We will miss you Emma!

My beautiful friend Emma (2022) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

27-09-2022 10:30pm

This is my friend Emma. Before the weekend, my beautiful friend Emma didn’t have the strength to carry on.

Emma was my friend. We hadn't known each other very long. Barely six months and in those six months, I got to know Emma. She was 14 years old. Four years younger than me. Some might think that she was like a little sister. No, she wasn't. Emma was my friend. My friend who I cared a lot about. 

Click here to read more about Emma.

Legoland 12 years later

17-09-2022 11:30 pm

How can the happiness place on earth be also the saddest?

We are a family who have travelled literally all over the world. In 2013, we travelled around the world for an entire year. And yet some of my most cherished childhood memories is from the summer that we spent in Denmark. It has been more than 12 years since we last visited Legoland in Billund. The last family summer vacation that we had with our big sister Sharidyn before she was killed, was our holiday travelling through Denmark in 2010.

Click here to read more about our trip to Legoland.

Best big sister in the world who always knew how to laugh! Sharidyn and our baby sister Sydney (2010) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

Courage to use Our Voice!

Group photo with some of this years delegates and the Mayor of Billund (15-09-2022) Photo credit: CGA

16-09-2022 7:30 am

I truly hope that this blog post may help future delegates and their parents ask the questions that we didn't think we needed to ask. I would be sad if the organisers made the same mistakes next year.

I wish the organisers and sponsers the best of luck for next years Childrens General Assembly. Remember that CGA is about listening to the voices of the children, and not the adults!

Click here to read more about Childrens General Assembly.

Signing the condolence protocol

10-09-2022 4:00 pm

Today as President of the New Zealand Association Norway, I had the honour of signing the protocol of condolence at the British Embassy in Oslo on behalf of New Zealand citizens living in Norway.

In memory of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II and her incredible legacy and remarkable life. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies to Queen Elisabeth's family and all her mourn her.

Click here to read more about Queen Elisabeth II.

Signing the condolence protocol at the British Embassy in Oslo (10-09-2022) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

An extraordinary legacy!

Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II was an extraordinary woman (08-09-2022) Photo credit: Jane Barlow

08-09-2022 7:50 pm

We are deeply saddened by the news of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II passing today, aged 96 years old.

We honour Queen Elisabeth II unwavering 70-year long service and her extraordinary legacy.

Click here to read more.

Ytringsfrihet i 21. århundre!

06-09-2022 10:45 pm

I kveld deltok jeg og foreldrene mine på et flott arrangement i hagen på Aschehoug Villa i Oslo med hovedtema Ytringsfrihet i 21. århundre.

Det var spesielt koselig å kunne slå av en prat med bl.a forsvarssjef Eirik Kristoffersen, Dansk-Kurdisk forfatter og aktivist Sara Omar og forfatter Malin Stensønes for å nevne noen.

Klikk her for å lese mer.

Avbildet sammen med forsvarssjef Eirik Kristoffersen som var en av kveldens paneldeltagere (06-09-2022) Foto: V. Svebakk

Our Voices - Childrens call to action!

Why not choose kindness? It costs absolutely nothing (13-09-2022) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

16-08-2022 11:30 pm

80 children representing 42 countries have come together to co-create our call to action. We represent the 2,2 billion children all over the world whose voices you do not hear. Today we are their microphone.

We call upon you, the UN General Assembly, for change. Can you hear us?

Click here to read more about our manifesto.

Commemorating 22nd July dual terrorist attacks

22-07-2022 06:20 am

How do you remember 22nd July dual terrorist attacks? Most people in Norway are on holiday during the summer month of July. Commemorating the worst day in Norwegian history since WWII is most often memoralised by a photo frame and hearts on Metas Facebook.

11 years on since 22nd July 2011, today is no easier or harder than it was last year when we commemorated the 10 year anniversary. Every year is equally as difficult as the last. As my mum says every year: We have just gotten better at hiding how terribly devastated we are.

Click here to read more.

Remembering my sister Sharidyn (22-07-2022) Photo credit: O. R Bøhn

Happy 25th birthday Sharidyn!

