Thank you, Trygve Skaug and «the world’s greatest audience»!

Norwegian artist, poet and song writer Trygve Skaug has raised millions of kroners for A Drop in the Ocean in 2020. In 2021, he continues to support our work for displaced persons.

Trygve Skaug
Foto: Kim Rognmo

Each year, Skaug selects a charity that he raises funds for and supports. In 2020, the choice fell on A Drop in the Ocean (DiH). Skaug has for a long time been engaged in the situation for displaced persons but was especially moved by the difficult situation for residents in the Moria refugee camp on the island Lesvos in Greece.

“They have sacrificed everything to get to Greece and then it stops there. Safe, beautiful Europe that was supposed to be a new beginning becomes an uncertain end. I didn’t see an end to it. And then I found out about how you work, how closely you work with those affected. I was very inspired by that,” he says.

On Good Friday he arranged a digital concert with artists Eva Weel Skram and Torgeir Waldemar to raise money for DiH. The concert was streamed from the old Deichman library in Oslo, had over 40,000 digital participants. and raised more than 1,2 million Norwegian kroners.

“It was an incredible evening together with the world’s greatest audience, as I like to call those who watch what I do. They showed what they were made of, in terms of giving,” says Skaug.

Throughout the year he continued to fundraise, through Instagram and other concerts. In December he had raised a total of 2 432 892 Norwegian kroners to DiH.

He says: “I had hoped that we would raise 2-300 000. And then we raised millions! It was incredible.”

– Terribly embarrassing

In Skaug’s personal experience, most people want to help, but he is both embarrassed and disappointed by the Norwegian government and how they have turned their backs on displaced persons in Greece.

The government stated in May that they would take in “vulnerable children and families, with a high probability of obtaining residence” in Norway. But the promise came with the proviso that at least eight to ten other European countries had to take in asylum seekers first.

In September it loosened up a little. Norway decided to take in 50 refugees from Lesvos, mainly Syrian families with children. But this was and is far from good enough.

“There are many who believe that what is happening regarding Norway’s position is absolutely terrible, that we are sitting on the fence in a crisis. It is terribly embarrassing that we have such a hard time helping out, politically speaking,” says Skaug.

“Individuals do not have a hard time with it. These fundraisers say something about that. When we reach such amounts during the course of an evening or a year, it says something about people’s heart. The politics pursued by the government does not really reflect the heart of the grassroot, I think. People want to help.”

Much work left to be done

People forced to flee have had an even tougher time during the pandemic, and Skaug finds it difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

“I think it just seems darker than ever. There are many fates that have not exactly had it easier during this crisis. There are just new problems,” he says.

He believes one of the greatest challenges are that in the countries where they do have the resources to help, the papers are filled with news about the covid-19 pandemic. He would have liked for there to be more coverage of the situation for refugees and migrants.

As a person with a microphone, as he says, he has chosen to continue to fundraise and support DiH in 2021. He explains: “It is especially important that those who have a microphone, say something important while they have it. If I can contribute, that is great. Because you can’t give up. It is more important than ever to continue fighting.”

DiH is very pleased Skaug has decided to continue the collaboration.

“Things were different in 2020. Trygve has throughout the year reminded us all about the situation for displaced persons in Europe. He calls his audience for the world’s greatest audience, but I think they are the world’s most supportive audience too,” says Secretary General Trude Jacobsen.

“We are very grateful to continue working with Trygve and his people, and have great faith that together we will reach an even wider audience this year.”

BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR and help us sustain our work in the long run. Every drop counts.

Yes, I want to help