Oak Foundation Denmark

 

Oak Foundation Denmark is a national programme that was established in 2002. It supports socially vulnerable and marginalised groups.

 
Oak Foundation Denmark restricts its grant-making to Denmark and, to a lesser degree Greenland-based organisations and projects. The programme funds national initiatives, but as the majority of vulnerable and marginalised people tend to live in cities, most of the work funded takes place in the bigger cities, in particular Copenhagen. The aim of our projects is to support individuals by finding innovative solutions for improving their daily lives and future prospects.

 
Initiatives that target women from ethnic minorities, homeless people, young vulnerable mothers, refugees, children and unemployed youth are our focus groups. We contribute to both reactive and preventative initiatives, ranging from drop-in centres and shelters for homeless women and prostitutes to providing dental care for marginalised groups. All of the projects we fund aim to become economically self-sustainable.

 
Oak Foundation Denmark supports large and small organisations as well as individual initiatives.  Supporting larger organisations is important as they help raise awareness about vulnerable and marginalised groups and act as their ambassadors and spokesmen in the political arena. As these groups are habitually under-represented, this support is crucial.  Small organisations tend to provide new and innovative ways of thinking and working, and their work often has far-reaching effects because it helps many people, despite limited funding.
 

Please visit www.oakfnd.dk for further information.

 

 

Kammak

 

 

 
An estimated 7,000 Greenlandic people live in Denmark. Because they have Danish citizenship, there is no official programme to help their integration into the country, despite the huge cultural differences between the two countries.
 
Greenland is a country of very small and isolated communities. Only 55,000 people live there, with 16,000 in Nuuk, the capital. To illustrate the extent of the country’s isolation, not one city, not even the capital, is connected by road to another city. There are hundreds of kilometres separating the towns, and so much ice that even if there were roads, they would be impassable. The only option is to take a boat or to fly.
 
The culture and language that have developed around these conditions, as well as the pace and way of life, are very different to those in Europe. It is not surprising then that Greenlanders often find it challenging to integrate into Danish life.
 
Many Greenlandic immigrants are vulnerable to abuse, homelessness and loneliness. Most are students or have jobs, but between 1,000 and 1,500 are socially vulnerable. Often, they become isolated from Danish life and are stigmatised. The cultural differences tend to go unrecognised, and because there is no national programme to provide the newcomers with social, cultural or practical help, vulnerable Greenlanders often do not receive help until it is too late.
 
The Greenlandic House, a voluntary organisation with offices in four Danish cities, provides social and practical support specifically to Greenlanders who have just arrived in Copenhagen. The name of its mentor programme is Kammak - Greenlandic for friend.
 
Kammak has two objectives: to provide a practical introduction on how to cope in Denmark; and to prevent loneliness by providing the immigrants with a social network. Both are crucial to Greenlanders starting off well and building a decent and good life.
 
 
Photo: Kammak works to prevent loneliness among Greenlandic immigrants by providing them with social networks. ©Kammak - Jukke Rosing