Princess Marie in Cambodia

  October 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm by

View the full image at Kongehuset

Princess Marie paid a working visit to the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia last week, in conjunction with her patronage of DanChurchAid. She arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, on October 9th, accompanied by the Secretary General of DanChurchAid, Henrik Stubkjær.

The first engagement of the visit was to the DanChurchAid office in the capital. “I’m excited to see how you work,” Marie told the staff at the office as she was presented with a bouquet of red lotus flowers. The organisation has worked in Cambodia since the early 1990s, and many of the staff have been with the organisation for many years. In the evening, Princess Marie attended two receptions: one for DanChurchAid and one for Danish companies in Cambodia, where she said that she hoped the relationship between Denmark and Cambodia would continue to grow over the coming years.

View the full image at Kongehuset

On October 10th, Princess Marie spent the morning at the opening of the Cambodian branch of Go4 Bunker, a Danish oil company, at the Hotel Cambodiana. The aim of the new venture is to work with the Cambodian National Petroleum Authorities to improve their offshore sites. She the moved on to the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Centre (CWCC), where she met and spoke with women and children who use the centre to escape abuse. At the centre, women are taught sewing and cooking and children are taught a variety of crafts.

In the afternoon, the Princess visited Mith Samlanh, which aims to assist street children and teach them skills which can be used to make a career. She viewed the projects that the children work on, including an auto shop where boys are trained as mechanics, and hairdressing classes. Marie asked one of the girls in the class what she wanted to do in the future, and the response was, “I want to open my own business,” something which is now possible because of the organisation.

View the full image at BT

Thursday October 11th saw Princess Marie head to Kroch in east Cambodia, which was hit by severe flooding last year. DanChurchAid’s partner in the region, PADEK, has been assisting the community to get back on their feet. Marie met with some of the most affected families, and distributed 250DKK to each of them to help them purchase basic necessities. “It’s really hard to face families who are devastated…I have never before experienced such a poor place,” said the Princess of her visit to Kroch.

Her final day in Cambodia was spent visiting the slum Andong. The slum just outside of Phnom Penh is home to 1,700 families who were moved their in 2006 after businesses took over the land their homes were on in the capital. There is little clean water, little hygiene and few job prospects for these families. Many of the families take advantage of the training provided by Mith Samlanh to learn skills which will allow them to make money to provide for their families. “It gives hope,” the Princess said following her visit to the slum, speaking of the work that DanChurchAid is doing in Cambodia in conjunction with their local partners.

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