Remembering our beautiful sister (17-07-2022) Photo credit: O. R Bøhn

17-07-2022 8:45 am

10 years of birthdays have passed. No presents to open, no birthday cake to gorge on, no birthday candles to blow out.

The worst week of our year is upon us again.

Click here to read more.

Walking in the footsteps of our ancestors!

04-07-2022 9:40 pm

Straumsnes is a rural farming community where my mum's grandfather and my great-grandfather, Ottar Svebach (born Strømsvåg) family is from.

We visited Straumsnes church and cemetary where my great-great-grandparents, Jørgen and Johanna Strømsvåg and the rest of our ancestors are buried.

Click here to read more.

At our great-great-grandparents, Jørgen and Johanna Strømsvågs grave (04-07-2022) Photo credit: O. R Bøhn

18, now what?

The five most important people in my life (26-06-2022) Photo: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

26-06-2022 10:45 pm

How many 18-year old's don't look forward to turning 18? Each year on my birthday, I can't help not thinking about my sister Sharidyn, its that time of year for us and families like ours. This year is no different. In fact it feels worse than previous years.

Less than a week ago, the Norwegian government unveiled the new 22nd July monument. My birthday which should be a celebration for me and my parents, feels a little more like a funeral wake, inspite of my parents (and my grandparents) numerous attempts to celebrate, surprise, and shower me with their eternal love.

Click here to read more.

Unveiling of the new 22nd July monument

18-06-2022 11:15 pm

Today my family and I attended the unveiling of the new 22nd July monument on the mainland across from the island of Utøya.

For people who have never visited Utøya, it may be difficult to imagine where the new monument is located. Another 22nd July monument?, you may think. The distinct difference with this monument, is this was the first national monument that the Norwegian government had originally planned already in December 2011.

Click here to read more.

My family together with the Secretary-General of Nato, Mr Jens Stoltenberg (18-06-2022) Photo credit: R. Føreland

Gratulerer med dagen!

Sammen med Statsminister Jonas Gahr Støre på 1.mai frokost på Folkets Hus i Drammen (01-05-2022)Foto: V. Svebakk

01-05-2022 5:00 pm

Vi er heldige vi som er født i Norge. 1.mai handler om å hedre de som har gått foran oss, men også om å stake ut kursen for fremtidige generasjoner. Vi skylder våre forfedre at vi fortsetter kampen også for de som en dag kommer etter oss. Vi må aldri ta de frihetene vi har fått for gitt. Vi må aldri gi opp kampen for et mer rettferdig samfunn.

Gratulerer med dagen!

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Lest we forget!

25-04-2022 11:30 pm

Today my family and I commemorated the 107th Anzac Day at the Commonwealth War Graves in Vestre Gravlund, in Oslo.

This year I had the honour of holding the 4th Response speech on behalf of the New Zealand Association Norway. Nerves (and one line in my speech) got the better of me towards the end of my speech.

Click here to read more.

Today I had the privledge of holding 4th Response speech on behalf of the New Zealand Association Norway (25-04-2022) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

#Stand with Ukraine

Pray for Ukraine (2022) Photo credit: Unknown

11-03-2022 07:15 am

Today marks the 18th anniversary of The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism which was established after the Madrid Bombings of 11 March 2004. Each year since 2005, the European Union remembers on this date the victims of terrorist atrocities worldwide.

Click here to read more.

Emeel's debut song: Remembering you

14-01-2022 11:30 pm

Today (another) close friend of our family, Lars Emil Bergum released his debut song, Remembering you.

I feel extremely honoured that I can highlight yet again another up-and-coming Norwegian artist/music producer on my blog.

If you still haven't heard his song, here is your chance!

Click here to read more.

Lars Emil Bergum (2021) Photo credit: L. Bergum

Crown Prince of Norway's first Youth Forum

Presenting my views post-pandemic (30-11-2021) Photo credit: Simen Løvberg Sund, Det kongelige hoff

30-11-2021 11:30 pm

In June I was chosen together with 19 other youths by T.R.H. Crown Prince and Crown Princess Foundation (Kronprinsparets Fond) to participant at the first Youth Forum (Framtidsmøtet) to help raise the voice of Norway's youth.

