About us

Controlled by traditions and outdated gender role patterns

Young boys with immigrant backgrounds have their feet planted in two cultures – the modern youth culture they live in, and the traditional family culture they have been raised in. Many of them face a silent oppression. They are pressured to make sure their sister lives in accordance with the family’s values and norms. We believe they are subjected to a negative social control that is just as freedom-depriving as the one their sisters are subjected to. Through discussions and activism, Support Not Protect works to change this pattern, so both our brothers and our sisters can be free.

“Protecting someone is selfish. You should do what you yourself believe is right.”

A student in a class that was visited by Support Not Protect

A new voice

All youths want to belong somewhere. Belonging to a community is more important than ever. Youths with immigrant backgrounds are caught between two cultures that have different expectations of them. The modern youth culture meets old family traditions. Support Not Protect works to create a safe arena where young boys can talk freely about how they are and what they feel. We want boys to be seen and heard, so they get the opportunity to develop their own voices and find the words they need to speak out on their own behalf, but also the words they need to talk to their sisters.

Building bridges between brothers and sisters

Support Not Protect is an idealistic company that works to prevent negative social control, and we do that by discussing the problem with the people it concerns. We believe that raising awareness through talks and discussions creates understanding and community, and our goal is to build bridges between brothers and sisters.

For youths, by youths

Through lectures about negative social control, we launch discussions and debates among youths where everyone gets to say what they want to say. The classroom is one of the arenas that make room for new thoughts, reflections, and perspectives. We listen to what the youths have to say, because their voice is what matters. The fight against negative social control begins here. In addition, we lay the groundwork to get more young boys with immigrant backgrounds to participate in the public debate: in traditional media, in conferences, and on their own platforms.

The people behind

Mona Ibrahim Ahmed

Mona has been central in putting negative social control on the agenda in Norway. Ever since she came here as a 16-year-old, she has worked continuously to give herself and the people around her the opportunity to choose their own lives. For many years, Mona had a central role in the organization Fargespill. She is a guest educator in the Rafto Foundation and has previously worked at V13 in the Church City Mission, a program for minority youths. She now works as a minority advisor in IMDI at Fyllingsdalen High School in Bergen. She wrote the book Brev til Noreg with Hilde Sandvik. D2 named her Leading star 2021.

Leila Rezzouk

Leila is a social entrepreneur. She founded and leads Papillon, a voluntary organization that works to empower young cross-cultural women to make their own choices. Leila has a long and varied experience with health-promoting work and inclusion of youths and adults with cross-cultural backgrounds in Norway. Methodically speaking, the core of her work has been a strength-based and preventive approach. Leila has been a part of the government’s integration panel, an advisory panel for the Ministry of Inclusion and Education between 2018 and 2019, and since 2021, she has been a member of a government-appointed commission to improve the integration of immigrant workers. Leila participates in a TV series with a theme of negative social control by the film company Pandora, who directed the prize-winning series Flukt. Leila told her story on Sommer i P2 in 2021. She is an experienced lecturer.

Hilde Sandvik

Hilde is a journalist, editor, and entrepreneur. She worked as the cultural editor in Bergens Tidende for ten years and has worked to build a Scandinavian media platform. She is the host of the program Norsken, svensken og dansken, which is broadcast weekly on NRK, SR, and DR. She also hosts the program Sammen med Sandvik on NRK. She is the member of several boards and is currently, among other things, vice-chair of the board of Amedia and a board member of United World College. Hilde has written several books and has spent several years writing about the consequences of negative social control. She wrote Brev til Noreg with Mona Ibrahim Ahmed. For many years, Hilde has been a jury member of the Vienna-based Global Peace Photo Award.

Chairman of the Board

Børrea Schau Larsen

Børrea led the product development of the Schibsted media house in Norway and Sweden for many years: VG, Aftenposten, BT, Aftonbladet, and SvD. She has many years of experience and has worked as a journalist and produced human-rights films that have been shown on Al Jazeera and at film festivals. Børrea is a member of several boards, including GC Rieber Compact, which produces emergency relief food for relief organizations like Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, and the World Food Programme. She is also the founder of Vilda, which makes it easy and profitable for homeowners to choose environmentally friendly and climate-efficient solutions.