Solveig Dale Eskedahl was born in Norway, where she lived during the Nazi occupation. In 1948 she left her war-torn country to come to the United States and lived first in Chicago. She had various jobs, including a successful career as a model and TV actress. Her first marriage ended in a divorce and, after a serious illness and a period of living in Europe again, she returned to take up studies in psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and eventually to study and teach at the New School in New York City. In addition, she took many courses in Eastern Psychology and Philosophy, Movement Therapy, and Human Awareness and is certified in Shiatsu, Therapeutic Touch, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Sound and Chakra Psychology.
As a Quaker and peace activist, Solveig and her husband, Joseph L. Sholkin traveled in 1984 to Nicaragua where they worked closely with Franciscan priest Uriel Molina to help establish the Yali Orphanage near the Honduran border and two health centers, one in Managua and the other outside that city. In 1987 they formed International Helping Hand Ltd. a private non-profit agency whose purpose was to serve the poor by offering assistance through education at all levels, women's leadership programs, vocational guidance, and provision of food for families from local farms.
Solveig and Joe extended their humanitarian and charitable work to India and in 1995 the Parliamentary Center for Peace in India officially made Solveig an "Apostle of Peace," an award recognizing international understanding and work for peace. This award was signed by Giani Zail Singh, President of India from 1982-1987, Dr. S. S. Mohapatra, Secretary General of India, and Tulsidas Jadhav, President of the Parliamentary Center and former secretary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Gifted in the healing arts, Solveig now lives part of the year in Norway and part in the U.S. where she spends time caring for the many friends who cross her path. For her, the scriptural words "to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God" are lived out in her lifelong interest in social justice, her large-hearted compassion, and the gentleness with which she walks the earth. A Quaker, Solveig chooses many different ways to support peace and non-violence.
The year 2006 marks the 20th anniversary of my friendship with Solveig. As a tribute to the way that she has taught, inspired, and supported me through prayer, hours of conversation, and tapes exchanged across the miles, I am honored to ask her to share some of her reflections with us on this website. If you would like to send a message to Solveig, you may do so through Katharine_Le_Mee@verizon.net.