Summer Festivals - July 2022

Continuing on from the spectacular array of festivals in June 2022 we find the school holidays also promise an abundance of festivals for both young and old. There is something traditional, loud, alternative, colourful, cultural or just plain fun with the following eclectic lineup of festivals both in and around Lucerne, and, throughout Switzerland. And, as any weather can be expected, be prepared with both hat and sunscreen and/or umbrella and coat. Caliente Latin Music Festival ~ 1 – 2 July a

Travelling to and from Switzerland - summer holidays 2022

As the summer holidays draw imminently nearer, many people are planning vacations to their favourite holiday destinations. However, there has been a surge of Covid-19 hospital admissions in European countries and restrictions may affect your holiday plans. Currently, Switzerland has open borders and has lifted all restrictions, but most neighbouring countries still have some restrictions so it is important to be aware of the entry requirements and measures in place in these countries. Access an

Stuart's Story

‘As a general rule I don’t tick the disability box and interestingly, for the tour guide position with Busabout tours, this interview was the first time that I felt I needed to talk about my hand. What they wanted to know was, “Can you hold a PalmPilot?” which is a portable, palm-top computer, about the size of a large iPhone,’ Stuart shared. Ticking the disability box can go two ways. The potential employer could see it as more work and expense for them if they need to change anything in the w

Summer Festivals - June 2022

Two years without festivals, concerts, markets and fairs means this year is going to be a big summer party and there is a plethora of festivals to choose from all around the country. Is the weather going to be sunny during the summer holidays? Maybe, maybe not. Let’s hope so, but what is more important is where can we reacquaint ourselves with the magic of a festival. Switzerland loves festivals, and the weather doesn’t mean a cancellation, so best be prepared with your hat, sunscreen and rainco

People making a difference – meet Charlie

Charlie is the Managing Director, the founder, the matriarch, the progenitor, the heart and soul of The LiLi Centre. Six years ago, Charlie had a vision to create a safe space, where people could find information to better integrate, improve their education and build a network in Lucerne. Thus the LiLi Centre was born. Charlie grew up on a boat in Corsica with a Swiss-English mother and an Italo-English-Canadian father. From an early age, foreign cultures and languages were part of her life wh

People making a difference – meet Lina

Lina has been with The LiLi Centre from the beginning. It began six years ago when she met Charlie, Managing Director, at a coffee morning. It went so well the following day she was filming an interview with the Luzern Theater’s new director and then, as she said, she never left LiLi after that. She is now the Vice-President. When Lina first arrived in Switzerland from Lithuania, she was applying for Communication and Branding jobs that she felt she was perfect for, but with no luck. She soon r

People making a difference – meet America

America is from Mexico City and arrived in Lucerne six years ago with her husband, for his job. She is the Operating Manager at The LiLi Centre and so sees the big picture of the centre. It began a year ago when America was attending some cantonal activities in the city. She was talking to someone who mentioned The LiLi Centre and that it is a place where foreign people gather, give out information about the city, and what one can do in Lucerne. Not long after she volunteered and is now one of

People making a difference – meet Cristina

Cristina is The LiLi Centre’s Treasurer. Educated, smart with finances, and passionate about helping people. Cristina moved to Lucerne five years ago as her husband’s company has their headquarters in Ebikon. She said, “We were living in Ebikon and there weren’t many people to talk to. I was feeling lonely, I didn’t settle very well with the language in the beginning and I couldn’t find a job. I discovered The LiLi Centre online and thought it would be a good way to put myself out there. I was

People making a difference – meet Anna

Anna’s main volunteer role at The LiLi Centre is as Executive Assistant to Managing Director, Charlie Hartmann. She also runs the Livingin Swiss program and coordinates many events at the centre. Anna moved to Switzerland eight years ago and started looking online for an English-speaking playgroup. She discovered the mums and tots group organised by Charlie. Anna said that she didn’t know anyone when she first moved here and it was so helpful for her to find this community, particularly as a ne

Kids Summer Camps 2022

Once again we are on the home stretch to the summer holidays. If you are going to need some help to keep the kids entertained for the upcoming 6 to 8 weeks and you don’t want to constantly hear the, ‘I’m bored’ refrain then we have some great suggestions that the kids can enjoy and will help you stress less. A great way to get the kids out of the house is by taking advantage of the Luzern Holiday Pass 2022 which this year is valid from 11 July to 21 August. The pass is a regional offer from 17

