When Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year, many Danish folk high schools started initiatives to help Ukrainian refugees. Among other things, students collected money and clothes for the refugees who came to Denmark, and others collected money so that they were able to offer the Ukrainians a free stay on their folk high schools.
In the spring, The Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark started a bigger fundraising, where the collected money was used to offer scholarships for Ukrainian young people who would like a stay at a Danish folk high school. Six Ukrainians ended up receiving support to stay at a total of five different folk high schools.
And now it is possible again to apply for a scholarship to stay at a folk high school in Denmark. The Entrepreneur Marius Pedersen’s Foundation has chosen to donate 250.000 Danish kroner for scholarships for young Ukrainians who would like to join a folk high school next spring.
You can apply for a scholarship until November 1st.
The students are practicing democratic processes
According to Lisbeth Trinskjær who is the chairwoman of The Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark, it is of great importance that the scholarshop initiative can continue.
"Our wish with the funding has been that these young people could be provided with a stay at a Danish folk high school and here get tools that will give them hope for the future and help them rebuild their society when the war ends. What we hear from the folk high schools is that the stays are good for the Ukrainian students and also for the other students at the folk high schools because they are learning about global problems in a different way. We are glad and grateful to be able to continue this work,” she says.
One of the Folk High Schools that has been able to accept a Ukrainian student thanks to the fundraising in the spring is Rønde Folk High School. The folk high school is having three students this autumn, and according to the teacher Kirsten Petersen it has been a positive experience.
“It is our experience that the young Ukrainians get a different kind of education than the one they are used to. They have been very surprised that there is so much teamwork, and that the students have a vote and influence on how the folk high school stay turns out. Here, they practice democratic processes on a small scale, and I believe that we as folk high schools can help give them the tools they need in the long and hard rebuilding of their own society,” she says adding that the young Ukrainians also are important for the other students at the folk high school.
"Many of the students are interested in learning about the world outside and those who are not will still be confronted with it now. When we have discussed the war, they have been able to offer more than if we had just put on a documentary about it. It makes the whole thing more specific.”
Not possible to use the school’s own money
According to the law, the folk high schools can not use the their own money to finance stays for students. Thus, it is necessary to raise money from elsewhere. The idea of this fundrasing is that the folk high schools lower their own payment to the legal minimum amount which the scholarship then will cover.
Several Danish folk high schools have accepted Ukrainian refugees over the last six months. Among other things, it has been made possible with the money from local collections and donations. The fundraising from The Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark was created at the request of a group of folk high school educators from the NGO Ukrainian Bildung Network. About 62.000 Danish kroner were collected in a short time during the spring.
The fundraising also includes young Russians in the hope that they will help strengthen the values that the folk high schools build on in their homeland.
Read more about the pool and how to apply here (in Danish).
Found out how to apply here.