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A global movement built on a single woman’s courage

Our organization is the result of the young Britta Holmström’s courage, initiative, and passion. In 1938, as a 27-year-old mother of young children, she envisioned how she could help people fleeing the war and persecution in Europe – and so she did. Her vision grew into a global movement and her legacy is vibrantly alive in IM today. Britta dared to imagine a different future and so do we.  

When IM was founded by Britta Holmström in 1938, it was in reaction to the oppression, persecution, and extreme violations of human rights she witnessed. On October 1st, the same day Hitler’s troops entered Czechoslovakia, she left the safety of Sweden and embark on a fight for the equal value and rights of all people. 

The apathy she encountered among women in a refugee camp in Prague became the starting point for the attitude that still characterizes IM – to see the whole person with all their needs. Food, medicine, and clothing are not enough to strengthen people’s resilience and hope for the future. To be seen as an individual, to be able to participate and influence decisions, and to make a livelihood are equally important.  

This approach breathes through all of IMs programs. 

IM wants people to take action for justice, together. We focus on the two intertwined areas of social and economic justice. We work together with change agents, organizations and action groups who built and protect social and economic justice to impact women and youth facing discrimination and disadvantage.