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Dansk Flygtningehjælp (The Danish Refugee Council) – Frivilligbladet (The Volunteer Post) – Interview with yours truly

Dansk Flygtningehjælp - FrivilligbladetDansk Flygtningehjælp (The Danish Refugee Council) – Frivilligbladet (The Volunteer Post)

Dansk Flygtningehjælp (The Danish Refugee Council), has just published the latest issue of Frivilligbladet (The Volunteer Post). This time they have a piece on our trip to Ringkøbing in the western part of Denmark, and I’m very proud to be featured in it.

Besides the fact that the article basically is an interview with yours truly, it’s also accompanied by pictures taken by me. I’m really, really proud and humbled by this.

Since the article is in Danish, I’m hereby publishing an English language translation.

Frivilligbladet Volume 3, 2006, written by Bente Bækgaard

It’s a long distance from Mjølnerparken in Copenhagen to Western Jutland (the main peninsula of Denmark). Despite that fact a group of volunteers from Mjølnerparken had success going on a trip with 21 children to Hee near Ringkøbing. The trip became a success, in part because it was planned in close co-operation with the volunteer group in Ringkøbing as well as local partners.

Sea, sun and blue skies. 42 brown legs from Mjølnerparken are streaking across the sandy dunes and into the roaring North Sea. In the background is a group of volunteers. They’re also from Mjølnerparken. They’re the organisers of the vacation trip to Western Jutland, aided by two consultants, the volunteers from Ringkøbing and local partners from Mjølnerparken.


“The idea behind the trip surfaced after the yearly assembly in April, where our volunteer consultant had talked to the volunteers in Ringkøbing about the possibility of arranging a vacation trip. We felt that that was a great idea, that we wanted to help realising.” says Kim Bach, who has acted as the co-ordinator of the trip.

Shortly after the yearly assembly of the volunteers in April, he and seven other volunteers from the group in Mjølnerparken contacted the group in Ringkøbing. And the planning of the vacation trip had started.

Aid from the group in Ringkøbing

The alliance with the group of volunteers from Ringkøbing turned out to be a huge asset for the volunteers from Mjølnerparken. The volunteers didn’t have much previous knowledge of the possibilities in the western part of Jutland, so at that point the local partner came to the rescue: “It was a great help having some locals to co-operate with. They have much more knowledge of the area than we do, and besides that, they also know our target group. This means that they quickly can point us in a direction that is interesting for us”, says Kim Bach.

The volunteers from Ringkøbing helped us locate a place to stay, and to find activities for the children. To top this, the volunteers from western Jutland arranged that the children from Mjølnerparken, got access to the control tower in the harbour in Hvide Sande, and they saw how the sluice that give boats access to the harbour is controlled. The local contacts seems to be able to open sluice gates as well.

Klub 36

One thing that the volunteers were aware of, after deciding to go through with the project: it will become a challenge to get the children to sign up for the trip.

In order to avoid the classical horror of volunteer work: that no one shows up, the volunteers chose to co-operate with Klub 36, a local club in Mjølnerparken: “We chose to work with Klub 36, because they have a strong network in Mjølnerparken and a good contact with the parents of the children, there’s no doubt that the many sign-ups also can be attributed to the fact that two workers from Klub 36 took part in the trip, and that the invitations were circulated in their network”, says Kim Bach. He adds that the group of volunteers also leveraged another offer from the group, the volunteers that offer private tutoring in the private homes of the children, “hjemmelektiehjælpen”. “The benefit of our private tutoring offer is that the volunteers have a close relationship with the parents of the children, and the parents are much more inclined to permit their children to take part, if they know the people behind”, Kim Bach adds.

The strategy of the volunteers paid off. The sign-ups poured in, and the volunteers had to create a waiting-list. The only drawback of the strategy was, according to Kim Bach, that the group of children weren’t as mixed as we originally had envisioned: “We would have like to have more children of Danish ethnicity to take part in the trip, but we didn’t succeed,” Kim Bach says and adds, that the volunteers next year will do more to gather a more ethnically mixed group.

