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? Our last part –
Part 5 Giving meaning to our lives
Editor: What are the upcoming projects for CFA in the short and long-term? What is the vision for this place?
Anna: My vision in the short-term in Centrum för Alla is to interact harder with those people that already working with us. We can always improve our communication lines with them and do better. These past years CFA has been up and running in Söderhamn, I feel we are today 100%. Where we are supposed to be. It give me a nice feeling of satisfaction. We have many people that cooperate with us, pretty fluidly, so we can definitely improve.
In the long-term, we have much to do. Our plan is the raise Centrum för Alla all over, both in Sweden and internationally.
It doesn’t necessary have to be exactly like this place, a physical one but the holistic model of integration. I like to get gather people who have passion for this kind of work. For instance if someone comes and asks me how should this be done Anna, then I like to say, ‘I don’t want to tell you how it should be done, I want us all to give our own values into it.‘ Put our own passion into the bucket.
We can make something out of that. What I say and what I think is not the only way. It is all of us who will make this. So for me it is important in a long term when it comes to CFA to actually have that holistic model with many different kinds of people working, including other companies, organizations, regional municipality and others. After that, build bridges internationally so we can cooperate.
That is my vision in the long term. But what is long term for me might not so long for others. A long term for me would be maximum 3 years. To be honest we really don’t have the time. Every second we are sitting down here talking here in this room we have children dying, youth doing terrible actions, don’t even mention the grown-ups that are behaving so badly in many kind of ways. We have old people suffering in a bad way, we don’t have the time to take a decision for the decision which might be a decision in 10 years. We have to act now!
Editor: So now lets move away from Centrum för Alla. What do you do in your time away from here, from work and your profession life. Who is Anna at home?
Anna: I really love to decorate, yes and I make my own designs by creating candle holders using glass. I also do wall decorations. When I am doing things like this I am using creativity, I am not using the half of my brain that does problem solving but the one that is dealing with art.
I am totally in the here and now. My brain is just working with the forms and the colors to make the beauty of it. Trays for cakes. That is what I do if I have free time, I create things for my home. I also like to paint and draw, and when I am not doing that I am reading. Put a book in my hand, and I disappear from the world. I had always been like that, ‘oh Anna is in her reading bubble‘ people would say when they see me. I don’t even hear sounds. I think it is good, you let your imagination create a reality. That is why I don’t like watching movies made from books. I read this book once, ‘Molly and me‘, about this couple who buy a dog, the woman in a relationship suggested that she would like to be a parent. So she wanted to see if they can handle raising a dog. Then they would be able to have a child of their own. I was on vacation, reading this book to Egypt, and I laughed and cried the whole trip, esp in the end because it finished too fast for me. Needless to say, I didn’t see much of where I was vacationing because of that book!
Sometimes I like to lay down on the sofa and watch movies but not a lot since I don’t have the time.
I love to spend time with my friends as well, cause I love them very much. My time is very limited, all the time. Those friends I have in my life understand that and even if I don’t keep in touch they know when we do get to meet we can enjoy ourselves.
I love cooking food, I am a foodie, I think we should all cook food together and spread the joy!
I love to spend time by the sea. That is where I get all my energy. It is a place to live and be. I love to be there. . .
Editor: Don’t you sometimes wish you had a clone?
Anna: Yes, I need 5! One of the things I don’t like people saying to me is ‘Anna you have to slow down, you need to take care of yourself.‘ I know it is coming from a place of love. But you know, if more people put in more of an effort then I would not need to work so much and that is the main problem I think. I don’t like people around me to have too big egos. Selfishness is a character I also don’t like as well.
Having an ego is good, to a certain limit. For instance, how can people feel good with themselves when they buy a car for half a million kronors, when we have people who can’t even afford to put food in the stomach. For me it is impossible to understand and drive that car and feel good about yourself. When did we become so selfish? How did it happen?
Of course I think people should have money, they can have the entire money in the world, do whatever you want. But if you have so much money then just share a little bit for someone else who might not be so lucky. For me it is very simple to share. Come on, look at Centrum för alla. If I was selfish like that then I would be doing another thing. Over here we are giving, sharing, to be bigger and stronger together. And we are, I think we are beautiful.
Editor: Final thoughts?
Anna: I have seen it all. I am so grateful that I am having this experience from life. Do something that many people said was undo-able, and we made it. But at the same time it is unfair to say we are done. I want all of us to do things together from the heart that is good for all of us. I want to see more and more people interacting together. . . There is much to say about CFA, but some good news is coming up pretty soon. . . we are laying the foundations for the pipelines to expand further, physically I mean, very soon.
Helping people have value in their lives is our core principle and we are going to do that more and more every day. . . .
Editor: Thank you Anna for giving some of your precious time. Great to be en-lighted more by you, lots of love!