On 18 April 2018 around 30 parents, their children and a number of volunteers gathered for an evening of fellowship, fun and conversations at the School of Tønder. The evening had two purposes. Firstly, that the children would experience what it means to go to scouts, join football and judo teams. Local leisure associations supported and gave the kids a fun and enjoyable experience. Furthermore, parents should have the opportunity to talk about the thoughts they are about their children's schooling, life and future in Denmark.
The parents participated in three workshops: One day at school, where they were introduced to how it is to go to a Danish school. They were invited to talk to each other about what they can do to help their children with their schooling. In another one it was discussed what can be achieved when parents work together. Here the parents shared which challenges they face in relation to their children, that they cannot solve themselves and talked about how to help each other with solving them. Finally, in my child's everyday life, they talked about what they want for their children's life here and now and how they can help their children to a good life in Denmark.
In a small survey conducted at the end of the evening, most parents responded that they had the opportunity to express their challenges and ideas and that they felt heard. Virtually everyone replied that they looked more optimistic about their opportunities to help their children grow up in Denmark.
Some of the participants signed up to work on some of the ideas. For instance, it was suggested to create a reading club where parents can support each other by helping their children to read. All in all, the event was not only a full day of joy and fun, but it also helped to launch networks which can foster further collaboration and initiatives.
Photos (c): University College South Denmark (UC Syd)