Volunteer work in rural areas

It turned out that the trip to Western Jutland did more than open the eyes of the children. The volunteers that took part in the trip, also discovered how the volunteers in rural areas work: “Through the co-operation with the group of volunteers in Ringkøbing, we discovered the great differences between volunteer integration work in different parts of Denmark. It’s my impression that the volunteers in Ringkøbing spends a lot of time doing volunteer work. “Our” volunteers don’t have that much time. On top of that the volunteers in rural areas has a much closer co-operation with the local authorities. While we were in the Western Jutland, a number of Burmese refugees arrived, to be settled in Ringkøbing. It was interesting to hear, how the authorities involve the volunteers in that task. “We don’t do things like that at all” says Kim Bach.

Blogs Education/Undervisning Kim Blog (English) Lektiehjælpen (Danish)

Another great day…The “happy” party

The child from last week was back, once again with challenging assignments…

This time she had to talk about “problems in society”, she had written cue-cards about pollution, and how bad it is that we’re polluting the oceans, but the empty cue-card had the headline “Religion” written on it.

“Do you think I know something about that subject” I asked? She nodded “Yes”.

She started out by acknowledging that there are more similarities than differences between Christianity and Islam, and once again the number one issue Muslims have with Christianity surfaced, the fact the Jesus, alav ha-shalom, is claimed to be the “son of God”, well since God or Allah, is “one”, this is blasphemy. My point was once again that we’re all children, and that our relationship with the Creator is much akin to the relationship we have with our parents, and that I believe that that was what Jesus meant (I feel that that is expressed by one of the names of God: Al-Wadud (الودود) The Loving, the Kind One).

We’ll after touching the subject of the prophet Muhammad “Salla Allahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam” cartoons, she ended up with two cue-cards, focusing on tolerance and understanding as ways to avoid problems due to religion. The “Nudansk Ordbog” actually lists “Understanding other cultures” as a way to create tolerance.

Part of the assignment was to describe an ideal party – the “happy” party. I should get the 10 misson statements she listed, but here’s some important ones I remember:

  • Everybody should have a job
  • People shouldn’t annoy each other
  • It should not be allowed to beat children
  • The Police shouldn’t beat on people

I think the “happy” party will get my vote.

Finally she had a Math problem, and it included triangulation: You know the length of one side, and the three angles, now the job was to determine the middle normal! I believe that it’s quite simple to calculate – even without knowledge of trigonometry, I just couldn’t remember the formula, so after some attempts at analysis, I decided to do a simple calculation of the fractions, by measuring the drawing in the textbook.

One side of the triangle was 12 meters, I measured it to be 2,7 centimetres, so the unit is 4,44 meters/centimetre. I then measured the middle normal and got 5,2 centimetres yielding 23,11 meters.

We do need Internet access in the “classroom”, Wikipedia has the solution, but it seems that you do need knowledge of trigonometry, which she doesn’t have as far as I know. It might be that my approach was the correct one!

Blogs Historier/Stories Kim Blog (English) Lektiehjælpen (Danish)

History 101 (or 911): Connections!

Today was my regular day in Hjemmelektiehjælpen – private tutoring.

The 13 year old boy had an assignment where he was supposed to put into context World-war 2, The Battle for Dybbøl Mølle, Christian the 4th and 9-11 none the less. Phew! THAT triggered me!

The context was “what can you learn from history, and how do you avoid history from repeating it self” (or “man bliver klog af skade – great to hear such a phrase from a 13-year old), so “past in relation to future”. The boy was interested in the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, Star Wars or Ronald Raygun’s wet dream), that’s the future! Well that wouldn’t have stopped Mohammad Atta was my point. And I also remembered the words (not literal) of Mikhail Gorbachew, “if they build it we’ll just throw a stone at it!”.

It actually turned out that the 4 historic event are more closely connected than you might expect. I didn’t discover this until I had made a history 101 (or 911) lecture, of history as I see it.

The US entered World-war 2 after Pearl Harbour, 9-11 was a new Pearl Harbour. 9-11 triggered the “war on terror” and that is somewhat akin to World-war 2, since it keeps provoking images of the “next Hitler”, learning from history eh’? Peace in our time?

Denmark lost Schleswig-Holstein after Dybbøl Mølle and it was the final nail in the coffin for the dreams of a Danish Empire, that Christian the 4 had.

Denmark regained some of the land lost after Dybbøl Mølle, as an indirect result of the peace treaty of Versailles, that eventually was a pivotal point in triggering World-war 2, since it left the German economy in shambles, resulting in the likes of Hitler coming out of the woodwork, some see the same happening today.

Everything is connected, as James Burke, one of my favourite authors, always points out.

