Moldova in Denmark: Report on Study Tour Activities

The study tour hosted 13 guests from Moldova, with representation from various sectors. The aim was to explore and get inspired from successful social and sports programs in Denmark, with a focus on prevention strategies and cross-sector collaboration.

Moldova in Denmark: The Study Tour

Cross Cultures facilitated a study tour with guests from Moldova to explore and get inspired by various Danish initiatives in social prevention and cross-sector collaboration. This tour aimed to gain insights into innovative approaches and best practices that could motivate cross-sectorial work in Moldova’s context. By engaging with professionals and organizations in Denmark, Cross Cultures sought to identify strategies to enhance social cohesion, prevent youth delinquency, and foster collaboration among different sectors.

Through visits and discussions with representatives from Swedish police, SSP-Copenhagen, Copenhagen Municipality, and grassroots organizations – Street Society and the Sports Project, Cross Cultures aimed to understand diverse approaches to crime prevention, community engagement, and social inclusion. The exchange of ideas and experiences during the tour provided valuable perspectives on integrating situational and social prevention measures.

Furthermore, Cross Cultures explored opportunities for partnership and collaboration with Danish counterparts, recognizing the potential for mutual learning and joint initiatives in addressing common social challenges. By leveraging the insights gained from the study tour, Cross Cultures aspires to inspire the development of effective strategies and programs that promote peace, cohesion, and social well-being in Moldova.

Representatives included colleagues from Cross Cultures, the Moldovan Football Federation (FMF), the Ministry of Education and Research, the local NGO “AJPP,” the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the National Security Inspectorate, the General Direction of Education, Youth and Sport, and the municipality of Chisinau.

Key Visits and Meetings

Bertil Rosenberg, Swedish Police:

    • Emphasized situational prevention in policing.
    • Identified a need for more robust social prevention measures.
    • Expressed interest in cooperation, including participation in GPI security councils.

During the meeting with Bertil Rosenberg, the representative from the Swedish police, emphasis was placed on the police’s approach to prevention, particularly situational prevention. Rosenberg identified the importance of addressing situational challenges but also highlighted the need to strengthen social prevention measures. He noted that social prevention has thus far been a missing link in the police’s approach. Additionally, he expressed interest in cooperation and opened the possibility of participation in IGP’s security councils. This opening for collaboration between our organization and the Swedish police lays the groundwork for future initiatives that can address both situational and social aspects of crime prevention.

SSP-Copenhagen (Cross-Sector Approach):

    • CEO Riad introduced the Danish cross-sector approach, SSP.
    • Provided insights into the organization, coordination, and functioning of SSP.

During the visit to SSP-Copenhagen, CEO Riad provided a comprehensive introduction to the Danish cross-sector approach known as SSP (School, Social Services, and Police). This initiative represents a collaborative effort between schools, social services, and law enforcement agencies to address issues related to youth crime, substance abuse, and social challenges. Riad offered valuable insights into the organization, coordination, and functioning of SSP, highlighting its fundamental principles and strategies for effective community engagement.

The presentation shed light on how SSP operates as a proactive framework for early intervention and support for at-risk youth. By bringing together representatives from different sectors, SSP aims to identify and address potential risk factors before they escalate into more severe problems. Riad’s explanation of SSP’s organizational structure and coordination mechanisms offered participants a deeper understanding of how various stakeholders collaborate to create safer and more inclusive communities.

Participants gained valuable insights into successful strategies by learning about SSP’s innovative approach to prevention and intervention. The visit to SSP-Copenhagen provided a platform for dialogue and knowledge exchange.

Copenhagen Municipality, Director of Sports, Thomas Bach:

    • Discussed the Danish club model based on trust and voluntarism.
    • Explained roles of state, municipalities, and volunteer organizations in sports.

During the engagement with Thomas Bach, the Director of Sports for Copenhagen Municipality, insights into the Danish club model were shared. This model, founded on principles of trust and voluntarism, serves as a cornerstone for community engagement and sports development in Denmark. Bach elaborated on the roles of various entities, such as the state, municipalities, and volunteer organizations, in fostering a vibrant sports culture.

The discussion highlighted the Danish club model’s emphasis on grassroots democracy and community-driven initiatives. The model fosters inclusivity and participation across diverse demographics by empowering local communities to take ownership of sports activities. Bach’s explanation of the roles played by the state, municipalities, and volunteer organizations underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in nurturing sporting talent and promoting healthy lifestyles.