The Youth Forum was held on 29th - 30th November 2021 at DNB in Bjørvika in Oslo.

The Youth Forum gave us a unique opportunity to discuss current topics and present our views to decision-makers. The theme for the first Youth Forum was: Young people's views on coping with life after a pandemic.

Click here to read more.

We remember the victims of the Kongsberg attacks!

16-10-2021 23:00 pm

This is one of the most difficult blog-posts I have written in a while. I wasn't even sure before now if I would publish it. After talking through the events of the other night with my parents, I decided to publish my thoughts here.

The unthinkable has happened ... again! This time in a neighbouring town, only 40 minutes from my hometown of Drammen.

Click here to read more.

My little sister Sydney beside her beautiful picture she made for Kongsberg (16-10-2021) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

Bruk stemmeretten din!

Mamma og tidligere statsminister, Jens Stoltenberg 5 uker etter 22. Juli terrorhendelsene (2011) Foto: Tore Sandberg

13-09-2021 5:00 pm

Siden jeg kom hjem fra skolen, har vi snakket de siste timene om hva denne dagen betyr for oss som familie. Det er valgdag - og det er beste eksempel på demokrati i praksis, sa mamma.

Alt terroristen forsøkt å ødelegge 22. Juli er hva denne dagen handler om - å bruke stemmeretten er å vise at vi lar ikke terroristen og hans meningsfeller bestemme hvordan vi skal leve i Norge uansett hvem som blir valgt. Det er folket som bestemmer, ikke enkelt individer, forklarte også pappa.

Klikk her for å lese mer.

Life in 2021

05-09-2021 6:30 pm

Alot has changed since I updated this part of my blog although my interests are relatively still the same. The covid-pandemic has had a huge impact on my life-choices, just like for others my age. If the pandemic wasn't enough of a challenge, my dad getting sick put an extra spanner in the works for our family, that we were in no way prepared for.

It has been en emotional roller coaster to watch our dad slowly decline from being physically active in all areas of our family life, to barely being able to get out of bed because he is exhausted from his treatments or in general just tired. I have learn't alot over the past year - about myself but especially how important my family is to me.

Click here to read more.

Together with my dad at Ypsilon in Drammen (2021) Photo credit: V. Svebakk/S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Remembering Sharidyn, Dupe and Birgitte

Remembering Sharidyn, Dupe and Birgitte at Bragernes church (2021) Photo credit: S. Moratti

21-07-2020 17:00 pm

Today, my family and I commemorated 10 year memorial since my sister Sharidyn was killed on the island of Utøya in Norway. The commemoration was held in Bragernes church in Drammen. 

Click here to read about our special memorial for Sharidyn, Dupe and Birgitte.

Meeting with Norway's Prime Minister

24-06-2021 10:30 pm

This afternoon Sydney and I were invited to meet with Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg at the Prime Minister's residence in Oslo.

A little nervous but mostly excited, Sydney and I walked hand-in-hand up to the PM's residence with our parents on each side of us.

Click here to read more.

With my little sister Sydney (24-06-2021) Photo credit: Frode Sunde/Tv2

Our grand-dad singing with Sydney

Sharidyn and our grand-dad Ingvar on her 13th birthday (2010) Photo credit: O.R Bøhn

12-06-2021 10:30 pm

Seconds after I started filming Sydney and grand-dad singing, he suddenly stopped. When I looked at our beautiful grandfather, he was crying, and I stopped filming. Sometimes we forget that our grandfather has lived his long life of almost 88 years, and experienced more loss in his life than I have in mine.

My grandparents have buried both their parents, grandparents, siblings and even worse their own son and grand-daughter, my sister. Grand-dad said that the worse than outliving his family, was having to bury his child and gandchild - and live the life that they should have had. My grand-dad remembers singing Barn av regnbuen with Sharidyn when she was little. After a few moments, our very brave grand-dad started singing with Sydney.

Click here to read more.

Letters that remind us of our humanity!

