Overlooked - Poverty In Denmark
Denmark is one of the richest countries in the World, and also one of the most economically equal countries. But this is changing fast. From 2001 until 2007 the number of poor people in Denmark grew by 50 percent, even though this was a time when the financial situation was very good. This is according to the OECD poverty line, as there is no official poverty line in Denmark. The three families in this picture story are just a few of the people living below the poverty line.
The Ohgrøn family lives in a worn down farmhouse in Ledøje, north west of Copenhagen. There are seven members of the family: the father Per, the mother Sussie and their five children Michelle, Dennis, Dan, Patrick and Daniel. Both parents receive social welfare benefits and the suffer from various illnesses that make it impossible for them to have a job.
Lawand, Narin and their four children are Syrian Kurds. They have escaped from Syria because Lawand, the father of the family, was imprisoned and tortured twice. He tells that there were days when he was hung by his legs for hours. Other days he was locked in a dark closet. He was whipped and beaten with fists. The family lives in two small rooms in the Red Cross Center Avnstrup. Including the little hallway, which is full of footwear in all sizes, the family has around 30 square meters room for sleeping, reading, watching TV and eating. The bathroom is down the corridor in the opposite direction of the communal kitchen. Every fortnight they receive a small allowance.
Connie receives social welfare benefits. She and her two children Christina and Oscar have 3.000 dkr. to pay for food, clothes, diapers, transport, and entertainment when the rent, other regular expenses and her many, expensive loans have been paid. Connie is no longer able to work because of various illnesses. She has asthma, a bad back, and she has suffered from depression and anxiety attacks.