The Barndrømmen concept was created in 2009, as Dorthe Foged was talking to a family in their unheated flat in a council estate outside Birmingham. Dorthe, then the UK Director of The Danish Cultural Institute, was visiting as part of a Danish delegation. She was shocked!

The children wore too little clothes and were a bad quality for the time of year; they had no gas for cooking food and no heating in the small flat.

The reply when she asked the children, what they wanted to be when they grew up was: ”I just want a job!” Their biggest wish was to become employed. If you had a job, you would have money for heating, gas, food and clothes. Their parents were unemployed and had no means to pay for even the basics and the children suffered as a result.

The meeting with these children and their families in this underprivileged area made a strong impression. Dorthe felt that it was tragic that that such a stark difference between rich and poor could occur in a Western European country.

Upon arriving home, she immediately carried out investigations into how many children living in Denmark do so below the poverty line. It was time to do something for a group of children who not normally get a chance to choose a different and better future.

Art and culture is an area well known to Dorthe. Although there is evidence that the arts and cultural sector has positive effect on the development of children, Dorthe felt that this was not common knowledge and that more research should be carried out into what effect art and culture have on the future lives of children and young people. This is the reason she chose art and culture as a tool to help children and young people.

Dorthe moved back to Denmark and in early 2011, Barndrømmen was given its first donation. Since then Barndrømmen has not only created activities within art and culture for children from the whole of Denmark. The association has also been at the forefront for the first ever Cultural Children’s Summit focussing on methods, evidence and experiences within the area of using art and culture as a vehicle for social mobility.

Read here about the two major activity areas within Barndrømmen. :

Go Creative >

Cultural Children's Summit >

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