In a few years, Mols has reversed the trend of falling number of children and the relocation away from the villages, to today being an area of rapid development with many followers, a burgeoning creative and innovative environment and a strong local community across the many villages of the area. The explanation for this significant shift is the umbrella organization Mols i Udvikling – a local and voluntary initiative aimed at gathering local enthusiasts, volunteers, associations and institutions in the joint effort to make Mols and Helgenæs an attractive place to live.
The Mols I Udvikling was really created on a sad background. Around 2014 it became apparent that in a short period of time it would be necessary to merge the small schools and institutions in the area. It was convinced by the municipal political team that the urbanization trend that had affected society for a long time would inevitably also have consequences for the municipality of Syddjurs and, consequently, for Mols. But the locals, schools and kindergartens would like it differently! Instead of victimization and apathy, one chose to take up the fight and insist that one can turn a development when you stand together and fight.
The indignation that started the Mols I Udvikling became a catalyst for innovation and a renewed community sense in the area, and quickly paved various initiatives and small self-appointed committees, all aimed at strengthening and developing the “good life” of Mols. Since then, Mols I Udvikling supported by Realdania, DGI and Syddjurs Kommune via the “Landsbyklyngprojektet”, which helped create a unifying and strong organization behind the many enthusiasts. In this way, a strong platform has been created consisting of equal parts of indignation and structure.
Mols I Udvikling today engages over 200 volunteers, which are divided into approx. 25 subgroups with each relevant project. Many dreams have already been realized, such as hiking trails, the Common Gardens that bring children, young and old together to cultivate the land, knitting club, surf club, brewery, nature club for families doing joint activities in the Mols Bjerge National Park and much more. At the same time, efforts have been made to highlight the many offerings and activities at Mols, so that they can help attract new citizens to the area.
But the dream does not stop here. At the time of writing, we are working intensively with two major projects that will raise Mols even further:
The first goes under the working title “Node” and the goal is a common house that unites people across villages, generations and interests. A place where young and old “hang out”, practice sports, go to kindergarten, meet with the knitting club or church council, get a meal and maybe a cup of coffee with the pastor, neighbor or the newly-relocated family. A hub where you know each other and the desire to be together is the common denominator. The project is ambitious, but the goal is aimed at close collaboration between Mols I Udvikling, Molsskolen and kindergarten, IF Mols, the municipality of Syddjurs, the church councils, several foundations and private actors.
The second project is called “Det Blå Torv” and is an advanced harbor bath, which will benefit both the local primary school, youth school, winter baths, scouts and the many summer tourists in the area.
The story of Mols I Udvikling shows that one can jointly turn a development if you are sufficiently crazy and persistent. We can when we stand together!
Sofie Saxtoft, Mols i Udvikling