Good practice: Fitness, a healthy body

 Fitness – A Healthy Body is a course at FOKUS Day Folk High School in Aalborg, Denmark. The course started in 2009 and has a broad target group including young vulnerable adults with physical/mental challenges. While taking part in the course the participants are developing health, personal and interpersonal, literacy, numeracy, civic and environmental capabilities. 


Picture 1: An example of teacher/guidance counsellor guidance

The non-formal adult education course is provided by a Day Folk High School in Aalborg called FOKUS Folkeoplysning. The overall purpose of the Danish program called Fitness – a healthy body is to get the group of young people up to 30 years old with physical or mental challenges, mostly without education, into jobs, education or internships by developing new competences and motivation for further development. The course encompasses teaching in basic skills (Danish, mathematics, classes for dyslexic, when those are in the target group) and classes in:

  • active citizenship/social science (like visiting the city council and talks with persons from the local government);
  • health and exercise for physical and mental health;
  • jobs, education and internship (by working with clarification and guidance counselling);
  • mindfulness, etc. classes in ‘Own responsibility’ are intended for participants to get help from teachers/guidance counsellors to solve various issues, such as contacting the bank etc.

Participants can obtain nutritional lessons in theory and practice with an introduction on how to make healthy, sustainable food within a budget, as well as attend group talks on psychological issues and learn how to handle pain, attend classes in sustainability and, nevertheless, can dine together.

The focus is on citizenship and responsibility by making ‘citizenship’ into a subject. As a part of society, an individual needs to understand what that means according to his/her rights and duties as a citizen.

Picture 2: An example of teacher/guidance counsellor guidance

Participants are personally involved in the content of the course as they can suggest subjects they would like to know more about. In this way, participants become actively involved in creating the community. The notion of the scheduled time meant for the subject called ‘Own responsibility’ is important as participants have the chance to fix some everyday life challenges with the help of the teachers/guidance counsellors.

Since there are new participants entering the course continually, they make use of ‘culture bearers’. Although the teachers do their best, they encourage and support the culture bearers in getting the new people integrated into the community as they see them as the most effective.