Over the weekend, the world-renowned Swedish bullying prevention organization Friends launched its first U.S. office in Denver with an event headlined by Colorado Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog.
For nearly 20 years, Friends has led the fight against bullying in Sweden. Now the organization and its effective bullying prevention methods are expanding to the United States.
The choice of Colorado as the first U.S. location reflects the commitment to the anti-bullying cause of one famous Coloradan with Swedish roots.
“No child should have to be bullied,” says Gabriel Landeskog, captain of the Colorado Avalanche and native of Sweden. “That’s why I am so pleased that Friends, the organization I am so passionate about, and for which I serve as an ambassador, is now established in both my home countries.”
Landeskog was the keynote speaker at the Friends Colorado launch event on Saturday evening in Denver.
Friends established itself as the leading organization for bullying prevention in Sweden by honing methods and collaborating closely with researchers.
“Bullying is a global problem and we need to collaborate internationally to achieve the best results,” says Lars Arrhenius, secretary general of Friends. “Our new office in Denver is part of our plan for international expansion to improve the lives of children who suffer from bullying, as well as to strengthen partnerships with international researchers to build additional knowledge.”
Friends Colorado will establish partnerships with youth sports clubs and schools throughout Colorado. Already, the organization has partnered with Colorado Amateur Hockey Association and its 35 youth hockey clubs to prevent bullying, and to reinforce values of teamwork, mutual respect and kindness in youth sports.
“Bullying is a harsh reality for too many of our kids, but Friends’ educational methods can greatly improve their situation,” says Pernilla Ravik Johnson, president of Friends Colorado. “Fighting bullying requires all of our efforts, and working together we can create change.”
For information about Friends Colorado please visit www.friendscolorado.org