Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Ascent: voluntary org helps Syrian refugees to integrate in Denmark

Features | 2019-01-07 12:31:42
Ascent: voluntary org helps Syrian refugees to integrate in Denmark
(Zaman Al Wasl)- The Danish Ascent foundation in the city of Gribskov seeks to connect the refugees, including Syrians, with the host community in order to facilitate their integration and the cultural exchange throughout diverse activities which involves dozens of newcomers of refugees to Denmark.
The NGO founder Mohammed Humaid, a Syrian-Palestinian activist, aims to accelerate the process of integrating of the refugees, by teaching the language in order to help those who do not master a language of communication with the Danish community, together with preserving their mother tongue the Arabic language along with the traditions of their Arab society. Also, to introduce the Danish society to our culture and history, as a cultural exchange through their activities.

Humaid sought refuge in Denmark five years ago. With a number of volunteers for their proficiency in English, he spent the first year helping refugees with family reunification and issuing passports. As he told Zaman Al-Wasl, the idea of ​​the foundation came after they realized that this voluntary activity should be formal. The need for the foundation was not aiming only at assisting newcomers to integrate into the Danish society, but also conducting their required administrative transactions.

Later on, the idea evolved to include various cultural, recreational and educational activities, as well as the establishment of an Arabic language school and an Arab reading club. During the four years of its activism, the foundation participated in several protest demonstrations against the Danish government's unjust decisions against refugees. 

"Ascent", started with seven people, most of them newcomers, along with a woman from Ahwaz, with time the team has changed, some of them were busy and others tired and decided to withdraw. The initiative team now includes Danish volunteers, the Ahwazi woman, and the rest are Syrians. 

On the initiative of reading, Humaid said that it was an outcome of the Arabic language sessions, where he noted that “three hours a week is not enough to develop the language of Arab children, especially that some of them were born in Denmark and had no background knowledge of the Arabic language at all.

The Palestinian-Syrian activist observed a development in the writing skill of these children, but there is difficulty with the reading skill, that hinders their progress. Therefore, the founders suggested the idea of ​​reading club, that would involve parents in the reading activity with their children and would encourage them. Also an opportunity to meet refugees of various cultural backgrounds.

Humaid confirmed that the idea of ​​the reading club was very popular,He added that "most of the people in the municipality registered their children in the course of the Arabic language". Humaid noted that there is currently a proposal to propagate the idea of ​​the club to other municipalities and encourage others to involve this initiative.

They, also, organized some trips for learners of the Arabic language course, which served as more of cultural trips rather than entertaining ones. In addition to three trips to Sweden for women, a trip for Arabic language volunteers and a trip to the paintball stadium for young male volunteers. 

The objectives of the Foundation are to preserve the idea of ​​voluntary work away from any personal goals, because, often, personal goals are destructive for the voluntary initiatives. He added that, there is an ambition to cooperate with all voluntary associations, whether Syrian or Arab or Islamic in general, to get rid of the idea of ​​competition in Europe. Humaid expressed his wish to restore the faith of the people in the voluntary work and civil society organizations. Who, in the past had, had a lot of skepticism and distrust because of the situation that the Syrians were living in Syria also their host countries.

Humaid expressed the organization's ambition to preserve their identity and their Arab and Islamic values, ​​and to try to avoid clashes with the refugee community through acquaintance that eliminates prejudices on both sides.

Zaman Al Wasl
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