The Welcome Alliance was set up by companies and organisation that want to be frontrunners through action. The Alliance is initiated by DGI, Nextstep by Bindslev, Maersk, QVARTZ, ISS, Movia, the Danish Red Cross Youth, Copenhagen Capacity, KAB and International House Copenhagen. The Alliance is supported by the Tuborg Foundation.
Every day, we meet new residents we don't yet know. At our workplace, on the football pitch, in the school yard, in the cafeteria or across the street. With that in mind, Denmark is currently ranked 65th when it comes to welcoming new foreign residents. At Copenhagen Capacity we believe that all new residents who quickly experience a welcoming feeling will have fewer problems adapting and cost society less. They'll be able to contribute by sharing our common workload, by participating in associations, and creating life in the city.
In an effort to go from the bottom of the ranking to the top, Copenhagen Capacity along with other Danish companies, joined VelkomstAlliancen. VelkomstAlliancen was formed specifically to tackle our ways of welcoming new citizens in Denmark.
This week is Welcome Week. It's a very simple, and small gesture, that can go a long way. Each company that takes part in VelkomstAlliancen must find their own way of handing out 100 unique handshakes, and each handshake must be followed by three questions. The point is to get personal with strangers, to open up, and let people in. When was the last time you genuinely had a conversation with a stranger? Friendships can honestly be found in the least expected places.
Copenhagen Capacity's welcome initiative was simple but effective; we took to the streets! We brewed coffee, got out the milk and sugar, and headed to Nørreport station. Here we offered pedestrians free coffee, a handshake, and told them about or initiative to make Denmark a more welcoming and inviting country regarding new citizens. People were genuinely intrigued and promised to pass along the initiative. Our hopes are that this will create a snowball effect, and hopefully generate some awareness.
We all know what it's like to be new somewhere, whether it's the new kid in class, the new person at the office, new on the football team, or new in a foreign country. Either way, it's not easy, and not always fun. Therefore, let's make an effort to be more inclusive going forward because Denmark needs all the team players, experts, students and passionate souls coming into the country.
If you are interested in reading more about Velkomst Alliancen please here