10-06-2021 9:00 pm

I am so proud of my little sister, Sydney! She is 11 years old, and already has held 5 speeches/presentations about July 22nd and our big sister, Sharidyn.

I will never forget what Sydney says in her speech: I choose to hold a speech and tell you about my sister, Sharidyn because I don't want anyone else to lose a sister they love, the same way we lost Sharidyn. I like to talk about Sissi and all the wonderful things that she did, but it hurts that I don't remember Sissi in the same way as Savannah, because I was so little. He took Sissi's life, but all our memories of Sissi will live long after her death because we choose to talk about our sister - even when it is sad to talk about how and why she was killed.

Click here to read more.

Mine and Sydney's interview with DT (2021) Photo credit: T. Sandberg

Othilie's debut song, Inspire Me

Beautiful Othilie (2021) Photo credit: O. Raaen Oegema

09-06-2021

Have you heard Othilie's new song, Inspire me? I feel very honoured to highlight on my blog Norway's up-and-coming artist, and a family friend of ours, Othilie Raaen Oegema.

If you haven't heard of Othilie or her song, here is your chance. 

Click here to read more.

Honouring our soldiers!

08-05-2021 10:30 pm

It is easy to take for granted the freedoms that we enjoy, when we live in a country without war and democracy is our way of life. But more than 80 years ago, Europe was at war and Norway had been invaded by the Nazi's.

My grandparents were both 7 years of age when the war found it's way to the shores of Norway. My great-grandfather was barely 18 years of age - old enough to be a soldier.

Click here to read more.

Thank you for your service! (2021) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

My Dad

Deep discussion with dad about his shoes. (2020) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

15-03-2021 3:00 pm

After dad’s last surgery, dad was convinced that he was now cancer-free. Mum refused to be fooled. Life isn’t always that kind, she said. 6 weeks later, and dad was told that he now had three new cancerous tumors in his liver.

Over the last 4 weeks, he has been preparing mentally and physically for yet another surgery, and it hasn’t been easy. Anyone that knows my dad, would most likely not describe dad as a “fighter”. My mum is! Survivor, fighter, superhero – basically the same. Maybe my dad isn't the "fighter-type" like my mum, but I know dad won’t give up fighting - because we won’t. 

Click here to read more.

In loving memory

22-07-2020 8:23 am

In spring of 2019, mum asked me if I wanted to do the interview for a promotional video for her Lived lives memory project. Mum knew that it would be hard for me, and was unsure if I would say yes.

But I trust my mum, and I know how much work and energy that she had put into developing her project, the interview questions, testing out the different settings for the promo, and everything else that goes hand-in-hand with her project. 

Click here to read more.

My uncle Shanon working on mum's Memory project (2019) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

Beauty of Norway!

Me at Kvassheim Lighthouse (2020) Photo credit: O. R Bøhn

19-07-2020 9:00 am

We are a family that likes to travel alot. We have been really fortunate to visit different countries in and around Europe, as well as in 2013, we travelled around the world following the sun for an entire year.

I have shared a few photos, some travel-tips and a little about our west and south coast adventures/holiday in one of the most beautiful parts of Norway. Thank you to our parents for always giving us our wonderful experiences and precious childhood memories we will always treasure.

Click here to read more.

Happy 23rd Birthday Sharidyn!

17-07-2020 8:30 pm

Every year we remember my sister and the day of her birth, regardless of where we are! Happiest and saddest day of our year - and doesn't begin to describe how painful it is for my parents, in particular for my mum.

Every year our mum puts on a brave face (for herself and for us). But if you can be bothered to look close enough, the heartache of having lost a child she gave birth to and raised is easy to see.

Click here to read more.

At Sharidyns grave (2020) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Songs of Hope Concert

Artists: Almir Meskovic & Daniel Lazar Duo feat. Ingrid Jasmin Vogt (2020) Photo Credit: S.Svebakk-Bøhn

13-06-2020 11:00 pm

Today I had my very first job taking photos of the Songs of Hope Concert organised by Interkultur Drammen. A big huge thank you to hotel director at Scandic Ambassadeur Drammen, Johanna Skjelsbek for an amazing opportunity. 

