and Pappa that had to deal with this! (laughs)
Editor: So by nature you are a loving person, even when you were little.
Anna: You know when I was just 7 years old, I got diagnosed with diabetes and that meant I spend a lot of time at the hospital at that young age. Every time I went there the doctor taking care of me, would say, ‘oh here is the entire hospital’s sunshine, the sun is coming home again!
I have always been like this, love and happiness is the values I lived with since I was very little. Of course, it also meant a lot of pain growing up as well, as you know the world is not always kind and beautiful all the time. It can be a cruel place, but I recognized that very early on. Like, how people isolate others from their circles and I didn’t like it, even then at that early age.
For instance, if I saw children being bullied at school I always invite them to join me and take part in anything I was doing with my friends. And many times my friends would say ‘we can’t be with that person, she smells funny or that person is dressed in outdated clothing and so on‘, and I really didn’t understand why they would exclude them like that. I would tell them that is so mean!
There was one particular girl I remember, they were especially mean to her. So I brought her to my home and showed her my closet and said, ‘here, be free and take whatever you want to’ and she said, ‘what?!’ and I was like, ‘Yes, you should have something else different, I can understand that it is not fun for you all the time with what you have.‘ And then she said that it was painful and hard for her since they were 7 to 8 children in the house and the only clothes she got was ‘hand me downs’ from her older siblings.
That was the reason she didn’t have stylish clothes that the kids around her wore, cause her parents couldn’t afford to get her new ones.
Editor: How old were you then?
Anna: I was about 9 or 10 years old then. But I understood right away that this was not right, I felt the pain of her and also understood why the other kids noticed her difference.
Editor: We have a lot bases to cover but the story you are telling me from your childhood is important and if we fast-forward to today where you are personally working on projects with children being bullied in schools, it really is a personal matter as you were a witness to it at a young age and felt the sensitives around it.
Anna: Yes of course! I still remember it like yesterday. When I see the world around me and how others interact, how they actually divide some people because of the way they acted or dressed or something else, I didn’t like it then and most certainly don’t like it today.
But to get back to who I am, its very hard to explain but simply put, I love life, every second of it cause I truly believe we are the creators of our own reality and I created every bit of mine. I enjoy living life, that is what I do every day. I love animals, I love children and people. I love life. So pretty much I am a happy person!
Editor- We will continue tomorrow with ‘The People’s Daughter‘, Part 2 – “We must stand for the children”.