Integration - Eligibility for a C Permit

Before you can apply for a C Permit : If you are moving to Switzerland for longer than three months you are required to apply for an L Permit or a B Permit. An L Permit is granted for foreign nationals who have an employment contract valid for three to twelve months and are considered short term residents. The B Permit is valid for five years with a requirement to renew it yearly and is available for foreign nationals who have an employment contract for a year or longer. You are also eligible

Top 5 Family Restaurants in Luzern | Momizen

As the world opens up after two long years of masks, restrictions, immunisation and difficult times restaurants are starting to enjoy the foot traffic they were once used to. As parents, we sometimes just want a night away from the kitchen, or to share a delicious lunch together that we haven’t had to prepare. Visiting a family friendly restaurant can be a relief from the every day ritual and hopefully a fun and bonding experience with our children. Luzern has many delights for the family that

Ukrainian ‘100 Schoolbags’ appeal

The LiLi Centre continues with its mission of helping newcomers and foreigners to integrate in Swiss society. As such we start and/or support initiatives helping the community. This is why we are collaborating with NoMoreWalking and CommunityLinks. Our common mission is to provide all Ukrainian children arriving in the canton of Lucerne with a schoolbag, and school supplies, to enable attendance at a school in the community. The LiLi Centre is the main drop off point for donations to the ‘100 S

Natalie’s Story

Natalie is the youngest mentor in the newly rolled out Aussie Hands Peer Support Network and Resource Toolkit and is looking forward to supporting kids in the areas of making friends, confidence, self-care and driving. Natalie has a bilateral ulnar longitudinal deficiency, and said that growing up in rural Australia had its difficulties, particularly as there were no mentors, little support for her limb difference and little access to a whole lot of things: resources, funding, support groups, s

Caeleigh’s Story

Caeleigh wasn’t aware, until this year, of organisations like Aussie Hands and the Lucky Fin Project (USA) and finds them really positive for children and adults with hand and limb differences. ‘I was raised to believe that I was able bodied and there wasn’t really anything that I couldn’t do, but I think doing the AMP camp (a three day camp for teenagers with amputation, limb loss and limb difference) would have been fun having different opportunities to meet people like me, to see that there

Rico’s Story

One thing that most people with limb differences experience is the scrutiny by strangers. Rico said that, when he was younger, he felt uncomfortable when he tried out different approaches to things, and even though people say you will get used to the stares, it never feels comfortable. He added: ‘Once I grew older, I started realising that people are naturally curious. I also learned that maturity is not ultimately dependent on age but more connected to how people have dealt with past experience

Toni’s Story

Having a routine helped, particularly having two parents working full-time from home with two girls trying to get schoolwork done. There was a definite strain on the internet! Although there has been challenges there have been some fun things that the family have managed to do while in isolation. Toni shared: ‘We went biking and shooting some hoops at the local basketball court; we had a Harry Potter movie marathon one weekend; defeated all the villains, including Lord Voldemort, when playing t

Aussie Hands Appoints new Patron, Jessica Smith, OAM

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Chairperson Brooke Young says: “Jessica is the ideal person to step into the role of Patron. She is one of Aussie Hands most loved members and an inspiration to people of all ages. Her writing and speaking about positive body image, setting goals and celebrating difference is powerful and uplifting. We are certain that Aussie Hands will benefit greatly from having someone of Jessica’s profile and energy as Patron.” Jessica brings a rich and varied background to

Callie cuts through the anxiety of starting kindergarten

As parents, we navigate our way through life, taking small and often large, steps as each new challenge arises for our children and ourselves. When one of our children has a hand or limb difference the challenges can seem more intense and confronting as we try and guide them unscathed through life and develop a sense of belonging in society. Sometimes we need to be brave enough to just be there for them when they need us and at other times stand back and watch them blossom. School is one of the

Bonnie Gillespie: a cage fighter with a difference and her sights on UFC

Fiery red hair, muscles upon muscles, charming Kiwi accent, loud laughs, big smiles and jumping around like a fire cracker – this is Bonnie Gillespie. A fighter and a lover of life. Bonnie has just won her second Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) cage fight and is looking upwards, her trajectory is to reach the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – Ronda Rousey territory for the uninitiated. Oh, and Bonnie has a hand difference that has been part of her journey, her strength and determination. Bonnie g
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