'Beiàa - Environment in Arabic'
Water- and heating expenses have been reduced significantly after immigrant citizens attended a course in their mother tongue of how to protect the environment.
The background for the project was that the neighbourhood experieced an increase in consumption of electricity, water and heating among the citizens of other ethnic background than Danish.
The installation of water- and heating meters in the households of several social housing associations in Holmbladskvarteret resulted in a significant increase in the housing costs of many immigrant families. The increase was specifically larger in these families compared to average Danish families. This made it clear that there was a need for more information about the environment, water- and heating savings etc. Hence, 'Projektbasen in Holmbladsgadekvarteret' started the project 'Beiàa -environment in Arabic'. The purpose of the project was to inform citizens with immigrant background about various relevant environmental issues within the four themes: water, energy, electricity and consumption. The project was recieved positively and many people participated in the events/ lectures.
The participants learned how to save money on everyday energy- and water consumption through information meetings, garbage quiz, visit at a waterservice company and waste incineration and theme events about energy, consumption, health, exercise and transportation. Besides that, the participants recievedseveral news letters with tips and advice in Arabic. The project was carried out in Arabic and the evaluation of the project shows that this was important. In the survey 90% responded that they preferred information in their mother tongue.
The interest in learning more about how to take care of the environment has been large. The evaluation shows that 8 out of 10 participants used the tips and ideas of the project in their everyday life. For example, many changed their shower to save water, put stones in the water cistern of the toilet, changed the packing in the faucet, changed temperature in the refrigerator or started using energy saving light bulbs. Furthermore the project has been implemented in other parts of Copenhagen. The project started as part of the urban regeneration programme. Agenda Centre Sundbyøster carried out something similar and is noweducating various environmental ambassadors with immigrant background to pass on their experiences.
First and foremost the project benefits the environment. Besides that, it benefits the households, since it has proven to reduce the costs of several households. Furthermore, information about the environment is a significant integration factor, because immigrants are used to other circumstances than Danish people. For example, it is far from every country in the world where you can drink water directly from the tap, as you can in Denmark.
The project was part of Projectbasen (the social housing project in Holmbladsgade) but it was implemented in connection to the municipal urban regeneration programme 'Kvarterløft'.
The course cost around 15,000 Danish kroner and was financed by 'Projektbasen'.
The social partnership in Holmbladsgadekvarteret,
T. 0045 82 32 55 10
Project start date
Holmbladsgadekvarteret, Copenhagen S
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