Longing to gain asylum and a normal youth in Denmark, Van Damme started participating in DFUNK’s activties at the asylum center he was living in. Since 2015, he has been part of many DFUNK's social activities and has made all of his friends through the group meet-ups.
DFUNK tries to educate people about the refugee situation, whilst focusing on providing social spaces for youth with and without refugee backgrounds to meet up through communal dinners, sports activities, games, summer camps, activities at asylum centers and weekly young-group hangouts .
Youth culture in Denmark
In Copenhagen, Rune Gabriel spends his Tuesday evenings hanging out his friends from DFUNK going bowling, watching movies and playing games. As first year at the University of Copenhagen studying Arabic, Rune believes DFUNK influenced his choice in major so that he could better communicate with the youth with refugee background.
Rune Gabriel is on DFUNK's leadership board and runs the Young to Young group in Copenhagen. He believes that learning Arabic helps him to build friendships with the refugee youth and helps him further understand what they're going through. “For the first 6 months it was difficult to communicate with the young refugees because of the language gap so I wanted to make a step towards them and learn about their culture and language," says Rune.
Rune says DFUNK is a great way for refugees to be immersed in Danish language and culture. In exchange, him and other Danish youth find out they aren't as different as they thought. “There’s differences in cultures, but similarities in many other ways,” adds Rune.
“We go out and drink coffee, go bowling, play computer games, or just make food together and that’s the essence of it. Just showing what young people in Denmark do.” - Rune gABRIEL
DFUNK hopes to continue showing what it’s like to be young in Denmark, and Van hopes to tell the world what it’s like being a refugee in Denmark. On his free time Van writes about his life in Danish.
"The most important thing for me is sports and writing. Writing my story. I write in Danish and English. It's not because I’m practicing my language skills. It's because it helps me. It heals my body, I feel like I am somebody.” - Van dAMME