connect, grow & thrive.

LiLi Centre Annual General Meeting

On January 26th we held our annual general and want to share what was said with our readership

Another successful year, and the centre is now barrelling towards its 4th birthday as it continues to grow. Save the date for June 6th!

Looking back on last year’s goals we managed to reach several of them.

We are now one organisation Livingin under which the LiLi Centre operates, this is visible with our new website and when the integration of the LiLi centre website will be fully completed there will be one address to go to for all things about living here and what’s on at our centre.

We continue to grow our presence in Switzerland but also abroad and this year we received visits from dignitaries from South Korea and North America interested in finding out how our centre runs; we are also signing partnerships with various organisations all over the world most recently with The Emmanuel Ivorgba Foundation in Nigeria. Our goal continues to be promoting the successful integration of immigrants. This April I have been invited by the organisation Sietar to talk at a symposium on ”The Future of Inclusion” in Yverdons les Bains. This will be a great networking opportunity for the organisation.

Our programmes continue to evolve and grow too, we recently launched the Newly Single Support Group which will now meet fortnightly to help people deal with the emotional toll of their separation and the legalities of divorcing in Switzerland. We also have a teenie life hack series, a women’s health group, and a men’s group to name but a few and, of course, our gala was a big success.

One of our visions last year was to start a mental health initiative, connecting practitioners from all nationalities in a national database. We are now in talks with the Red Cross to co-run this project with them, a partnership we are thrilled to be having.

Whereas we have managed to continue to grow, providing ever more services, unfortunately one of our goals has not been reached: having enough funds to employ people to run the centre. This means that we have had to say goodbye to talented people as they have taken jobs elsewhere and we continue to struggle to fill some of the main roles.

On a personal level this means that I am currently having to wear many hats and am finding it quite a challenge.

We are hoping to apply for and receive a not for profit status which should help people to claim back their donations. We really need help finding more funding to continue to run the centre without the stress of finding financing.

On the brighter side we now have a volunteer coordinator meaning that the centre is guaranteed to be open from 9 to 1 and will as of February also be open on Saturday mornings.

In conclusion the LiLi Centre continues to be a centre of value for the community at large. Our partnerships continue to grow and our outreach is expanding across borders, but none of this would be possible without the help of our volunteers and a dedicated core team.

charlie.hartmann@livinginluzern.swiss

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.

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