GTU (Genvej Til Udvikling, or Shortcut to Development) aims to inform the general public about Emmaus and development initiatives, particularly those run in French-speaking countries in West Africa. The group makes a particular effort to reach sectors of the Danish population which have little awareness of the issue through other development associations.
Our main office is located in Arden, a village of 2,500 inhabitants 38km south of Denmark’s 4th biggest town, Aalborg, in the north of the country.
- We publish a 16-page journal 4 times each year
- We take part in public debates via a Danish blog and through social networks
- We go out and meet Danish people, raising awareness through selling crafts from African associations that we have partnerships with. These include members of Emmaus International:
- AFA (Benin)
- PagLaYiri (Burkina Faso)
- CPSS (Cameroon)
- MARS (Togo)
Each year, we take part in various events in Denmark’s two largest cities (Copenhagen and Arhus) and also in villages in the region where our office is located (Arden, Hadsund, Skelund, Gl. Skørping, etc.). We go to markets, where we display and sell crafts from some of our African partners, including members of Emmaus International.
In 2016, the most important event that we participated in was the Arhus festive week (from 28 August to 3 September). As well as our African crafts stall we and Emmaus Europe also took part in a debate on migration.
We were also present at:
- The festival of African music and colour, Couleur Café, Copenhagen, 28 May 2016
- The Christmas market at the Arden Cultural Centre, Sunday 27 November 2016
We have 139 members across Denmark.
We are all volunteers: some 15 members occasionally help with sales, another 15 or so raise awareness in various areas of the country through meetings, writing, translation, etc. The 5-10 most active members do both.
- The Arden Cultural Centre.
- Several other associations and private companies who have displayed and sold craft products.
We were lucky enough to be able to visit members of Emmaus International from whom we buy crafts:
- We took part in a training camp in Benin in December 2004
- Over the course of summer 2009, Aïcha Bintou Sissoko from Pag-la-Yiri visited us to attend conferences
- At the end of 2010 we went to visit Pag-la-Yiri, Burkina Faso.
We will continue with sales-exhibitions in the coming years, in our village and in villages in the region, but also in other corners of our country where our active members live.
In 2016, hundreds of people visited our sale at the Christmas market and learnt about the crafts we sell: the sale was a financial success and it also allowed us to share a different view of Africa to that usually presented by the media.
Short documents in our journal and on our website support information circulated by the Cultural Centre.
We have a successful collaboration with an association called Afro-art that organises similar activities in the north of Denmark.
In the two largest cities in our country we work in collaboration with two organisations, Mundu in Arhus and Colour Café in Copenhagen.
We must continue to regularly attend certain events in order to create a link with more of the Danish people and to raise awareness.