The foundation in memory of Rolf Bergfors

About the Foundation
The Foundation in Memory of Rolf Bergfors honors the memory of one of the founder’s of GIL, the Gothenburg Cooperative for Independent Living. Rolf was one of the individuals working to bring about what is now a statutory right to payments for the purchase of personal assistance services.

The Foundation disburses one or several grants in the total amount of up to SEK 100,000 annually for studies, study visits or projects in the spirit of the Independent Living philosophy.
Board composition
In order to encourage a wide dispersion of applications the Founders appointed board members from a large geographical area.
Lena Mellbratt Stenman, Mölndal, chairperson
Vibeke Marøy Melstrøm, Ski i Norge, deputy chairperson
Karin Schlyter, Strövelstorp, board member and secretary
Erik Byström, Göteborg, board member
Adolf Ratzka, Stockholm, board member
Ingegerd Bergfors, Simrishamn, one of the Founders  and co-opted board member
Thore Bergfors, Trollhättan, one of the Founders  and co-opted board member
How to apply
The Foundation supports individuals of any age with scholarships for post-secondary studies, study visits or development projects. A basic requirement for the scholarship is to show how it promotes one’s own or other persons’ ability to live a life in self-determination according to the Independent Living philosophy which upholds disabled peoples’ right to live and work on equal terms with others.

The scholarships are not intended for ordinary private consumption. Studies, trips  or projects must have a broader purpose than one’s own recreation.
What is Independent Living?
Independent Living is the name of the civil rights movement of disabled people originating in the United States in the 1970’s that fights against discrimination and for disabled people’s equal rights. Introduced to Sweden in the 1980’s the movement’s aim, then and today, is to empower people with disabilities to exercise control over their everyday lives. Rolf Bergfors was heavily involved in the Independent Living movement and his vision and ideas were important. As a consequence of the Swedish Independent Living movement’s work Sweden, in 1994, was one of the first countries in the world to introduce the legal entitlement to cash payments for persons with functional impairments for personal assistance services (LSS and LASS). Until then, many people with disabilities had lived in institutions where others decided about their everyday activities as to when to go to bed, to wash or to eat. Some of the key themes of the Independent Living philosophy are self-determination, self-respect, mainstream solutions, democracy, solidarity and non-profit interests.
Up to SEK 100,000 per year, divided into a number of scholarships, are awarded on May 17,  Rolf Bergfors’ birthday. Notification of scholarships will be in writing. Applications received after March 31 may only be considered for the following year.

Send applications to:

Stiftelsen Fonden till Rolf Bergfors minne
GIL, Box 24 061
400 22 Göteborg

You’re most welcome to apply!

Lena Mellbratt Stenman
Foundation chairperson