Action Projects

Action projects er lige så mange og forskelligartede som de Fellows der skaber dem. Her kan du læse om nogle eksempler, beskrevet af de Senior Fellows der har udtænkt, designet og gennemført dem.

No Straws Attached 

Senior Fellow, Priyanka Kalra

How much do you really need that plastic straw? A question I asked myself when I started to cut down on disposable plastic in my day-to-day life. Also realising that just personally making a change won’t be enough, I, with the help of my two friends, designed a two-pronged campaign to get individuals to stop using plastic straws but also hit the problem at its roots by getting restaurants to stop serving plastic straws. A huge part of this campaign is social media advocacy through Facebook and Instagram which has gained a lot of support over the past three months. Using this as a basis to get more restaurants onboard, restaurant management was pitched a CSR and advertorial campaign, where if they become ‘No Straws Attached’, they will be certified by our organisation as a ‘environment friendly business’ and get promotion on our page. We now have eleven restaurants on board.

The future of this campaign lies on getting more restaurants onboard and recruiting No Straws Attached Influencers who can talk to restaurants in their neighbourhood to spread the word and get them on board. We also aim to expand to other cities within India and then internationally in Netherlands and Australia as the team members for the campaign are based in these countries. There is no bottom line to this project, it’s an ongoing campaign which wants to start a conversation on disposable plastic waste. With the last straw, we hope to continue the discussion with overall waste production.


RUC Trampolinhuset – Why do we need an asylum system in Denmark?

Senior Fellows, Julian Lo Curlo & Federico Jensen

“The 3rd of April of 2017 was hosted at Roskilde University an event with the name of “why do we need an asylum system in Denmark?” by Senior Fellows Federico Jensen and Julian Lo Curlo. As the title suggests, the objective of the event was to discuss in an academic environment the role of the Danish asylum system, as well to understand better its functioning. This was done by inviting the Copenhagen based organization for refugees and asylum seekers, Trampoline House. This is an independent community center that aims to offer a place of community, support and purpose to people within the Danish asylum system. The event opened with a panel debate, where rejected asylum seekers and the director of the aforementioned organization discussed about how the asylum system works and their personal perceptions on it.  After this initial part, a group discussion on the topic was started, where both participants and panelists participated. The discussion took the format of a ‘house meeting’, which is one of Trampoline House’s decision-making bodies. An assembly where the users of the house can voice their opinions and take decisions on organizational matters. The idea of the group discussion taking this format came from a wish of the organization itself to show their working methods to Roskilde University students. The discussion was very interesting and brought up exciting arguments. The participation was not as high as it could have been wished, but the quality of the panel, the discussions and the involvement of the participants fulfilled the prior high expectations for the event.”


SHE Talks Initiative, Nigeria

Senior Fellow, Faith Oloruntoba 

This action project is a sex education campaign program which encouraged young Nigerian teenage girls to talk freely about “taboo” topics relating to sexual health and menstrual hygiene. Growing up as a girl in a patriarchal and misogynistic country like Nigeria is tough. Girls are raised in a culture of silence especially on vital issues on sex and sexuality. On the other hand, boys are encouraged to be sexually proactive. Also, according to World Health Organization, Nigeria has one of the worst incidences of teenage pregnancy in the world! Over half of its young female population get pregnant before age 19. Thus, teen pregnancy is a thorn in their lives, killing them and compounding their suffering economically, physically and socially. Likewise, STDs affects about one fourth of Nigerian teenagers, of which females in rural areas are the most vulnerable. This high incidence has been attributed to inadequate information on sex among this group. Research has shown that poor sex education leads to teen pregnancy, increased STDs and other health problems. Therefore, this initiative encouraged unfettered discussion of these so-called taboo topics, as awareness is the first step towards sexual safety. Its key objectives were to discuss sex, contraceptives, birth control, STDs prevention in an interactive, engaging, no-holds barred manner with the selected girls. The project was carried out in partnership with 50 girls from Maroko community, a very poor urban suburb in Lagos State Nigeria and a community secondary school in Ikotun, another poor suburb in Lagos were contacted, having seeking permission from their parents, community head and school principal. The project was held in Ikotun Comprehensive High School, Lagos, Nigeria. To encourage them to talk, the girls were given brief oral and written exercises at intervals to understand exactly what they know about these topics and correct any inaccurate information. The girls were showed how to use sanitary pads effectively and free sanitary pads were shared to all.

