The butterfly effect or working at Funkibator

– Meggy Travairs

“The butterfly effect : a situation in which an action or change that does not seem important has a very large effect, especially in other places or around the world.” 
Definition of butterfly effect from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press.

Funkibator is a small but not so small organisation. From the outside, it looks tiny. From the inside, it’s another story. Several people are working to create the magic. What kind of magic? The one you have probably no idea about! Even me, I didn’t know until recently. 

Welcome to Funkibator! An organisation that helps the world to be better! If you want to know more, follow me on my journey. 

Everything starts by understanding who and how the organisation is working. At the head, three people: Fia, Pia, and Stefan. They are the one who decide, plan, and control that all and sundry are in place. 

Fia is the manager. She knows every single thing about SIP Home (the umbrella organisation that regroups all the others such as Funkibator, Globala Kronoberg, or PIX). An activity idea? A party to plan? Something to be built in SIP Home? Ask Fia. She is more than welcome to help you with what traverses your mind. As for Funkibator, Fia is the one scheduling all the activities that are happening inside the house. She is a very handcrafts person and likes to help you create things with your hands. She is also a good reminder of inclusion. This word defines SIP. It is SIP. While walking through each room of the SIP building, it’s the first trait that appears. Everyone is welcome, no matter your background, your disability, or your sexual preference for instance. 

Pia is the queen of gardening. Funkibator has implanted a greenhouse near the car park of the SIP building. It’s a cosy place, full of plants, where you can rest (little tip: it’s a good place to take a fika while enjoying the daylight). With her, I’m taking care of the whole vegetables and flowers. I’m learning a lot. Recently, a green station has also taken place inside the house in a big open space called Universalen. Some watering plants systems have been installed. Soon, some salad and basilica should be ready to consummate! Each person that is entering the building is warmly received and accepted if they want to help us to take care of these green spaces. 
Pia is also an illustrator. She has illustrated many Funkibator books. Yes, the organisation is also a publisher. All the books that are produced by Funkibator depict a story where the main character has a particularity that makes them stronger. I’ll give you the privilege to discover it by yourself. Recommendation from the specialist: KATTastrof – Godisregn och städsugarmonster, written by Fia Sjöstrand and illustrated by Theo Johannesson. 

Last but not least, Stefan. His brain never stops, this man has a lot of ideas! He is working on the different stations that are opening at Universalen such as the clay one. With Fia and Pia, he helps with the human resources and on how to put together the perfect working environment. Stefan goes from schools to social places to educate people on disabilities (ADHD, autism, wheelchair, etc.). It’s an important part of Funkibator as well as the boutique.
Surprise? Funkibator owns a shop inside the SIP home to provide specific products such as electronic wheelchairs, small items that simplify the life of people with difficulties, etc. The shop also has a renting system that offers the possibility to have a bike for a moment. Everything can be delivered directly in front of your door. Frederik is the man in charge of the boutique and the books’ delivery. No one knows more about this part of Funkibator than him. 

Another person should be introduced here as well: Olga. She is working in Funkibator as an activity leader. Every Saturday, she proposes a painting class for free to every single person that wishes to learn. She is also in charge of helping Ukrainians refugees to integrate into Swedish society. Helping Ukrainians that are living in Sweden is also a main task of Funkibator. Nowadays, more and more Ukrainians are visiting SIP home to discover what is possible for them to do in this country. It’s a chance for them to meet each other and be out of their daily life. Recently, Funkibator had his first furniture delivery to a Ukrainian refugee that didn’t have a lot inside his flat. You can’t imagine how this it’s changing his life! 

Lukas and Karin are also two important characters working for Funkibator. They help Stefan to educate people on disabilities and they are also in charge of creating social links between people. Every week, they organize an online social group where people are invited to talk about a decided topic. It offers the opportunity to people to socialize, especially for the ones who can’t go out easily. Some people that are joining are living in Stockholm! It’s three hours by train from Växjö! It is amazing, isn’t it?

And me in all of this? What are my missions as a volunteer? I’m here mainly to support everyone. Fia with the activities, Stefan with Universalen organisation, Frederik with the deliveries (yes, I’m the one who drives with my best friend: the box trailer), Olga with the Ukrainians refugees, etc. My tasks are pretty simple. Remember how I told you in my previous article that this Funkibator project regroups all the things I hate to do in a workplace? It’s true in a way but there is one thing that makes me like going to work every day, it’s the happiness of people that Funkibator and I are helping by doing these small, little, and simple tasks. Yes, I complain a lot (apparently, it’s a French thing) but in fact, I like what I’m doing. If never you ever pass by SIP, you will probably see me running in the whole building. If not, I’m probably on the road to deliver something, or at my desk organizing my schedule for the weeks coming. Time to time, I’m taking care of the dogs at TLC (another organisation inside SIP). Anyway, I am more than happy to help if needed. 

To the next volunteer that will follow in a few months: be prepared to be stopped by everyone to help them doing something. Be grateful and do so. You will discover the best feeling in the world: bringing a smile to people’s faces. 

Here is the Butterfly effect: from the outside, you might think that Funkibator is not doing something hard, really significant; but in reality, it changes the life of so many people. Sometimes, it can be tough, and you will feel that you are useless (particularly when your tasks are slowing done) but keep in mind that you are on the ball.