Giving a Neighbour a Helping Hand!

Blue Cross Denmark

It is a tradition in Greenland that each monthly payday is dedicated to a party where alcohol plays a huge role. Greenlanders’ consumption of alcohol is on average less than the Danes, but it reflects the fact that more people are completely abstinent. But it is clear that some Greenlanders have heavy alcohol consumption.

From a child’s perspective these days are filled with fear, neglect and unfortunately also sexual abuse. One in three children in Greenland lives with an alcoholic relative while growing up, as one in three girls are sexually abused. Sexual abuse of children is often committed during drunkenness.

Cooperation across the Atlantic

Blue Cross Denmark is therefore reaching out to these children from difficult backgrounds by means of the Danish campaign ”neighbouring help” that has been translated into Greenlandic. This campaign was targeted toward children in Denmark between 2012 and 2013. The “neighbouring help” campaign provided information to the Danish population regarding how to help a child that lives with an alcoholic parent. Blue Cross Denmark has been working on translating the material for the campaign into Greenlandic for a year.

Four Blue Cross employees in Greenland

Four employees from Blue Cross Denmark travelled to Greenland in October 2014. One of them was the general secretary Christian Bjerre. The main objective was to present the campaign to Blue Cross in Greenland and to educate Blue Cross members and experts to help children in Greenland that lives with alcoholic parents. Greenland’s Minister of Health, Steen Lynge, expressed his opinion regarding the campaign:

"We are satisfied with Blue Cross’ initiative, because it supports our goal that children should not experience their relatives being affected by alcohol or drugs. The prevention of alcohol abuse and drugs are one of our high priorities in our public health programme.”

Brochures and website

Apart from the courses in Greenland, the cooperation also includes production of 4,000 brochures, a large number of fliers and posters. The brochures are now distributed to both associations and public authorities in Greenland. A website is also available with useful tips on how to provide help for children. Visit www.blaakors.gl and choose between Danish and Greenlandic on the website.

For more information on how to support the project in Greenland, visit Blue Cross’ website on www.blaakors.dk/støt.

Important Facts:

  • Currently, one in three Greenlandic children live in a family with alcohol problems or have lived for a period in a family where the mother or the mother’s partner have had an unhealthy consumption of alcohol.
  • One in three Greenlandic children have at least once searched for other places to sleep due to alcohol problems at home.
  • 31 percent of the children, who live in a family with alcohol problems, have been victims of violence comparing with 11 percent of children that live in families without alcohol problems.