Poor kid, he didn’t really get any homework done, but I ended up having a fantastic discussion with his mother. The view Muslims has of 9-11 is “somewhat different” from mine. They do seem to see a huge conspiracy, which is not as far fetched as it might seem. The truth has been a major casualty of the war on terror.

Blogs Education/Undervisning Lektiehjælpen (Danish)

Janteloven – You shall not believe that you can teach us anything!

Yesterday was one of the most rewarding days in Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken, and that is saying a lot, since it’s the highlight of the week when I’m tutoring children in Mjølnerparken 36.

One of the children had to do an assignment on “Janteloven” (the “10 Commandments of Jante”), she’s attending a private school, and I’m not sure they’re using the same materials in public school.

She was asked to put the “Commandments” into a personal context, and also to formulate a list that is the opposite of the “Commandments”.

Like I wrote in a previous post (Missed the Alicia Keys concert), the “Commandments” are deeply rooted in Danish culture, and they’ve had a tremendous impact on my life. Basically “Jante” is stating that you’re “worthless” as an individual. It’s an extremely negative way of thinking.

The most impressive was that the child answered that she’d never personally experienced the Commandment #9: “You shall not believe that anyone cares about you!”. I told her, that if that’s true, please, please teach us! We can learn so much from You then. On the other hand: it was a bit “scary” that she actually had personal experiences with most of the commandments.

We also agreed that we could teach each other a lot. She taught me some Arabic, and told me that my Arabic sounded Egyptian, true true, I’m using “Dr. Pimsleurs: Egyptian Arabic” language lessons to learn Arabic. Shokoron anise.

BTW she started out by asking “do you know who formulated the “commandments” of Jante”. My comment was that everybody knows that, it’s common knowledge…Well obviously not, my co-tutor, she’s in her late 30ies, didn’t!

But I’m impressed by the quality of the teaching this child is receiving, makes my heart jump with joy. I’m, however, once again not impressed by the quality of some of the educational materials used in the lower grades in public school, some of the children had to do “iconic” cross-words, and some of the pictures were of such a low quality that even I couldn’t make out what it was. And some of the pictures are of things no one hardly uses anymore, like suspenders!

But what a rewarding day!

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Sprog og Lektier – Netværksgruppen i Mjølnerparken » Vi søger frivillige til Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken

Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken søger frivilligeSprog og Lektier – Netværksgruppen i Mjølnerparken » Vi søger frivillige til Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken

Netværksgruppen i Mjølnerparken søger frivillige til Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken.

Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken “leverer” bla. frivillige til to Lektiecaféer i Mjølnerparken, hvor vi hjælper børn der går i 2 til 8 klasse med deres lektier.

De fleste af børnene er af anden etnisk oprindelse end Dansk, og vi har flest Somaliske og Palæstinensiske brugere.

Så hvis du kan afse 2 timer om ugen så henvend dig til frivilligkoordinator Mikala Dømgaard eller undertegnede.

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Radikal Ungdom > Konference om frivilligt arbejde

Den Dynamsike DuoRadikal Ungdom > Konference om frivilligt arbejde

Jeg burde jo nok have skrevet om denne begivenhed før den fandt sted, det var nemlig i dag den 20-August-2006 kl. 10:00.

Hvorfor er det så interessant, jeg er da ikke medlem af Radikal Ungdom?

Næh det skyldes naturligvis emnet, og at jeg, sammen med Morten Jønsson, var inviteret til at holde et oplæg under titlen “Det at lave frivilligt arbejde”, hvor vi naturligvis skulle fortælle om Hjemmelektiehjælpen.

Det gik faktisk ret godt med vores præsentation, vi havde valgt at deles om at fremføre den, og det syntes jeg fungerede ret godt, men det er naturligvis op til publikum at vurdere. Jeg er ihvertfald frisk på at prøve noget lignende igen, og nu har vi en god baggrund for at forbedre vores intromøde.

Udover den dynamiske duo, så var der også repræsentanter fra Ungdommens Røde Kors (URK). Cecilie Dinensen talte levende om arbejdet i et asylcenter. Det lød virkelig som et godt projekt, og man kunne mærke følelserne fra Cecilie Dinesen, da hun talte om “hendes” børn. Jeg ville nok overveje at vælge at lave frivilligt arbejde i et asylcenter, hvis jeg ikke allerede var “lektiehjælper”.

