A Fair and Human World
Our vision is a fair and human world. We contribute by providing listening skills and leadership training for individuals and groups committed to improving life conditions here on earth.
We provide emotional self-help tools for human aid workers, activists and politically engaged people, and the people they work for.
Listeners Without Borders is a Swedish NGO. We work in both developed and developing countries. Read about our projects here.
Change the World – by Listening Well
Have you ever been so frustrated and angry with someone that you couldn’t think straight?
Have you ever felt the urge to give up, because greater powers than your organization once again failed to see the importance of your work or your position?
Have you ever felt alone in pulling people together, motivating and inspiring them to achieve important goals?
Then you are probably a person committed to some kind of social or political work.
Everyone Needs to Talk
Did you ever have the fortune to have a good friend or a relative listen to you while you talked about your frustrations? If your friend was a thoughtful listener, then you were probably able to air some of your frustration and because of that develop a more constructive perspective on the situation.
You probably know how good it can feel after you have aired your anger or cried from grief or frustration. We all think better when we have someone listen to us in a friendly manner.
Every human being needs to talk. When something good happens to us, most of us can not wait to tell others about it. When something bad happens we might not be that eager to talk, but once we do, we experience relief.
No One Really Listens
But since we all need to talk, we tend to be occupied thinking of what to say ourselves instead of really listening.
With the tools we provide, you learn to exchange attention with people around you. You take turns listening to each other in a way that empowers both of you. As you grow confident with the method and safe with each other, you can do more than just listening to empower the person you listen to.
Our method also works well to get groups to build a trusting cooperative working climate.
Partners & Projects
Below you find examples of what we have been involved in so far.
If you want to cooperate with us, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are open to collaboration with any organization that works on the basis of all human beings equal value. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
European Social Forum
At the European Social Forum in Malmö, Sweden, in 2008, we co-arranged workshops around racism. (Read more about it in a Swedish newspaper.)
Here are the topics of the workshops:
- Listening as a Tool in Ending Racism and other Oppressions
- Listening as One Tool in Social Trans-formation
- Listening as a Tool for Ending War
- East/West Relationships and Alliances
- Uniting People Targeted by Racism
- The Role of White People in Ending Racism
- Strategies Against Racism
Pretoria, South Africa
In 2006 and 2007, Fredrik Eklöf performed listening skills workshops on internalized racism and sexism for Human Rights Development Initiative. The participants were lawyers from all over Africa, providing free legal services primarily in HIV-related cases.
A male lawyer reported the second year, in 2007, that before he had always dismissed clients who cried: “Come back when you can present your matter in a rational way”, he used to say. After the first year’s workshop, he had started to let them keep crying while they told their story.
“I get a lot more important information that help their case. And even though my colleagues are available people have started to line up to see me, because they want to be listened to.”
One of the lawyers said: “We really need these listening tools in Rwanda.”
That comment led Fredrik to found Listeners Without Borders, as a way of providing listening skills training for individuals and groups.
NGO Managers, Windhoek, Namibia
In September 2013, we gave workshops in Windhoek, Namibia. Participants came from:
- Positive Vibes
- Legal Assistance Center, LAC
- LaRRI Namibia, LaborResource & Research Institute
- NAPPA, Namibian Planned Parenthood Association
- OutRight Namibia
Women’s & Children’s Rights in Rural Kunene, Namibia
Listeners Without Borders provide training and support for Pots of Hope´s volunteers and trainers in using listening skills in their daily work.
Gender Listening Action Groups, Kabul
A project we have created together with Shuhada Organization and Gawharshad University in Kabul, Afghanistan.
In order to meet our partners, we went to Kabul in August 2015. We also held series of workshops for female leaders and peace mediators there. The openness and willingness to make changes we saw, gave us a lot of hope.
Together, we train female and male students to form grass root groups that widen the gender norms around them. The groups use gender knowledge and listening skills to promote gender equality around them.
Our project Gender Listening Action Groups in Afghanistan is supported by Forum Syd.
The Future Generation
Framtidsgenerationen (The Future Generation) promotes an open and more forward looking society, against xenophobia, fear and violence. We assist them in designing workshops for teenagers and young adults, and we will conduct inclusion workshops for businesses that want to train their staff and support Framtidsgenerationen at the same time.