In Denmark we have a long tradition for volunteer work in associations with various visions. Despite the fact that a lot of people are busy taking care of the task tied to their paid employment, many still take the time to engage in voluntary work. Today the voluntary sector constitutes a central function for our welfare society and is useful in many aspects.

But what does the voluntary work mean to the individual volunteer? In addition to the many experiences, friendships, networks, skills and knowledge, voluntary work gives a rare sense of being able to choose what is valuable, important and meaningful.

Humans are social beings that search for meaning. However, this need for meaning and value isn’t always met by hourly pay, pension and employment tasks. When you are released from the pricing of employed work, you create a space for deciding for yourself how your contribution can become valuable to other people and to yourself. This is something that is healthy to reflect upon once in a while.

If you are a student, newly graduated or in search of employment and you don’t really know how your skills and knowledge can be useful to other people, you are sure to find out - step by step - by making yourself at the disposal of one of associations and organizations that needs many different skill-sets and competences. You can be sure that it will always be meaningful and important to work in the society that needs your time and effort.


Agnes Deprez

Lives in a community for nuns and works as a volunteer in a second-hand shop related to Mændenes Hjem at Istedgade.

“I volunteer in the night café because i want to give a humane sanctuary to Nigerian women”.

Olivia Yttesen

Anthropology student at Copenhagen University

“I became a volunteer because of the important, sometimes overlooked cause, and I stay a volunteer because of the people I meet in the cafe - both regarding the women and the volunteers”.

Sigalitaxit Gazit

Works as an operator at Novo Nordisk.

“I have always been a volunteer in different projects. I think it is important to give back to the community and to lend a hand at the people who need it”.

Tobias Gelvan

Anthropology student at Copenhagen University

"I am a volunteer because at the Night Light Cafe I get a chance to meet and humanize a group of people living here, who rarely are heard".