This year, Roskilde Festival focused on the conditions for asylum seekers in the Nordic countries. In the spring the festival gave more than 4 million kroner to asylum projects, but donations are still flowing from the profit.
That is why Roskilde Festival Charity Society has now chosen to donate DKK 500,000, which will be distributed between eight different organisations, in Norway and Sweden, working with asylum seekers. The organisations were chosen by festivalgoers from Sweden and Norway, who gave their suggestions for projects and organisations that work with improving the conditions for asylum seekers, and that need a helping hand. You can read more about the various organisations below.
Medical help for refugees in Stockholm
In Sweden it is not free to go to the doctor, like it is in Denmark. That means, that many refugees are left in unfortunate situations where they do not have any money for medical treatment.
That is where ’Läkere i världen’, or ‘doctors in the world’ as it would be called in English, come in. Since 1995 they have had a medical clinic in Stockholm, where asylum seekers and undocumented refugees can come and get free treatment. Volunteer doctors and nurses run the clinic, but rent and equipment still need to be paid for. That is why the donation from Roskilde Festival is sorely needed. Read more www.lakareivarlden.org (only in Swedish).
Support for refugees in hiding
’Rosengrenska stiftelsen’ is an independent network of doctors and nurses in Sweden, whose primary goal is to help refugees who are in hiding for various reasons. Refugees, who are in hiding, can contact the foundation hotline and talk to a treatment provider, who is working in or outside the health sector and get treatment that way. Read more here www3.rosengrenska.org
Self-founded refugee union in Oslo
’Palestinerleir’ is a group of Palestinian refugees who started their own refugee camp in Oslo instead of living in the public refugee camps. Their applications for asylum had been denied and therefore they had no rights in Norway, and did not have the chance to be members of a formal organisation either. That was why they set up the camp, which was run according to democratic principles with meetings and election of leaders and spokespersons.
They hoped that by living on the street they would get the attention of politicians and citizens.
This camp was later taken down, but before, it was the longest running consecutive demonstration in the history of Norway. Since then, they have founded a new union and set up a board of directors, that aside from Palestinian refugees also consists of Norwegian citizens. The purpose is to make the asylum policy more humane, and it mainly focuses on asylum seekers who commit suicide. At the same time, the union offers legal aid to refugees and work on informing the refugees as well as the Norwegian media about the situation in Palestine. Read more here www.palestinerleir.no
No human is illegal
’Ingen människe er illegal’ is a Swedish network, that helps rejected asylum seekers under the motto that all people have a right to settle wherever they want in the world - nobody is illegal.
There are local groups in Uppsala, Stockholm Östersund, Göteborg and Norrbotten, where these networks help rejected asylum seekers, who are in hiding, with everything from bringing them food, helping them go to the doctor to giving talks at schools and to work politically for a world without borders. Read more here www.ingenillegal.org
FARR: an umbrella for the refugee organisations
’Flyktinggruppernas Riksråd’(FARR) is a Swedish umbrella organisation that helps a lot of refugee organisations, among them are: ’Ingen människe er illegal’ and ’Asylgruppen Malmö’, which Roskilde Festival has also donated money to. It is an independent organisation, that has helped and united refugee groups, asylum committees and individuals since 1988. Their job is to defend the right to asylum and to make sure the Swedish authorities abide by the regulations for refugees.
FARR: an umbrella for the refugee organisations
’Flyktinggruppernas Riksråd’(FARR) is an independent umbrella organisation, which has helped and united refugee organisations, asylum committees and individuals since 1988. Their job is to defend the right to asylum and to make sure the Swedish authorities abide by the regulations for refugees, but it is also to help and advise people who want to seek asylum in Sweden. Read more at www.farr.se
Malmö as a free city for refugees
Since 1991 ’Asylgruppen i Malmö’ has worked with and for asylum seekers and refugees who live in hiding. The asylum group can be reached via email, telephone or through its contact persons. The refugees who contact the asylum group are often in great trouble, and the asylum group helps with physical and psychological problems; everything from medical treatment and legal aid to finding a school for their children. At the same time, they promote a refugee policy where every individual is treated with dignity and where the constitutional state is also available for refugees and asylum seekers. Read more here www.asylgruppenimalmo.se
The asylum group in Malmö also has the initiative Malmö - fristad for papperslösa’ - a free city for the paperless -, which receives a donation from Roskilde Festival as well. Here, the goal is for Malmö to become a sort of free city for rejected asylum seekers, in the sense that individuals and unions, such as football clubs, schools, shelters, business owners and the like, must make their resources available for asylum seekers, thereby being part of improving their conditions. The initiative is based on solidarity and the point of it is that asylum seekers must be able to live like all other citizens in Malmö. Read more here www.malmofristad.se
Help refugees help themselves
’Selvhjelp for innvandrere og flyktninger’(SEIF) (self-help for immigrants and refugees) is an independent Norwegian volunteer organisation, which has helped new citizens settling in to Norwegian society since 1986. The organisation has a number of offices spread around Norway, where the new citizens can come and get help with what problems they might have, and in 2011 SEIF was approached nearly 12,000 times by people from 120 different countries.
The goal is that asylum seekers and refugees must learn to solve their problems themselves. SEIF advise and refer refugees to the right authority and offers solutions to a wide variety of problems. Read more here www.seif.no (mainly in Norwegian)