Click here to read more.

Meeting with the Crown Prince of Norway!

03-06-2020 8:30 pm

It is not everyday that you get a message the Crown Prince of Norway would like to speak with you.

Today, I was one of 4 very lucky teenagers in the whole of Norway whom were chosen and asked to have a sit-down-chat with H.R.H Crown Prince Haakon Magnus. I can't ever remember being so nervous as I was today, and I had to go to school for a few hours first.

Click here to read more.

Me chatting with the Crown Prince of Norway in my room (2020) Photo Credit: V.Svebakk

Celebrating Norway's National Day during Corona!

Me and my little sister, Sydney (2020) Photo Credit: O.R Bøhn

17-05-2020 10:30 pm

Just like everything else, the global corona-pandemic put a kink in the works for celebrating Norway's national day.

But like everyone else in Norway - it didn't stop my family from celebrating our constitution today, minus all the usual speeches.

Click here to read more.

Happy birthday Sharidyn!

17-07-2019 10:00 am

Today, like all of Sharidyns birthdays is an important day - because it is a reminder that my sister lived.

Today is the day my mum gave birth to her firstborn daughter. So I'm going to hug my mum a little tighter today, and shower her with all the love that I know that she has in her heart for Sharidyn on this very special day.

Click here to read more.

 

Happy 22nd Birthday Sissi

When is "hate speech" not hate speech?

Picture quote (2019) Photo Credit: Unknown

05-05-2019 8:18 pm

When is hate speech, hate speech? Is it only hate speech when a mass murderer uses the words fucking socialists, but it is more acceptable as a joke when the Norwegian Minister of Finance uses the exact same words at a party?

To make matters worse, the same comments spread like weed throughout my news feed on facebook, almost like the Minister of Finance's comments had started a movement/trend and people were making jokes of her comments.

Click here to read more.

Victims of Terrorism

05-05-2019 11:25 am

Creating awareness about the victims of terrorism has been important to me, because I have negative experiences of some people thinking that we are not "victims" because it was my sister that was killed and not us, or even worse that we play victims. Not only are statements like that insensitive and down right rude, but it is also devalues our relationship to my sister.

No family, including mine choose "our life". We were forcibly victimised because of hate and intolerance. People that shame-blame the victims because they are victims, are in my opinion - fueling hate and intolerance, and deliberately re-traumatising the victims with the intent of hurting them.

Click here to read more.

 

Me and my big sister (2016) Photo and Caption Credit: V.Svebakk

Missing you Sharidyn!

Me and my big sister, Sharidyn (2008) Photo Credit: V.Svebakk

04-05-2019 9:15 am

In little over a month, it will be my 15th birthday. Last year I celebrated my 14th birthday, and was officially older than my sister, Sharidyn. This past year I dedicated to my sister - simply put, I chose to live for me and for Sharidyn.

For more than a year, I have had a blog where I have shared what's in my heart about Sharidyn, about what life has been like for families like mine, and all the things that I've done to create awareness and advocate for the victims. It has been a very long road, and it has NOT been easy. Not everyone I know, or met have been kind or compassionate. I've experienced "things" in the past year that would horrify most normal people.

Click here to read more. 

 

Blog update: New and improved!

28-04-2019 10:23 pm

Today I have updated, re-organised and posted new articles and photos to my blog.

Thank you to everyone that takes the time to pop-in, and also to everyone who continues to follow me.

Click here to read more.

 

Me at Ypsilon Bridge in Drammen (2019) Photo Credit: O.R Bøhn

Welcome to my new blog!

Recently I received a message that my previous blogsite was in the process of being deleted. After a little back and forth discussions with my non-blogging parents, they gave me permission to set up a new blog/website under my own name.

Anyway, I hope that people enjoy my new site and reading my teenage ramblings.

Click here to read more.

A little about ME!

20-03-2019 8:46 pm

I am 14 years of age, and a fairly normal teenager, born and bred in Drammen, Norway with ethnic roots in New Zealand.

My interests are many but I particularly love to read and travel, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.

Click here to read more.

Me (2016) Photo Credit: V.Svebakk