Senada and Inger

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Photo: Suste Bonnén

A dramatic life event became a milestone in the long mentoring relationship of Bosnian Saneda and Danish Inger, who can now add “grandmother” to her mentor title.

Inger is not your typical mentor. She is 74 years old and retired. She taught Danish to kids in elementary school during her entire professional life. At an advanced age, she still has the will and the energy to be there for Senada.

Inger and Senada have been matched for several years.

Senada comes from Bosnia. She attended vocational school in the area of food and beverage services, hoping to find work as a cook or as a waitress after graduation. Then the war came and she could not continue. Her husband came to Denmark as a refugee, and Senada joined him later.

She wanted a mentor to improve her Danish, and to help her to get to know more people socially. When Senada became pregnant, she sadly found out that her unborn child had heart problems. The doctors at Odense General Hospital were worried, and Senada had to come in for check-ups
many times during the following months.

She was anxious and afraid. Nobody could tell whether the child would survive during gestation and after birth. There were many practicalities to consider and to deal with. Senada and Inger shared this experience side by side.

When Senada was finally brought in to deliver her baby, Inger was there watching over her friend. It turned out that the little baby boy managed fine and the doctors realized she would make it. Inger was called in to the room and was listed as “grandmother”.

Inger and Senada have gone through several stages of mentoring in the Mentor Network Program. They have practiced Danish and exchanged information about values and traditions in Danish society. However, sharing this life and death-situation is a milestone in their relationship. Inger has been the greatest support where and when Senada has most needed it.


Sharing the stories of success is great. Wonder how many untold stories are to be forgotten. Keep on the good work making this a better world. Jose Ramón from Brasil

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