Imagine finding yourself in Nørrebro, the most vibrant area of Copenhagen, walking past cute little cafés and thrift shops, and arriving at a building as yellow as the evening sun. As you enter, you see colours on the walls, hear laughter in the hallways and are greeted by volunteers with smiles on their faces, welcoming you into the community. You have arrived at Globalhagen Hostel.
As the first non-profit hostel in Copenhagen, Globalhagen is nothing like most of the hostels you will encounter along your travels. It is one of four social enterprises that are part of the non-governmental organisation Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke/Action Aid Denmark, fighting for social justice and equality in more than 40 countries all around the world. Each of its 20 rooms are named after one of these places, so even though you are in the heart of Copenhagen, you might end up spending the night in Palestine, Zambia or El Salvador.
As you make your way up the stairs, you will see that each of the three floors carries a theme. They represent the core values Globalhagen Hostel stands for: 1. Solidarity, 2. Cooperation, 3. Diversity. At the top floor, you will find a newly renovated kitchen, a common area with lots of space and clothes swapping station and a TV-rooms with many DVDs waiting to be watched. Globalhagen’s values become clear in their way of doing business: the hostel’s profit goes to a social project democratically chosen by the volunteers every two years.
At the moment, Globalhagen supports political and feminist leadership training in Uganda. The profit funds a project by Global Platform Uganda, which aims to set up 20 training units in secondary schools and universities across the country. Participating youth will be trained to become experts in fields like feminist leadership, integration and digital advocacy.
As you make your way back down, you will find that there is more to this building: underneath the hostel hides wonderful Café MellemRummet. It is Globalhagen’s sister social enterprise, meaning they belong to the same NGO and support the same projects with their profit. Resembling a cozy living room and only offering organic local products, the café has a certain magic to it. The volunteers of MellemRummet host over 200 events per year, reaching from poetry slams and open-mic nights to documentary screenings and live music from all over the world.
So, one thing is for sure: Globalhagen is definitely worth a visit. So why don’t you book a stay and come see for yourself? The city of Copenhagen is not so bad either (it’s the best!). Who knows, maybe we will soon be sitting on one of the couches in Café MellemRummet, drinking a beer from a brewery around the corner and talking about sustainable tourism…?