"With the advice and guidance of the staff of International Citizen Hub Lund, I managed to join “Erikshjälpen - Second Hand Lund City”, where I found happiness and a place to brush up Swedish language skills and learn more about the Swedish culture. It’s a fun place to volunteer my services with some amazing people around whom I work with, undoubtedly became my second home. It is where I started productively utilizing my time to serve an admired charity organization and found many great friends."
Having many hurdles and challenges in the year of 2020 especially during a global pandemic, I still do remember the day I wrote to International Citizen Hub Lund, with a great anticipation that they could help me out in finding a suitable job. I was absolutely in need and desperate to find a job, it was just after four days of myself arriving at Lund in Sweden. A brand-new city for me but I really adore especially the medieval type of structures and the compact nature of the city compared to some of the other bigger cities and places I’ve been.
However I managed to get an appointment for a drop-in session the day coincided with the day International Citizen Hub Lund celebrated their 5th anniversary and it was a special written all over and in fact it was my first ever "fika" session, something I’ve heard about, but this was my first ever experience of it. I enjoyed it and started to practice this popular Swedish tradition!
With the advice and guidance of the staff of International Citizen Hub Lund, I managed to join “Erikshjälpen - Second Hand Lund City”, where I found happiness and a place to brush up Swedish language skills and learn more about the Swedish culture. It’s a fun place to volunteer my services with some amazing people around whom I work with, undoubtedly became my second home. It is where I started productively utilizing my time to serve an admired charity organization and found many great friends.
As the team of International Citizen Hub Lund guided me, I started networking, explored many places and shops around Lund, spoke and managed to connect to many people from different walks of life and I’ve found really nice people in this lovely city of Lund.
Sara and Cristina at the Bric.a.Brac embraced me and my creativity, we got connected with mutual interest, and accepted to sell my handmade painted cards that was very encouraging. Whilst I have focused on my Fashion designing career for nearly 10 years before I relocated to Lund, but I haven’t had much time to spend on my creative thoughts and ideas since of late. But with my artistic talents and skills, I explored the city almost every day and identified people with similar interests. Then I have also embarked on abstract paintings and eventually ended up tying up in a collaboration with one of the biggest Galleries in Lund, The Kliger Gallery. This pave the way to unleash my brand "Bella Bimba" which included many other eco friendly, sustainable products i.e. needle felted wool toys, hand embroidered leather -bracelets, water-colour painting naturally dyed women's wear are some of the items to name a few that inspired me to work on my entrepreneur skills.
The fact that I am a creative artist and a professional Fashion /Graphic designer specializing in kids wear, also I consider myself as a passionate learner in every aspect, and this has helped me to continually grow professionally. As a passionate International designer with more than 9 years of experience working for UK Europe and USA clothing brands, I am currently in a pursuit of finding my next career break towards a full time Job. Meanwhile I do take up freelance assignment.
I strongly would recommend anyone who is new and old to be in touch with International Citizen Hub Lund as they truly dedicated and professionally can help you with great tips, advice and guidance that you need the most. I also made lots of friends including someone who has the same taste and creativity all the way from Canada who is also an entrepreneur, who in fact have given me so much courage and cheered me up especially when had almost given up on job hunting during the pandemic.
Last but not least, a quick tip! When you are in a new land respect its culture and way of life, and invest some time to learn the culture and language. You’ll find new avenues and opportunities coming your way much sooner than you could imagine!
/ Bimba Shamendra Somathilaka