Andreas Æbelø, næstformand i URK, fortalte bla. om hvordan URK er organiseret, det er noget anderledes end Dansk Flygtningehjælp (DFH). URK har en noget fladere struktur end den der er i DFH.

Et konkret eksempel på hvor det kan skabe problemer, var i forbindelse med “børneattester”, dvs. det faktum at alle der arbejder med børn skal underskrive en erklæring om at der kan indhentes en børneattest, altså en straffeattest der kun indeholder evt. pædofæli. URK havde talt og talt om det, men fik pludselig problemer da det skulle udføres i praksis. DFH valgte at håndtere det centralt, og at bede alle frivillige om at underskrive en samtykke erklæring, uanset om de arbejdede med børn eller ej.

Laust Kristensen, centerleder for Center for Frivilligt Socialt Arbejde, talte om hvordan den offentlige sektor prøver på at indtænke det frivillige sociale arbejde. Der var både plads til teori og praksis, men også en snak om den mytologiske “zapper”, altså en person der ofte skifter mellem forskellige frivliig sociale projekter.

En interessant kommentar var at den selvejende institution var under pres, og at det måske var en fremragende model for frivilligt socialt arbejde. Jeg er enig, skal vi starte en?

Herefter var der paneldebat med tre socialordførere Martin Lidegaard, Det Radikale Venstre, Hans Andersen, Venstre og Pia Kristensen, Dansk Folkeparti.

Jeg var positivt overrasket over at socialordførene fra partierne Venstre, Dansk Folkeparti og Det Radikale Venstre alle ønsker at opprioritere det frivillige sociale arbejde.

Specielt syntes jeg repræsentanten fra Dansk Folkeparti, Pia Kristensen, var yderst velstruktureret, og hun har selv lavet frivilligt socialt arbejde og har kendskab til værdien af det. Selv om hendes oplæg i starten blot var en opremsning af definitionen af frivilligt arbejde fra Social Ministeriets hjemmeside. Og den havde vi faktisk lige fået gennemgået af Laust Kristensen, så det var lidt hult, men bestemt professionelt!

Pia Kristensen kom også med et frisk pust (kunne ikke dy mig). Nemlig det noget anti-elitære og populistiske forslag at alle folketingsmedlemmer skulle udføre frivilligt socialt arbejde en måned om året. Det er ikke tit jeg er enig med Dansk Folkeparti, og de har muligvis visse indvendinger mod det arbejde vi f.eks. udfører i Hjemmelektiehjælpen, men der er ingen tvivl om at Pia Kristensen ved hvad hun taler om!

Et tilbagevendende spørgsmål var hvordan det offentlige kunne være katalysator for frivilligt arbejde, også uden om de eksisterende foreninger. I Tyskland har unge tilsyneladende mulighed for at vælge at udføre frivilligt arbejde i et år, lidt som en slags samfunds værnepligt, politikerne lød oprigtigt interesserede i det.

Et spørgsmål som jeg blev stillet, og ikke fik besvaret tilfredsstillende var:

“Hvorfor blev du frivillig?”

Jeg svarede at jeg længe havde været interesseret i at udføre frivilligt arbejde, men at det krævede at jeg så et opslag på Oranges Intranet før jeg fandt det rigtige…

Men jeg skulle også have svaret, at det der gjorde at Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken blev mit projekt, var muligheden for at arbejde med etniske minoriteter, og at jeg dermed kunne få min “pladder-humanisme”, som jeg altid er blevet beskyldt for at have, sat i et praktisk perspektiv.

En vigtig ting jeg har fået ud af denne praktiske erfaring, er at jeg i diskussioner ikke kan beskyldes for ikke at vide hvad jeg taler om. Jeg kender faktisk efterhånden en del indvandrere, og jeg regner mange af dem for at være mine venner.

For at citere Laust Kristensens far: “Folk er jo ret normale når man lærer dem at kende”.

Tak for et godt og inspirerende arrangement.

ps…Billedet? Det kræver nok at man var der, men ellers kan I mine kære læsere nok gætte det.

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Ringkjøbing Amts Dagblad: Umar Asifs debut ved Vesterhavet

Den 25-Juli-2006 tog Lektiehjælpen i Mjølnerparken på en kolonitur til en Spejderhytte i Hee ved Ringkøbing, i 4 dage.

Turen var arrangeret i samarbejde med frivilliggruppen i Ringkøbing, og 21 børn, 8 frivillige og 2 fædre fra Sjakket deltog.