The project was held in partnership with Aids Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN), the national Not-for-profit organization that is principally in charge of sex education and HIV/AIDS prevention in Nigeria and was supported by the Lagos State Aids Control Agency (LSACA), the Lagos State government agency supervising non-governmental organisations in the area of HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment. APIN and LSACA provided information communication materials regarding sex and STD prevention, as well as free condoms. This project also received some funding from two private companies, Development Achievers, a consultancy firm and a Shotec Nigeria Plc, an Engineering construction company in Lagos State. Due to the positive feedback from the participants especially on the interactive nature of the education programme, plans are in place to expand the initiative to other communities in Lagos state and other states in Nigeria. Also I hope to organise a campaign and fundraising for female condoms in the near future as female condoms are very expensive in Nigeria.” 

Organizing students – Building movements on story’s of struggle

Senior Fellow, Gwen Gruner-Widding

“Professor Marshall Ganz from Harvard has worked with social movements in the US. Through his works I have been introduced to many of the narratives from The Civil Rights Movement. Coming to Atlanta, as a John Lewis fellow, allowed me to get more of these narratives from the people who were part of the movement. It gave me the possibility to ask some of the question I have been wondering about for years, and to fill in some blanks. At the same time I gained an understanding of the successes of The Civil Rights Movement. What really inspired me the most was to see how powerful narratives, such as the Appeal for Human Rights, but especially the more personal ones can inspire people to take collective action against challenges which seem to be greater that what we at the moment are capable of overcoming on our own.”


Black Lives Matter Demonstration


Senior Fellow, Mary Consolata Namagambe

Black Lives Matter started with a hashtag. Now it is a rallying cry, a cause and a movement in the wake of the deaths of black men at the hands of police. The latest police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have spurred a new round of protests across the country and worldwide. Demands for change led to organized protests in major cities, including London, Stockholm, Malmø, Berlin, and now we also had one in Copenhagen.”


The Party Movement for Danes and New Danes


Senior Fellow, Catherina Juel

“As Denmark got an increase of young new Danes because of the refugee crises, there was lacking a place where young people could meet. Seeing how the growing right-wing movements throughout Europe and in Denmark where I live gained ground in the media and in the Danish mentality, for some, I became increasingly frustrated. Frustrated about the negative discourse in the media about refugees, frustrated about the increasing Islamophobia and frustrated about how the global refugee “crises” caused so much negativity and fear politically, socially and psychologically for a lot of my fellow countrywomen- and men. However, a reaction to the negativity rose up in a small village in rural Denmark and soon became a nationwide movement. As there is no English translation for the name of the movement “Venligboerne” it is best described as Danes, who explicitly chose to call themselves “Friendly citizens”. Venligboerne wanted to present an alternative to all the negativity, and was from the start volunteer-based. Venligboerne became a reaction to the right-wing, fearsome, introvert mentality and spread throughout the country with tonnes of different initiatives ranging from help with fixing bicycles to help with learning Danish. With the movement rolling through the country I soon decided to do my part as a resourceful person interested in international politics, psychology, and my own community in Copenhagen.”


Human Rights Film Club

human-rights-film-clubSenior Fellow, Kasper Ørnskov

“Even though I know plenty about human rights, I do not know everything, and when I talk to my friends and pier students they too know about human rights; but I’ve noticed that many of them are eager to learn more and they want to meet other people who are interested in the same field. So I thought: Why not create a platform in which every single one can join despite their level of knowledge about human rights and despite their level of education (i.e. you do not have to be studying human rights or the like)? That is why the Human Rights Film Club was invented. The only ‘requirement’ for people to join is a genuine interest in human rights. So along with a group of volunteers (mainly international students from all over the world) I started this project. It takes place once a month with a different theme and guest speaker each time. Furthermore, we decided that we could also use the platform to make people take action on urgent cases. That is why we screen contemporary documentaries and have signature petitions for Amnesty International at the events.”