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PROJECT FOCUS - BACKGROUND. Project Focus is implemented by the Danish Red Cross Asylum Department (DRCA), in cooperation with the Egmont Foundation, The Oak Foundation and The Ministry of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs. Project period: September 2006 – December 2007

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project focus background


Project Focus is implemented by the Danish Red Cross Asylum Department (DRCA), in cooperation with the Egmont Foundation, The Oak Foundation and The Ministry of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs.

Project period: September 2006 – December 2007

The project is situated in Center Kongelunden and draws upon experiences from the Project Department and the staff and management of Center Kongelunden.



  • The project draws upon the experiences and knowledge gained from a former Equal-project concerned with developing strategies to work with learningprocesses for severely traumatised asylum seekers.
  • The specific focus of the project is to apply these experiences to empowerment-oriented work with vulnerable families in Center Kongelunden.
  • The project intervenes in three simultaneous areas:
      • Children
      • Parents
      • The family-unit


  • There is appr. 15 families in Center Kongelunden
  • They are primarily from Kosovo and Iraq.
  • The families are heavily influenced by physical and mental illness – in many cases traumatization caused by war experiences, torture, imprisonment etc.
  • In general at least one parent is medicated and spends the day in bed.
  • These health issues are immensely influential on the quality of life of both children and parents.


  • The children are generally busy in school, with leisure activities etc.
  • The project strives to work interdisciplinary with school and leisure units on creating activities which children and parents can commonly get involved in.
  • Recognizing the importance of including a body-perspective in the work with the children, the project facilitates psycho-motorical training – eg. a ’balance-workshop’ using monobikes, stilts etc. It is good fun and provides rehabilitational results.


  • Learning activities
      • Computercourse and -workshop
      • English teaching
      • Sewingcourse and -workshop
  • Psychosocial activities
      • Themebased psychoeducational lectures and dialoguemeetings with psychologist and social worker.
      • Reminiscence work.
  • Relevant excursions
      • workplaces, public institutions, cultural events, museums etc.


  • Excursions outside the centre – the project provides a positive context to help bulid a positive family identity.
  • Wood-workshop – bulid your own stilts, kite etc. with the help of mom or dad.
  • ’foRum’ – cultural events at the center with entertainment provided by artists from the outside and children and adult residents. The residents cook cheap and tasty meals for everybody.
  • Psychoeducation for families in cooperation with the Danish Red Cross Psychotrauma Centre.


  • Due to the general uncertainty of being in the asylum phase the residents are often sceptical towards new initiatives and new staff. Thus much focus and energy must be put into building positive relations and confidence.
  • Building a group of regular participants is a lengthy process of constant motivational work.
  • The purpose of the activities must be transparent and clear to the participants. Changes and shifts must be kept to a minimum.


  • Activities and learning must by directly applicable to the everyday- life of the families.
  • Activities must be and appear serious and with an obvious learning perspective. The success of the themebased psychoeducational lectures have underlined this.
  • A wideranging cooperation with all centerstaff ensures a successful implementation of activities and a sense of coherence for the participants.


  • Participation has empowered the families to play an active part in the development of a meaningful everyday-life and a general improvement in their family life.
  • Methodological and practical knowledge is gained. Approaches and experiences with rehabilitation and empowerment work with vulnerable families.
  • To the future benefit of asylum seekers this learning will serve to further qualify the work of the Danish Red Cross, and be made available to a broader field.


  • Publication and dissemination of the final report and evaluation.
  • Seminar on empowerment, traumatization and vulnerable families.
  • ’Best practices’, knowledge and experiences are applied to the general work of the Danish Red Cross.