“You can use your interests, even though you never tried it before”

Photo: Anna Emy

Photo: Anna Emy

Dejene and Marie have started a new activity in Trampoline House: Radio workshops. Together, the participants learn to plan and produce radio as part of their internships in Trampoline House.

Trampoline House offers people from the asylum centers an internship contract (‘praktik’), whereby Trampoline House pays their transportation between the asylum center and Trampoline House. In return, asylum seekers help with the day-to-day tasks and development of Trampoline House by participating in activities like cooking, cleaning, child care, language classes etc. Those internships contribute to everyone’s experience of Trampoline House as their own house.

You can read more about Trampoline House's methods here.

Many activities in Trampoline House have started because of an interest from volunteers or interns themselves: For instance, there’s e a hair shop, where the many skilled hair dressers in the house can offer the rest of the community a free haircut; every Friday, there’s a Bible class in Farsi – and as something new, there are radio workshops every week that have been developed by two interns in the house: Dejene, who’s an intern while he waits for the outcome of his asylum application, and Marie, who’s doing an internship as part of her studies.

 

A platform where you can raise your voice

Dejene and Marie have both been part of founding The Bridge Radio, which was created in Trampoline House in 2016. The Bridge Radio consists of a group of 10 people. None of them had any radio experiences before, but they have learned how to produce radio together:

“We produce everything together, and we’re learning how to do everything together,” explains Marie. “When we started, none of us had done radio before, so it was completely new for us, but we’ve learned a lot – and now we know how to produce a program.”

While most of The Bridge Radio’s podcasts cover political and cultural issues all over the city of Copenhagen, Marie and Dejene are now moving part of the production to Trampoline House, where they have found 7 people from the asylum centers who want to make radio as part of their internship contract with the house.

“The purpose of making radio in Trampoline House is to make a platform where they can raise their voices and be a part of the radio group,” says Dejene. “There is no specific requirement, people just need to be interested, then they can come and learn something together, especially asylum seekers who are just sitting in a camp – if they can tell us some stories, then we can learn from them and they can learn from us – that is the main purpose.”

 

Fun to make radio together

The radio workshops in Trampoline House have been so popular that Dejene and Marie are considering introducing a waiting list for people who want to do their internship in the radio group.

“We’re new, so it’s difficult for us to manage if there are like 100 people,” says Dejene. They hope to be able to take in more people in the future. They seem overwhelmed, but not surprised, that the radio workshops are so popular.

“Well, it’s just a really good idea, and it’s a fun group!” says Marie, and laughs. “It’s fun to do radio, and it’s fun to do together. You can join at many levels, and you can really get to discuss. You can be both creative, you can be interested in poetry and music, you can be interested in political or social topics, you can talk about more emotional things, you can do more technical things – so you can be part of a team, and use your skills or interest, even though you have never tried it before.”

In addition to being a fun and creative project, Bridge Radio is also a political project that is of great value to many people with migration experiences:

“We’re also political in the way that we have some values that we always take the perspective of the people who migrate themselves, and not, for instance, the nation-state’s. We want to challenge the European border policies. We believe in freedom of movement.”

 

A break from the asylum centres

Besides the interns in The Bridge Radio, Trampoline House currently has 78 interns from the asylum centers. Every week, they all participate in one language class and in one practical activity. The possibility to get a break from the passive waiting time in the asylum centers and to develop their personal skills instead makes a big difference for their mental well-being and for their integration with society.

Transportation tickets to interns from the asylum centers made out a total of 12% of Trampoline House’s expenses in 2016. You can help make it possible for more people to do an internship by becoming a monthly donor.

You can read more about The Bridge Radio and listen to their podcasts on their website.


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