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A Good Life for Children and Young People

The Egmont Foundation works to fight ”modern poverty” – i.e. today many young people leave lower secondary school without being able to master reading, writing or math.

We do this by focusing on targeted efforts to support the learning and life skills of disadvantaged children and young people, thereby reducing the impact of negative social inheritance.

The majority of donations are made in Denmark. However, support is also provided in Norway in areas where the Egmont Foundation is able to create synergy between activities in the two countries.

In 2017, the Egmont Foundation donated EUR 12.902m for initiatives aimed at vulnerable children and young people.


Highlights 2017

New Strategy

In 2017, Egmont Fonden adopted a new philanthropic strategy for the period 2017-21. The overall objective of the strategy is to ensure that by 2030 all young people are able to complete an upper secondary education. This means in practice that all children and young people must be able to master reading, writing and math when they leave lower secondary school (Folkeskolen). And they must have the social and personal skills necessary for children and young people to cope in life. They must be capable of creating a good life. In 2017, the foundation’s donations amounted to DKK 96.1m for activities in Denmark and Norway.


Strengthening the Learning and Life Skills of Children and Young People Placed in Care

Children and young people placed in care constitute one of the foundation’s most important target groups. Today, about 11,000 children and young people are placed outside the home, and just under half of them complete the final 9th grade examination, and six years after leaving lower secondary school only one in five has completed an upper secondary education. Society has failed in this respect, and the foundation wants to help resolve the problem. Children and young people placed in care have been the focal point for a number of foundation activities in 2017.

One of Egmont Fonden’s most important investments in children and young people placed in care is the signature programme Learn for Life, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2017. Learn for Life is a well-established and recognised organisation which has highlighted that learning and well-being go hand in hand. In 2017, approx. 400 children placed in care (from 41 municipalities) are enrolled in the programme, which also counts a total of 350 volunteers. In 2017, Learn for Life was also recognised as a promising social practice under the criteria established by Socialstyrelsen (The Danish National Board of Social Services), as the initiative significantly helps increase the Danish and math skills of children placed in care and boosts their self-esteem and self-confidence.

In April 2017, Egmont Fonden hosted its first Children’s Summit, which will be a recurring annual event. At the Children’s Summit this year, Egmont Fonden provided a platform for 30 children and young people placed in care to share their opinions on initiatives that can help strengthen their learning and life skills.

The Egmont Report 2017 further highlighted what is needed to ensure that children and young people placed in care become able to complete an upper secondary education and thereby get a solid foundation for a good life. The report is based on child participation, interviews with researchers, case stories and new data. Egmont Fonden will also be deeply involved in strengthening the learning and life skills of children and young people placed in care in the coming years.


A Good Start for Children

Throughout 2017, Egmont Fonden has worked with ”Småbørnsalliancen” (The Danish Alliance on Support for Young Children), which was established as a joint initiative by Egmont Fonden and the Danish think tank DEA. The alliance included key stakeholders in the area of children aged 0-6, and the alliance has discussed ways to mitigate the inequality in learning and life skills among young children. The result of the alliance is a pledge to support young children (”Småbørnsløftet”), which will be launched in January 2018. The pledge will be supported by a broad group of organisations, authorities, foundations, professionals, knowledge communities and dedicated individuals, and they will contribute knowledge, resources, and political and financial capital. Egmont Fonden supports ”Småbørnsløftet” by donating a total of DKK 75m for initiatives targeted at young children over the next two years.


Focus on Reading Strengthens Learning and Life Skills

Egmont Fonden has invested in a number of initiatives in 2017 to strengthen vulnerable children’s reading skills. This year the following five organisations received support for reading activities: Read for Life, Homestart, Reading dogs, Letterbox Club under Dansk Flygtningehjælp (The Danish Refugee Council) and Reading Friend under Norske Kvinners Sanitetsforening (Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association). Egmont Fonden has supported these reading initiatives with a total of DKK 9.35m.


New Partnerships with Focus on Learning and Care

In 2017, Egmont Fonden has entered into two new partnerships that focus on strengthening vulnerable children’s reading and life skills.

Partnership with Red Barnet Ungdom (Save the Children Youth)

In 2017, Egmont Fonden has entered into an ambitious partnership with Red Barnet Ungdom (Save the

Children Youth). The organisation runs 30 learning cafes throughout Denmark. The aim of the partnership is to ensure that the number of cafes is increased to 120 so that 5,000 vulnerable children and young people with academic and social challenges can get help to boost their motivation for schooling. This will also improve their chances of completing an upper secondary education. The partnership covers the period 2018-2021, and Egmont Fonden has granted a total of DKK 1,892,000 for the initiative.

A Helping Hand

Since its foundation, Egmont Fonden has distributed individual support based on the provisions in its charter. Since 2013, individual support has been granted through partnerships with organisations that are in direct contact with vulnerable families, children, and young people. The intention is that financial support must go hand in hand with more long-term support such as counselling or social network activities.

In 2017, Egmont Fonden also entered into a partnership with Efterskoleforeningen (The Association of Danish “Efterskoler” ) under A Helping Hand. The partnership aims to ensure that more young people from low-income families get help to pay for a stay at an “Efterskole”. The partnership will run for a period of five years, and the foundation has granted a total of DKK 5m for the initiative.

In addition to the partnership with Efterskoleforeningen, Egmont Fonden has established partnerships with Red Cross, Mødrehjælpen (The Mother’s Care Association), Børnehjælpsdagen (The Children’s Aid Foundation) and Norske Kvinners Sanitetsforening (Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association) under A Helping Hand. A total of DKK 9.6m was distributed under A Helping Hand in 2017.