The insights from the discussion with Thomas Bach provided valuable perspectives on the intersection of sports, community development, and social cohesion. By exploring the Danish club model, participants gained insights into practical strategies for promoting youth engagement, fostering leadership skills, and building resilient communities. The exchange of ideas with Copenhagen Municipality’s Director of Sports serves as inspiration for exploring innovative approaches to sports development and community building in Moldova.

Street Society:

    • A volunteer organization uses street sports to catalyse positive social change for children and youth.
    • Implements exit programs and organizes mentorship through sports.

The visit to Street Society offered profound insights into the transformative power of sports in addressing social challenges.

Through mentorship programs rooted in sports, Street Society offers a beacon of hope to at-risk youth, providing them with positive role models and opportunities for personal growth.

One of Street Society’s flagship initiatives is its young-brother/young-sister program, which pairs young individuals with mentors who guide them through life’s challenges using sports as a catalyst for change. By leveraging the universal appeal of sports, Street Society creates a safe and supportive environment where young people can discover their potential, build resilience, and forge meaningful connections within their communities.

The organization’s approach goes beyond sports training, encompassing holistic support services such as academic assistance, life skills development, and mentorship in areas ranging from personal hygiene to career guidance. Through these comprehensive interventions, Street Society equips young individuals with the tools to navigate life’s complexities and chart a course towards a brighter future.

The visit to Street Society was a powerful reminder of every individual’s inherent resilience and potential, regardless of their circumstances. Street Society exemplifies the transformative impact that grassroots initiatives can have in building safer, more inclusive communities by harnessing the power of sports as a vehicle for social change.

The Sports Project (Social Care System):

    • Utilizes young coaches to reach vulnerable children.
    • It aims to assist in school reintegration using sports as an entry point.

The Sports Project, operating within the framework of the Social Care System, exemplifies the innovative use of sports as a tool for social inclusion and youth development. This initiative harnesses the energy and enthusiasm of young coaches to reach out to vulnerable children and provide them with support and guidance.

At the heart of the Sports Project’s mission is assisting vulnerable children in reintegrating into school and society. By leveraging sports as an entry point, the project creates opportunities for engagement and empowerment among youth facing various challenges, including school dropout, social exclusion, or involvement with the juvenile justice system.

The Sports Project’s multi-faceted approach combines sports training with mentorship, academic support, and life skills development. Through structured sports activities and coaching sessions, vulnerable children are allowed to participate in physical activity and learn essential values such as teamwork, discipline, and resilience.

One of the key strengths of the Sports Project lies in its ability to connect with young people on a personal level. The project fosters trust and rapport by employing young coaches who may share similar backgrounds or life experiences, creating a supportive environment where children feel valued and understood.

By addressing the holistic needs of vulnerable children, the Sports Project plays a vital role in breaking the cycle of social disadvantage and fostering pathways to success. Through its innovative approach, the project empowers young people to overcome obstacles, build confidence, and realize their full potential.

The insights gained from the visit to the Sports Project offer inspiration for initiatives aimed at promoting social inclusion and youth empowerment. By embracing the transformative power of sports, organizations and communities can create opportunities for marginalized youth to thrive and succeed in all areas of life.

Guided Tour of Copenhagen:

    • It is led by a former drug addict from Gadens Stemmer, highlighting city hotspots.
    • It included visits to cultural landmarks and the city council.

The guided tour of Copenhagen offered a unique perspective on the city’s social fabric and cultural heritage, led by a guide from the organization, Gadens Stemmer, who had firsthand experience of its complexities. Facilitated by a former drug addict, the tour provided insights into urban environments’ challenges and opportunities while showcasing Copenhagen’s rich tapestry of landmarks and institutions.

Throughout the tour, participants were taken on a journey through Copenhagen’s historical and contemporary aspects. The tour offered a comprehensive overview of the city’s vibrant landscape, from iconic landmarks like the King’s Palace and the National Theatre to bustling urban hubs like the New Harbour and the shopping street Strøget.

What set this tour apart was its emphasis on authenticity and lived experience. Led by someone who navigated the city’s streets during adversity, participants better understood the social dynamics within Copenhagen’s neighbourhoods. By highlighting city hotspots and sharing personal anecdotes, the guide provided invaluable insights into urban life’s realities and the challenges marginalized communities face.

In addition to exploring cultural landmarks, the tour also included visits to significant institutions such as the city council of Copenhagen. This allowed participants to understand the mechanisms of local governance and the role of civic engagement in shaping urban policies and initiatives.

The guided tour of Copenhagen catalyzed meaningful discussions and reflections on the intersections between urban development, social justice, and community resilience. By immersing participants in the city’s fabric, the tour underscored the importance of empathy, understanding, and collaboration in addressing the multifaceted challenges of urban living.

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