Det var en rigtig dejlig tur, og det var dejligt at få mulighed for at være sammen med både børn, voksne og frivillige på den måde. Tak til alle der var med til at gøre det til en fantastisk oplevelse.

Der blev også plads til et par ture, bla. til Dejbjerg Jernaldercenter, Hvide Sande og Vesterhavet.

Vi er enige om at vi gerne vil lave lignende ture i fremtiden.

Vores tur fik også omtale i Ringkøbing Amts Dagblad, læs mere ved at vælge linket nedenfor:

Ringkjøbing Amts Dagblad: Umar Asifs debut ved Vesterhavet

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1000 flere Event afsluttet

Overskudskage 1000 Flere Event1000 flere Event afsluttet – WiKim

Kære venner,

Tusinde tak for hjælpen, det var et super arrangement. Jeg er utrolig stolt af vores organisation, og jeg syntes at vi formåede at sætte en positiv og anden dagsorden i går.

Det er utroligt fedt at sige til folk, der taler ondt om indvandrere, at man skam “arbejder for at der kommer nogle flere”, de ser meget sjove ud i ansigtet.

Til daglig arbejder jeg for at vi gør noget mere for dem der allerede er her, gennem Foreningen Netværksgruppen i Mjølnerparken, hvor jeg bla. laver lektiehjælp.

Besøg vores hjemmeside på for at se hvad det går ud på, og meld dig som frivillig, vi har helt sikkert et tilbud som vil passe dig.

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1000 flere – WiKim

Kim Bach logo1000 flere – WiKim

Klik på linket for at gå til koordinations wiki siden for indsatsen på Nørrebro i forbindelse med Dansk Flygtningehjælps 1000 flere ( kampagne “overskudskage”, der løber af stablen den 20-Juni-2006.

Jeg er koordinator for indsatsen på Nørrebro, mere præcist Nørreport Station den 20-Juni-2006. Vi står der fra kl. 15:30 til kl. 18:00.

Hvis du er interesseret i at hjælpe med at hverve frivillige, så kan du f.eks. udskrive denne flyer.

Kagebagende kampagnehænder søges – Hverveflyer 1000 flere(219K PDF)

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Fup og fakta om flygtninge – 1000 Flere Kampagnen


Kære venner,

Dansk Flygtningehjælp har udfærdiget en test på viden om flygtninge, hvor mange rigtige får du?

Dansk Flygtningehjælp – Fup og fakta om flygtninge

Testen er lavet i forbindelse med “overskudskage” for 1000 flere flygtninge arrangementet, hvor jeg da kan nævne at jeg er koodinator for indsatsen på Nørrebro, eller rettere på Nørreport Station.

Så meld jer endelig som frivillige den 20-Juni, enten til undertegnede på 22 25 69 51 eller på mail, eller direkte til Tanja Skov Karlsen, Dansk Flygtningehjælp.

Send gerne et link til venner og bekendte der kunne være interesserede i at støtte denne sag.

Ses vi ? Det tror jeg nok vi gør!

———————– klip ——————————-
Giv “overskudskage” for 1000 flere flygtninge!

Kagebagende kampagnehænder søges!

Dansk Flygtningehjælp fyrer i anledning af FN’s Flygtningedag d. 20. juni en kampagne af, for at få DK til at tage imod 1000 flere FN-flygtninge årligt. Kampagnen går rigtig godt. Vi mærker stor opbakning på nettet, hvor vi samler underskrifter ind på, og fik fin feedback, da vi gik på gaden d. 6.6. for at skyde kampagnen i gang. Super!

På Flygtningedagen kulminerer kampagnen med en landsdækkende kageuddelingsevent. I de største byer i landet giver frivillige “overskudskage” for at signalere, at vi har overskud til at hjælpe flere – OG for at indsamle underskrifter for, at DK skal hæve sit årlige FN-flygtningeantal.

Vil du være med til at bage kage og dele den ud sammen med andre frivillige, så skriv fluks tilbage!

Eventen foregår på Højbroplads, i Københavns brokvarterer og i landets 15 største byer d. 20. juni fra kl. 15:30 til ca.18:00.

Ser frem til at høre fra dig!

1000 flere hilsner!


Dansk Flygtningehjælps 1000 flere-kontaktperson:

Tanja Skov Carlsen


Dansk Flygtningehjælp

Direkte: 3373 5177
———————– klip ——————————-