The concept of the Solidarity Action Day goes back to 1963 in Sweden, when a group of young people launched ‘en dag för Dag’. This day was held in memory of the Swedish Secretary-General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld, who was killed in a plane crash on his way to a ceasefire negotiation in Congo.
The Solidarity Action Day concept caught eyes and spread quickly across the neighbouring countries: the next year, in 1964, the first edition of Operasjon Dagsverk took place in Norway. It took a little longer for the Solidarity Action Day to cross the sea, but 1985 saw the creation of Operation Dagsværk in Denmark.
The Scandinavian organisations are active in the entire world and met some people from Belgium and Italy. They implemented the Solidarity Action Day respectively in 2006 as YOUCA and 2007 as Operation Daywork. Also 2006 the concept flew over to Venice and Social Day implemented the Solidarity Action Day in the Veneto region for the first time.
In central Europe, the German organisation Schüler Helfen Leben was also spreading the Solidarity Action Day idea, after launching its own Solidarity Action Day in 1998. They brought the idea to South Eastern Europe. Unija Srednjoškolaca Srbije held its first Solidarity Action Day in 2010 in Serbia, followed by Asocijacija Srednjoškolaca u Bosni i Hercegovini in 2016 in Bosnia and Hercegovina and Unija Srednjoškolaca Crne Gora in 2017 in Montenegro.
How the SAME network developed
in the Summer of 2011, a few enthusiastic youngsters from seven different organisations met up in the forest near Oslo, Norway. All of these organisations used the same concept of students working one day instead of going to school and donating their salaries to their peers from all over the world.
After this first meeting, the network expanded and developed from an informal group of people to an official European youth organisation with an office in Lübeck (Germany) and currently nine members as well as a few organisations which are in the process of organising their first Solidarity Action Day.