Originally Posted by Paty
Princess Laurentien attended the National Alphabetize Awards at the Library in Amsterdam.
The Princess held a speech ''Literacy is the best Remedy''. 8th September is proclaimed, since 1966 by the UNESCO, as WorldLiteracyDay
HRH is staying in The Netherlands for a few days,busy as she is with her cause,the fight against Illiteracy,who's strongest advocate she is.HRH gave an interview,too long to translate all of it,but here are some bits and pieces:
She reads to the children,mostly while they'll have a bath in the evening,more often than not that can be up to three books a time;"Eloise loves anything pink and stories for/about girls,Claus loves big boys books and wee Leonor has a opinion of her own"."In bed we curl up with the four of us,reading,só wonderfull if you take the time for it".
That same evening HRH has a meeting to attend,so the ritual is adjusted ;"Because mommy has to go work' .
"Illiterates often miss a senses of dignity towards themselves,fear and embarresment rule,and they don't dare to take part in society""Afraid to take public transport,unable to read bills,unable to read priscriptions for meds which can be very dangerous,vulnerable economically".
"I know a carpenter who got into trouble after he had a promotion and had to work with computers,he couldn't read nor write.His boss took it great and did send him to school to learn".
"I also know this man who could hide he couldn't read nor write for his wife for 25 years.I burst into tears when I heard that.We can not take it for granted that so many illiterate live in isolation".
The number of Illiterates is still as large as it was when you started,how's that possible?
"Most of all because it is such a stubborn problem.When I started out there were plenty of laughing reactions like;"Illiteracy?That's a problem in the development countries".It is not,in The Netherlands we still have 1.5 million peopple that are unable to read and write decently,The Netherlands needed a wake-up call".
Not by pointing a finger - I'm not about that - but we really had to work hard to get attention for this problem,companies,doctors,
municipalities,schools,you name it,all should be alerted by illiteracy and take up responsibility".I was at a pediatricians meeting the other day and the doctors wondered why so many people didn't show up at appointments.Turned out patients had to fill in lists,had they thought of the fact these people couldn't read and write?"
They got a little red on the cheeks,as they'd never given that a thought".
"Thank goodness there are so many wonderfull experiences as well as over 9000 people annually take up lessons/courses ".
Her daily everyday life is in Brussels,the family lives there several years now and they feel great doing so.The children are at school,french-speaking school so they're educated bi-lingual,and Leonore will join Eloise and Claus there in january.If both parents are at home,the whole family walks to school in the morning.The afternoon will see the nanny taking care as both parents work.
Your children are raised in a priviliged environment,you can give them everything.A big contrast with the world of the illiterate.
`Yes,I realise that fully,but we´re not the sort of parents that run along with their kids from here to there and to the next appoinment,Eloise has ballet lessons and Claus has piano lessons,that´s it.Ofcourse you want to stimulate them,but that is not the essence in the end`.We take it very relaxed,if the children feel OK,it all comes natural.Having this easy attitude has much to do with what I learned from illiterates,I view the awareness of selfconfidence".
How do you combine work and family?
"That's a puzzle in a ever changing situation!Eloise has homework from school for the first time,and I've already planned days till december that I want to help her out with that a few days a week,she's entering a new fase and I want to be there for her.Being a mother also gives a lot of energy,the happy,silly,funny moments you have with children,and the moments you think;"Grrrrr!"........But I always try to take the angel out with humour".
Wonderfull interview,just too long to translate it all:
Achtergronden Royalblog.nl: Laurentien leert veel van laaggeletterden