"You can get mental health and body health from ping-pong"
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By Stacey Goldberg, Communications Intern
Ping-pong has helped create an immersive and fun atmosphere in Trampoline House. Located in the multi zone, it is rare to see the ping-pong table folded up. Instead, the sound of the ping-pong ball hitting the table is a soothing and constant presence in Trampoline House.
In January, David Jason Lou, from China, started a ping-pong workshop in Trampoline House. Ping-pong has brought David a lot of fun in his life and he says it’s kept him young both physically and mentally. He started playing when he was only 6 years old and continued throughout his life thus far.
The idea behind the ping-pong workshop
David says, “Trampoline House is a place where asylum seekers and refugees can relax, get energy, and communicate. I think that ping-pong is the most fun and people who play ping-pong can easily have fun and become happier. So that’s the idea of bringing the ping-pong workshop to Trampoline House. The workshop allows people to jump to a higher level and lets more people play ping-pong and enjoy playing it.”
Trampoline house has a variety of activities happening throughout the day. David explains that his other motive for creating the ping-pong workshop is that “Trampoline House has a lot of language courses, such as English, French, and Arabic. And they have the democracy class, but all these things have to do with mental training, rather than physical training”. Thus, ping-pong gives people physical activity in Trampoline House.
Come along to ping-pong!
The ping-pong workshop is every Friday (except the last Friday of the month) at 2:00–4:00 pm. Ping-pong brings a different energy to Trampoline House.
“Some people come to my course because it’s very fun and they get some training and become healthier,” David says. “You can get mental health and body health from ping-pong and it’s a good reason for them to come my class.”
There is no need to be shy if you don’t play ping-pong well. David’s workshop helps serious and fun players of all levels and he says, “I can see many people enjoying when they come to my course. Sometimes many people come to my course, other times not too many, maybe just five people. Some people who come to play are good and some people are just at the first level. It is all different levels. None are professional so I’m teaching them how to have the standard movement.”
Competition is the mission!
David is often challenged by his students and explains, “If it’s a serious player, I don’t give them any chances. But sometimes I’m not so cruel. Sometimes I give them a chance.
David hopes to see more people for ping-pong workshops: “I hope more players come. I think it’s very important that people are challenged and I think competition is really good in life. People need to become strong and it’s good to have exercise and competition to struggle for the good life”.
Let’s see who can be the first to beat David in a match. ∎
50 of around 60 families in deportation center Sjælsmark have written an open letter to Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Minister for Immigration & Integration Mattias Tesfaye. In the letter, they reject a Sjælsmark employee’s claim that most them want to stay in Sjælsmark. “It is indefensible and unethical to put words in our mouth,” they write.
“My daughter worries a lot about being deported. By investing in my education, I can help her dare to believe in a future in Denmark. And it’s good for me to take my dream education.”
“This is a life experience that I would recommend to anyone just because it teaches you so much; staying at Trampoline House is a nice experience and you get to learn a lot. Personal change and achievement, lessons for you and your life; it’s not just like any other internship that you get to do in other NGOs or organisations.”
Trampoline House offers free Danish classes for asylum seekers, refugees or other citizens who want to learn the Danish language and culture. Everyone is welcome.
New course on entrepreneurship makes it easier for refugees and asylum seekers to find a job or start their own business.
“I come to Trampoline House to learn Danish and to learn about the Danish society, so I can build my life. If you can learn it, it means you can do it.”
Trampoline House has seen a lot of reconstruction since last summer, improving the space for children’s activities, socializing in the café and focused work.
“All in all, it is giving a space for the groups of individuals which both Denmark and Copenhagen is actively trying to phase out via oppressive economic, social, and immigration policies.”
On 8th of March, women with and without refugee background came together to discuss their rights and possibilities.
Trampoline House’s new legal counselor focuses on making immigration law more understandable for asylum seekers and refugees. She offers free counseling every week.
At Trampoline House’s house meetings, the participants are practicing democratic dialogue. Meanwhile, the government and the Danish People’s Party are restricting refugees’ possibilities for integration.
The new Women’s Class empowers women by sharing stories and discussing feminism and human rights.
Ping Pong is more than just a popular sport. By playing ping pong, you can practice living in accordance with Buddhistic and philosophical values.
The government’s refugee policies don’t make sense on a humane, democratic or economical level. We have to resist!
“Please listen to our voices. We do not want our loved children crying every day because of the horrible living conditions. Our children are asking, why are we living here? Asking, what shall we eat? We, parents have no answers but to cry also ourselves. We don't want our kids to suffer any more.”
Since October 25, children and parents have been boycotting the cafeteria food in deportation center Sjælsmark. They ask for the center to be closed.
David is originally from China and now volunteering in Trampoline House. He has written a poem about hope.
Everyone who comes to Trampoline House now have the possibility to get help to find a job. Every Wednesday at 10am–12pm, volunteer job counselors arrange a job workshop that will strengthen the participants in their pursuit of the job market.
Support from Novo Nordisk Fonden, Lauritzen Fonden og private donationer, has made it possible for Trampoline House to hire a Children’s Club Coordinator. "The Children’s Club is to function as a nice place, where these children can find ease, security, positive relations, predictability and happiness," says Sara Ipsen
“The kids with citizenship got all that is needed, but not children who are growing up in the camps. I'm just sorry they don't have the same rights as Danish citizens. Also, they don't have the same opportunity, freedom, house, food, generally normal life.”
“There is discrimination on both sides. She wasn’t completely comfortable telling us that she was from Dansk Folkeparti. That’s why it’s an important thing for us to go to People’s Meeting and talk with people that are different from us.”
“If someone would ask what I miss the most from home, I would tell them I missed the smell of my mother and my brother. And the voice of the man I loved.”
“Before I started coming to Trampoline House, I was just in Roskilde. Sometimes I went shopping for maybe half an hour, and then I returned home to watch TV.”
“There’s a different atmosphere out here. It’s not about learning Danish or getting help with your legal issues.”
"You can get mental health and body health from ping-pong" Meet David, who’s behind Trampoline House’s weekly ping-pong workshops
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