How it started…
At the annual meeting of Elevorganisasjonen in 1964, a young man stood up and launched the idea of a student solidarity movement. He said “it’s wrong to merely work for improved conditions at our own schools when youth in other countries do not even have the opportunity to go to school”. This was the beginning of Operasjon Dagsverk Norway.
Operasjon Dagsverk fights for equal opportunities for all youths throughout the world. We want to provide youths in the Global South with educational opportunities. Operasjon Dagsverk wishes to contribute to a more diversified picture of the Global South. We wish to question the, sometimes simplistic and occasionally damaging, presentation of the situation in Africa, Asia, and South America in the Norwegian public domain. We aim at emphasising equality and therefore cooperate with independent local organisations in project countries. We believe that it is the local partners who know best how to improve the situation in their own countries. Education must always be the common denominator and we believe that education remains the best road to sustainable development.
Our Solidarity Action Day
OD’s Solidarity Action Day yearly takes place in the beginning of December. In the period before, we do a school tour to inform the participants about the project of the year.
Operasjon Dagsverk focuses on countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. We wish to question the, sometimes simplistic and occasionally damaging, presentation of the situation in Africa, Asia, and South America in the Norwegian public domain. We aim at emphasising equality and therefore cooperate with independent local organisations in project countries. We believe that it is the local partners who know best how to improve the situation in their own countries. And also, we always support and concerns marginalised groups and contribute towards girls and boys having equal rights to education.
The project gets chosen by students (between 13-19 years old) at the annual general meeting (AGM) of Elevorganisasjonen (the School Student Union). At the AGM the students vote over two or three different development projects which have been approved by ODW’s project council. Those schools which are not members of Elevorganisasjonen can also participate in the selection process.
OD’s best practice
In Norway, once a year there is a whole week for the sole purpose of focusing on global issues such as poverty, inequality and development. During this week, which is called International Week, (IW) the schools abandon their normal curriculum. This concept, helps promote the information campaign and at the end of the International Week, students volunteer to carry out “a day’s work” and donate their salary to the project. The information campaign is carried out prior to the Action Day. Operatjon Dagsverk develops an educational program which is offered free of charge to all students between 13 and 19 years old. The program focuses on global topics such as solidarity, human rights and education, as well as information about the project. Norwegian volunteers tour the country and hold lectures at the schools. In addition, several films, booklets and online resources are made available to the schools. These are developed through a close cooperation with youth from the project country.