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Saidi Habonimana, 16, enjoys the many different cultures he meets as a volunteer on the festival. Photo: Michael Bang

Refugees volunteer at the Roskilde Music Festival

Saidi Habonimana, 16, enjoys the many different cultures he meets as a volunteer on the festival. Photo: Michael Bang
Saidi Habonimana, 16, enjoys the many different cultures he meets as a volunteer on the festival. Photo: Michael Bang

By: Marion Chen

Refugees do not only collect bottles at Roskilde Festival to earn money for themselves. Many take part of festival spirit by volunteering. New Times joined the bottle refund tent yesterday.

In the West area of Roskilde Festival a bottle refund station is located, where ten volunteers are sorting the bottles – many of them are asylum seekers or refugees.

Saidi Habonimana, a 16 year old boy living in Kalundborg, has been granted asylum in Denmark and is a first year student at Kalundborg Gymnasium. Saidi bought a ticket for the festival, but his friend needed his help so he came to the bottle refund station to do the volunteer work.

“It’s cool to be here and meet a lot of new people,” says Saidi and continues “It’s fun to see so many cultures.”

Avin Yazdaniyan enjoys the good atmosphere between the volunteers. Photo: Michael Bang
Avin Yazdaniyan enjoys the good atmosphere between the volunteers. Photo: Michael Bang

Regarding the conditions for the volunteers in the bottle refund station, Saidi says ”The condition here is very good, if there are some problems, the organizer try to get them resolved.” Saidi lives in the tent of his own with his friends not far from the bottle refund station.

We are singing when we work
Avin Yazdaniyan is a 22 year old asylum seeker from Iran. She is now living in Roskilde asylum centre. She would like to come and do the volunteer work ” Because it’s a happy group. Sometimes we are singing when we work. It is good. “ says Avin. “We can go to the festival and listen to the music as well. It is very nice”

Avin stays in the tent set up in the area for volunteers in the festival are and sometimes she also goes back to the centre to have her cloth changed and to have a shower.

 

About the festival and the many volunteers
Roskilde Festival is the biggest music festival in the northern European countries. This year it started with a Syrian Band reunification show on the Orange stage on 29 June, 2016. More than 130,000 people come from other European countries to Roskilde in Denmark to attend the festival and about 30,000 volunteers are involved in the festival.

The volunteer work in the bottle refund station is part of the whole service in the Roskilde Music Festival. Thousands of the beer bottles and soft drinks need to be cleared up during the day and the night from thousands of the attendants. Some of the asylum seekers from the Roskilde asylum centre have participated the volunteer work in the bottle refund station at the Festival as usual. The working time for the volunteers in the bottle refund station is 8 hours per shift. All kinds of bottles are divided and packed into a 500 bottles each.

Saidi Habonimana is sorting bottles and glasses in 8 hours shift. Photo: Michael Bang
Saidi Habonimana is sorting bottles and glasses in 8 hours shift. Photo: Michael Bang

 

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