Volunteer with LGBT Asylum

Right now, we are looking for contact persons for the asylum group, volunteers for the refugee group, and for people who are trained in or interested in planning and making events for our members. We are looking for volunteers in both Aarhus and Copenhagen, and we will host introduction and training meetings as we get the applications from potential new volunteers.

As a volunteer, no matter what part of LGBT+ Asylum you are in, we prefer that you:

  • can take on a responsibility and commit to the group for a longer period
  • keep the interests and needs of asylum activists and refugees at your heart no matter what
  • that you are willing to be trained in the work, including coming to our Saturday meetings, refugees and/or contact persons meetings, supervisions and half years meetings. In average, it is 2-3 meetings a month.
  • that you will participate in the introductory training and continue to learn about new regulations and laws
  • that you have time and energy for the work, including some periods of more intensive work loads.
  • have experiences on your own body about being LGBT+ person (this means, that straight cis-persons cannot be volunteers in LGBT Asylum)
  • speak English to some degree
  • can use a computer

 

Please send a motivated letter to info@lgbtasylum.dk.

Include in the letter what parts and areas you prefer to volunteer within (you can of course be part of many).

Volunteering as a contact person

As contact persons, we always start with the assumption that the asylum activist (which is our name for an asylum seeker) has the responsibility and initiative.

Contact persons guides and supports the asylum activist in his or her way.

As contact person you will follow one or more asylum activists in their way through the Danish asylum system. This work is both in relation to the person’s legal case at the authorities and in relation to the social life as a newly arrived LGBT+ person in the Danish asylum system.

In relation to the legal case work, among other things, you inform the asylum activist about the system and her/his rights and responsibilities, you prepare the asylum activist for the interviews with different Danish authorities, and you help preparing the case by e.g. gathering back ground information about the legal and social situation for LGBT+ people in the country of origin.

You will probably also guide the asylum activist to get the right help or guidance from persons/organizations/authorities, that could be health authorities, asylum centers, Danish Refugee Help, lawyers and so on.

Beside the legal case work, you will also function as the social link between the asylum activist and LGBT Asylum, and, thus, one of the tasks is to pass on information about social events like Saturday meetings (that is our monthly social meetings), Prides, demonstrations and so on. And it will be you, who arrange transport for the asylum activist to come to these events.

Volunteers for our refugee group

The group organizes a refugees’ weekend camp every half year, and we help, guide and support each other. Our members come from all over the world, and they are both LGBT+ – and everything in between and besides that.

We need more volunteers, who can help build and support the community and be part of creating the frames for inclusive and participating activities and friendships. We help each other to find a place to stand in Denmark, that be finding friends and communities, maybe a place to live, a job or something to study.

We help each other, when one feels lonely and have hard times – and we share the joys, when things are going the right way, and one wants to share that happiness with likeminded friends.

We also help each other to contact municipalities, job centres and other authorities – and then we hang out and laugh a lot!

We want to strengthen the community with more activities both in Aarhus and Copenhagen. That could be thematic meetings, basis groups, game nights, Friday nights out, or completely different activities, which you and we could have fun in doing. In order to be a volunteer in LGBT refugees, you do not need to speak Danish, but it is ok, if you do!

Volunteers for planning and making events

To be part of LGBT Asylum, you must be part of either the refugees group or the asylum group as contact person. But we are looking for people who besides doing that have an interest in (and maybe even experience in) planning and making events where you help people to actively participate in organizing and doing the event.

Once a month, we have Saturday meetings with different themes for all our members. The themes varies from sexual health to sport games, mental wellbeing, religion for LGBT+, multi-religious holiday parties with lipsync competitions and everything else.

Beside these monthly meetings in Aarhus and Copenhagen, we of course join both Aarhus and Copenhagen Pride.

These events also need to be planned and organized. Typically, we are 50-60 persons to an event, and most times we end the event with a shared dinner and maybe some drinks and a night out.

All our events are planned and organized in close corporation with asylum activists, refugees and contact persons in the group. Therefore it is an essential part of our planning and making of event to make participatory and co-creating activities before and during the events.

Volunteering as an intepreter

LGBT Asylum is a group of LGBT+ persons – asylum applicants, refugees, Danish citizens and people residing in Denmark. LGBT Asylum works for the rights of LGBT+ persons in the Danish asylum system.

LGBT+ persons are often an invisible group, who face particular challenges in the asylum system and, very often, social isolation. Knowledge and information about one’s possibilities in this kind of cases are almost non-existing within the Danish asylum system, and that can have severe effects for not just the asylum seekers’ conditions during the application process, but also for the outcome of the individual cases.

Many of the asylum activists (the members in the group who are applying for asylum) in the group do not speak Danish or English, but for example Farsi/Dari, Arabic, Malay, Luganda and several other languages. Almost all contact persons speak Danish and English.

Most asylum activists live in asylum centres far from Copenhagen, so much of the contact is done by mail, SMS and telephone. The last Saturday of the month, we host a meeting where all contact persons, asylum activists and refugees in the group get together for a meeting and dinner in Copenhagen. Often, we are about 80 people to these meetings. The contact persons in LGBT Asylum assist the asylum activists in buying tickets and finding accommodation.

Therefore, we have a group of interpreters/translators, which can help us with interpretation and translation associated with:

  • Case-preparatory meetings where the contact person prepares the asylum activist for interviews with the authorities, such as Immigration Service, Refugee Appeals Board or others.
  • Text messages, e-mails and phone messages from contact persons to asylum activist or vice versa, when, for example buying bus tickets to Saturday meetings, talk about problems at the centers or simple questions
  • Ad hoc interpretation to Saturday meetings
  • Written and oral translation of documents, newspaper articles, letters, minutes of meetings, and other things to be used in asylum activists’ asylum cases

We need permanent interpreters/translators, who:

  • Can interpret and translate between Danish or English and another language
  • Is either an LGBT+ person or have an understanding of LGBT+ groups and individuals
  • Can help with interpretation and/or translation about 2 times a month
  • Are interested in participating regularly in our Saturday meetings and help with ad-hoc interpretation during the day
  • Want to participate in meetings about every second month with other interpreters/translators and contact persons, where there will be short presentations about interpretation/translation, but also supervision and discussion about working with this in LGBT Asylum.

In practice, we often send a text message and see if you are free to interpret or translate at a meeting or a message. We expect you to be in close contact with the group of contact persons and respond promptly to inquiries from contact persons.

As an interpreter/translator in LGBT Asylum, you have 100% confidentiality and you are not to disclose information or names to anyone outside the LGBT Asylum.

A If you want to help out in LGBT Asylum and/or would like to come to the information meeting and hear more, or if you have any questions, please write to info@lgbtasylum.dk. Please write in which language you can interpret/translate.

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