The Tvind colleges
One World Volunteer Institute
KwaZulu Natal Experimental College
Yunnan Institute for Development
Tvind schools, residential schools for disturbed adolescents, vocational schools and orphanages in
Tvind runs dozens of schools, colleges and 'institutes' all over the world. It advertises widely in newspapers, by leaflet drops in colleges and universities, and on the Internet, attracting thousands of older high school leavers.
In Europe, the United States, South Africa, the Caribbean, India and China, its many 'DRH' colleges purport to train students for volunteer work in the Third World. Students have to pay up front for their education, then to spend much of their time earning yet more money by begging and fund raising on the streets - a total of several thousand dollars - but at the end of the day the 'qualification' they receive is worthless. It is not recognised by any government or aid agency.
There are many accounts on this web site from students in Europe, the United States, India and China who believe they have been exploited, abused or even subjected to crude brainwashing - click here to read personal testimonies sent to us by readers.
There are several types of Tvind private school. In Denmark, Tvind runs a number of fee-paying boarding high schools, offering an 'alternative' school curriculum to secondary-age children. The education offered is very much the Tvind 'programme', and there is clearly the aim that pupils will go on to DNS colleges and eventually become Teachers themselves. The schools were once subsidised by the Danish government, but subsidies have been withdrawn.
Also in Denmark and overseas, Tvind runs boarding Special Schools for 'problem children'. These are usually emotionally and psychologically scarred adolescents and teenage tearaways. Local authorities, education departments and courts pay large sums to Tvind to 'look after' these children, often because nobody else is prepared to take them.
Tvind claims to work wonders with these children through its 'programme', but teachers and volunteers are usually unqualified, the schools are under-resourced, and claims have to be regarded with suspicion. In some cases, money paid for school fees has been moved to accounts abroad. Some schools in Denmark and Britain have been closed down following financial and professional scandals.
In Africa, Asia, India and central America, Tvind runs hundreds of apparently charitable primary and secondary 'bush' schools, child-aid projects and vocational colleges. In Angola and Mozambique Tvind virtually runs the eduaction system, in the absence of an effective state system. These schools are allegedly supported by income from Tvind's European and US clothes recycling schemes - a claim that deserves investigation. Inquiries suggest that money raised by many Tvind recycling schemes is transferred to offshore companies, and Tvind also solicits large sums from other charities, businesses (such as multinational oil companies) and governments to help meet the costs.
Why you should be concerned about Tvind colleges:
1. The Programme - what teaching and social methods are used?
2. Allegations of brainwashing and bullying
3. Often relative isolation in mountains or forest, or out-of-town..
4. Money must be paid in advance.
5. Students have to fundraise and find more recruits. Lots of time spent on 'tasks' with little privacy
6. Use of untrained, unpaid or poorly paid volunteers and assistants
7. Allegedly poor resources and teaching programme
8. Tvind is the only 'aid agency' which charges untrained volunteers so much money up front for such long training, to 'volunteer' in the Third World.
9. Lack of transparency and financial openness
10. Can be hard to get your money back when you leave
11 Many Tvind schools in England and Denmark have been closed by the authorities. Worldwide, complaints about many others.
Tvind recycling computers for its colleges