Once again, the visa applications, that should have allowed four Ahead employees to visit Denmark this summer, have been rejected. The stay would have been the second visit out of a series of capacity building exchange visits, which are imposed on all organizations that receive money from the Danish development aid. Thus, it may seem contradictory that the Danish authorities do not allow us to complete the work which they themselves have assigned to us. Despite the fact that the iiINTEREst’s board this year has tried to address the criticisms cited as an explanation for last year’s visa rejection, the reasons are the same this year: the Ahead employees in question neither speak sufficient English nor have enough money in the bank – and this is despite the fact that we have repeatedly provided documentation that a translator will be available throughout the visit and that iiINTERest provide the costs of the entire stay and any expenses that may be incurred in relation to the visit.
It is a pity not only for iiINTERest, but maybe more so for the Ahead employees who had been looking forward to visiting Denmark and learning about various organic farming methods and techniques that could be used in the food security projects in India. After many unsuccessful attempts to get in contact with the Danish Immigration Services and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to make them reconsider the embassy’s decisions, the board has decided to try out other options. We hope to make contact with other associations and organizations, who are in the same situation as us and thereby create a unified voice that can reach the media and / or politicians. Stricter integration and asylum laws should not stand in the way of cooperate across borders and the exchange of experiences, knowledge and culture.