Ann Andreasen
Iceburg screening of the film "Inuk" Author: Jean-Michel Huctin
2022

Ann Andreasen

FI’15 – school principal

Providing Children roots and wings

meet ann

Ann Andreasen was born in the Faroe Islands and has been the principal of the Uummannaq Children’s Home in Greenland for more than 30 years. As a social educator and family therapist, she has devised original educational activities, including dog sled expeditions, hunting and fishing schools, international summer holiday camps, music therapy and filmmaking workshops. She cofounded and became the Director of the Uummannaq Polar Institute, inaugurated by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and Professor Jean Malaurie in April 2009. In September 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Gerda Prize for her contribution to giving children opportunities for a good life.

Providing Children roots and wings
Nominated by: Martin Nweeia FN'99 Paul Fiann MI'17
Class of 2022 Location Greenland
Confirmation in Qaanaaq
Confirmation in Qaanaaq Author: Ullanaq Ingemann

I have dedicated my life to the therapy and education of Inuit youth who have been separated from their parents following educational neglect and psychological, physical or sexual abuse. The socio-educational institution I have been running for 35 years is located on a small island in the northwest of Greenland where the usual resources of social and therapeutic work are lacking. I have created and experimented with many effective alternative methods of bringing up children, inspired by the Arctic landscape and wildlife, Inuit culture, and exploration of the rest of the world. In particular, I have initiated educational expeditions for the children in my care by dog sled on the sea ice and by boat with Inuit hunters, and I have led trips to discover many countries around the world. I have put the children in contact with caring adults whose activities interest or impress them, in order to benefit the development of young people who need positive role models.

“ I hope that our more creative approach to social work will inspire others to work with children in need so that all children, without exception, can explore their lives safely, with the greatest happiness, while receiving what is best for them: roots and wings.”

- Ann Andreasen
Narwhal tusks
Narwhal tusks Author: Tuck Gainsford

Trips provide multiple socialization experiences and promote the children’s resilience to the trauma of violence and abuse. My role has been to discover the best ways to rebuild troubled children’s self-esteem. My hope for the future is to wish for a better world for all children and greater respect for Mother Earth in this time of climate change and global pollution. I hope that our more creative approach to social work will inspire others to work with children in need so that all children, without exception, can explore their lives safely, with the greatest happiness, while receiving what is best for them: roots and wings.

Exploration is more social than geographical. Above all, it is about embarking on new experiences together, questioning our certainties, acquiring new knowledge, and not being afraid to use it in our everyday lives. If adults today considered all children sacred, a deeply held belief of the ancient Inuit societies, the world would be a little better.

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