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Mentor network survives thanks to government lifeline

Kvinfo can continue its work to integrate immigrants and refugees after being granted temporary funding


Birthe Berger, 59, and Inna Besserman, 30, met through KVINFO's mentoring network which was threatened with closure due to a lack of funding (Photo: Peter Stanners)

January 22, 2014
11:11

by PS


A successful mentor network for immigrant and refugees that was slated for closure will continue after securing new government funding.

Kvinfo's mentor network has been lauded for helping a quarter of its 3,200 mentees into work since it started in 2002.

Last April, the government turned down an application to continue Kvinfo's funding, however, spelling disaster for the programme and the 200 mentees currently waiting to be partnered with a Dane.

READ MORE: “I would never have found a job without my mentor”

Last minute funding
Nine months later, the mentor network has been granted a lifeline in the form of a two million kroner grant from the government for 2014.

“I am very grateful that politicians have found a solution for 2014,” Kvinfo’s departing director, Elisabeth Møller Jensen, wrote in a press release. “It’s a great relief that Kvinfo’s mentor network can continue its valuable work and that the new director, Nina Groes, can work to secure a sustainable financial future."

Speaking to Politiken, Jensen said that the program’s success means that it is likely to find private funding to continue from 2015.

READ MORE: Successful immigrant mentoring programme loses funding

Integration programme
The programme first started offering mentors to immigrant and refugee women, before opening up the programme to immigrant and refugee men, aged 16-30, in 2012.

The Danish mentors meet with their mentee around once a month to offer advice and guidance about how to break into the Danish society and labour market.

But it’s not all one way according to Kvinfo, which reports that many mentors also benefit from the experience that helps to build stronger ties with vulnerable and poorly-connected newcomers into Danish society.

New Kvinfo director Groes is married to Magnus Heunicke, the political spokesperson for ruling government coalition party Socialdemokraterne.



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