The Global Line at Egmont Højskolen
In the Danish tradition of residential “folk high schools”, with students of all ages and no exams, Egmont Højskolen offers DPOD’s member organisations the chance to invite two persons with disabilities from their partner organisations in the South for a 19-week course entitled: “Democracy and Rights of Disabled People in the South and the North”.
Every autumn since 2000, Disabled People’s Organisations Denmark (DPOD) and the school Egmont Højskolen have offered a course called “the Global Line”. Participants have represented various disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) from developing countries with which DPOD or DPOD member organisations are engaged in cooperation. The course has been especially designed for persons with disabilities (PWDs). Between 8 and 10 PWDs are invited every year to attend this 19-week course at Egmont Højskolen.
The vision of the Global Line is to strengthen disabled people’s organisations in developing countries by raising the qualifications of their members, since DPOD believes that this will improve the course participants’ involvement in their organisations at the national, regional and local level.
The purpose of the training in Denmark is:
- To provide each participant with tools for improving organisational work at the local, district or national level.
- To gain broader understanding of democracy and how it can be implemented at the personal and organisational level.
- To learn about the rights, possibilities and responsibilities of people with disabilities including their participation in society.
- To strengthen each participant in his/her personal development, self-confidence etc.
The target group consists of active members of DPOs in the South. The course participants are generally persons with disabilities. However, relatives of such people can also join in if whom they represent are unable to attend normal education, e.g. persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities or autism.
The course is financed under the DPOD “Mini-Programme”. The work connected with the Global Line is carried out by DPOD, DPOD member organisations, their partner organisations in the South and Egmont Højskolen.
The course is ultimately intended to benefit the organisations in the South, but individual participants also bring home a lot more than hard facts from their stay in Denmark:
- Their self-esteem is boosted. In many developing countries, PWDs are disregarded, stigmatised and seldom accustomed to being respected and taken seriously.
- The Danish organisations gain some good ambassadors. Communication across linguistic and cultural divides is often a major problem in development cooperation. When Global Line students have spent 19 weeks at Egmont Højskolen, they will be familiar with their Danish partners’ views, values and scope for political action. This helps to prevent misunderstandings in the cooperation as well as in the projects and organisations to which the students will return.
The Global Line has previously been attended by students from countries such as South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Nepal, Philippines and India.
- Introduction to Global Line course
- The Egmont Højskolen (Egmont School) and Egmont Højskolen english website
- Content of Global Line course
- Studying at Egmont and articles written by Global Line participants discribing their stay at Egmont Højskolen
- Application process and criteria for selection of participants
- The process after selection of participants
- Practical information to Global Line participants and facts about Denmark
- Former students organisational work in their own countries: Ghana, India, Nepal, Philippines, South Africa, Uganda
- DPODs review of the Global line in 2008.