On June 20, 2016, Vejle Expat Network (VEN) became an official association. The umbrella symbol represents how we envision VEN as a place for all. Our current activities and projects include ‘VEN ud på landet’ (VEN out in the countryside), Vi taler dansk, Cook ‘n Talk, and other events. We aim to find ways and means of working together with other volunteer associations and other organisations in our community to co-develop social, cultural, leisure, and community-building activities and projects. Our goals include:
- building a grassroots community for internationals in the Vejle area by making them feel welcome
- facilitating social and professional interaction between internationals and Danes
- working towards more openness and diversity in our community
- engaging actively in the development of internationals in our community, and to embrace and realize the potential of internationals in Vejle
VEN started as a Facebook group called Spouse House Vejle in 2013. We decided to become an official non-profit volunteer organisation in order to engage in grassroots community building within Vejle municipality. Association life in Denmark is one of the foundations of Danish society. There is a saying here in Denmark that if two or three people meet with a common interest, an association is born. There are over 2,000 associations within Vejle municipality alone, encompassing a broad range of activities and interests.
We chose the name Vejle Expat Network because of the acronym VEN, which means ‘friend’ in Danish. ‘Expat’ is the abbreviated form of ‘expatriate’, which means a foreigner living abroad. VEN reflects our core purpose to extend our network and build stronger relations within Danish society, to not only be foreigners living abroad, but to become essential members of our local community.
Spouse House Vejle was initiated in September 2013 as an informal network for spouses and partners of expats residing in the Vejle municipality. Spouse House started as an initiative to meet like-minded people, make new contacts and friendships, and arrange different activities depending on interest. Today, Spouse House Vejle is a social group under VEN’s umbrella.