Diversity Inclusive Representation Children's books Storytelling Inclusivity Reading events Diversity in literature Children's literature Community involvement Educational initiatives Diversity-oriented readings Sofia Hallström Contes Au Pluriel project BØWIE incubator program
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January 2, 2024
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The Beautiful Story of "Contes Au Pluriel", by Sofia Hallström

Geneva's "Contes Au Pluriel," founded by Sofia Hallström, is an innovative project that brings a refreshing wave of diversity into the realm of children's literature. This initiative, currently in its fourth month under the BØWIE incubator program, is a vibrant example of social entrepreneurship aimed at enriching the queer community.

The inspiration for Contes Au Pluriel took root when Hallström, as a new parent, recognized a stark lack of diversity in the books she read to her child. This lack extended beyond racial and ethnic representation, encompassing LGBT families and characters with various abilities. Determined to address this gap, she embarked on a mission to bring more inclusive stories to children, stories that reflect the true diversity of the world they live in. Contes Au Pluriel goes beyond just providing books; it is an active endeavor to engage and educate. The initiative sells specially curated book bundles to individuals, institutions, and even waiting rooms, ensuring that these inclusive stories reach a broad audience.

Moreover, Hallström organizes interactive reading events, which are a blend of storytelling, activities, and learning experiences for children. These events often include diverse activities like drawing and painting, alongside the main focus of reading. The chosen books cover a range of topics, from body diversity to non-conforming gender roles, encouraging children to embrace diversity in all its forms. The project also extends its impact through the education of professionals and collaborations with enterprises, further embedding its values into the community.

Hallström's passion is evident in her dedication to these events, often leading the reading sessions herself. She believes in creating an experience that goes beyond just reading a book; it's about immersing the children in a world where diversity is celebrated and normalized. The project faces challenges such as curating a diverse library of high-quality books and managing financial constraints.Hallström's vision for Contes Au Pluriel is deeply personal. She noticed the stereotypical roles in children's books and the absence of characters that resembled her family or depicted a broader spectrum of society. This realization led her to understand the importance of representation in literature: if children cannot see themselves in stories, they might feel invisible in the larger world. Through her project, Hallström aims to ensure that every child feels seen, heard, and valued. Despite the challenges, Hallström is determined to expand the reach and impact of Contes Au Pluriel. She encourages community involvement through event participation, donations, and volunteering. She also advocates for the introduction of diversity-oriented readings in educational institutions, furthering the project's mission.

Contes Au Pluriel is more than just a project; it's a movement towards a more inclusive world, starting with the stories we tell our children. Under the guidance of Sofia Hallström and supported by the BØWIE incubator program, it stands as a testament to the power of representation and the importance of embracing diversity in all its forms. As it progresses through its incubation period, Contes Au Pluriel continues to inspire and foster a sense of belonging in children, one diverse story at a time.


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