Introduction to Global Line course
Every autumn since 2000 Disabled Peoples Organisation Denmark (DPOD) and Egmont Højskolen has offered a course called “the Global Line”. The participants have been representatives from different disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) from those developing countries in which DPOD or DPOD member organisations work. The course is specially developed for persons with disabilities (PWDs). Between 8 and 10 PWDs are invited every year to participate in this 19 weeks course at Egmont School.
The vision of the Global Line is to strengthen disabled peoples organisations in developing countries by giving individual members of the organisations in the South improved qualifications. DPOD believes that the course will strengthen the participants involvement and work in their organisations, which will strengthen the organisations at national, regional and local level.
The purpose of the training in Denmark is:
- To provide the individual participant with tools for improving the organisational work in their organisations at local, district or national level.
- To get a broader understanding of democracy and how it can be implemented on the personal or organisational level.
- To gain knowledge on rights, possibilities and responsibilities for people with dis¬abilities including people with disabilities’ participation in soci¬ety.
- To strengthen the individual participant in his/her personal devel¬opment, confidence etc.
The target group consists of active members of the DPOs in the South. The participants are in general persons with disabilities. However relatives to persons with disability can participate if the persons they represent are unable to attend normal education e.g. mentally retarded, autistic persons.
The course is financed under the DPOD miniprogramme. The work connected with the Global Line is done by DPOD, DPOD member organisations, their partner organisations in the South (South Organisation) and Egmont Højskolen.
The course is made to benefit the organisations in the South, but the participants 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 the Global Line students have spent 19 weeks at the Egmont school, they are 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, in which they will be working at home.
The Global Line has previously been attended by students from countries such as South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Nepal, Philippines and India.