A daily mail article: Casual chic! Crown Princess Mary looks effortlessly beautiful as she visits mobile diabetes clinic in South Africa* | Daily Mail Online
A somewhat meager text, - that's sure going to commented on by the readers!
Second part of the BB coverage.
Summary of articles in Billed Bladet #46, 2014.
Written by Ulrik Ulriksen.
One of the places Mary visited was Soweto, the well-known part of Johannesburg. The Thuthuzela clinic for rape victims. Being part of the Chris-Hani Hospital the clinic each month recieve and care for some 120 children and 100 women who have been subjected to particularly severe rape.
The clinic offer medical, psycological treatment and legal councel. During the visit Mary and the Minister Mogens Jensen met with a rape victim who had recently been committed to the clinic. The very traumatized victim were alone with Mary and the Minister.
Mary also visited a mobile diabetis clinic, sponsored by Novo Nordisk. Diabetis is very wide spread in South Africa. That took place in Winterfield on northern Pretoria.
It was here she met and was photographed with a couple of small local chidlren. In the shape of the shy two year old Thandeka and three year old Siyabonga, who warmed up to the strange lady and he eventually gave Mary a high five.
While there Mary started charity bicycle race from Johannesburg to Cape Town, also for the benefit of diabetis.
While in Pretoria Mary went to the township, Soshanguve. Here she visited the Brothers For Life house. Here she met with and talked with a number of women who have suffered from domestic abuse. Wife-beating is a major problem in South Africa.
She also met a number of former wife-beaters, Brothers for Life, who have formed a support group to help them deal with what they have done and prevent them form repeating the mistake.
One of them, an actor named Patrick Shai, said: "Today I have finally understood that violence can never lead to anything good, even though it was an integreted part of the upbringing I had myself. I hit my wife, but today I have understood that it was very wrong, that violence doesn't solve problems.
Violence only magnify the problems and now I have committed myself to Brothers for Life's programme, aiming to put an end to violence against women in this country".
Mary was very attentive of the stories told by both men and women and the visit was prolonged because of that.
Afterwards Mary said: "It's important to focus on and strenghten the values of the nuclear family. And it's important to choose the good solutions rather than the violent ones".
But it wasn't all about women's rights, or rather plight in South Africa. Trade between DK and South Africa was also on the agenda and in that capacity Mary attended a reception at the private home of the Danish ambassador. Present were a number of people from the business community, local dignitaries as well as people Mary had already met or who were associated with the issues Mary had dealt with during the visit.
Towards the end of the visit, Mary and the Minister for Trade and Developement, Mogens Jensen were interviewed.
Mary said about her meeting with mothers who have contracted HIV: "I got goosebumps all over from listening to their way of expressing themselves about difficult subjects. They are happy young and children with big dreams and they will do anything to have a good future.
Two of the young women I met, will break through the social barrier and educate themselves to chemical engineer and computer technician respectively. They have big dreams and that's how it should be. Many of the young from socially challenged environments kan reach their targets, if they get the right support".
Mogens Jensen said about travelling with Mary: "It's an advantage that you are two, because that means you can share the tasks between you and manage/cover more in relation to representing Denmark and the Danish interests. And then it's just a fact that the Crown Princess create more attention".
Mary added: "As minister you can talk about political issues and things I can't venture into, but which is also very important. Then I can instead deal with the more soft (issues).
One of the unique things with this trip has for me been that aide for developement and trade has been on the agenda at the same time for the first time on a trip with me.
Combining those two areas is a smart strategy".
Mary goes on to talk about how much significance an initiative like Mothers2Mothers has been in helping and councelling mother with HIV but also in spreading information and preventing even more from contracting HIV.
How do you deal with the impressions on a personal basis?
The Minister explained that he a Mary talk about it during their travels and that he seeks inspiration in Mary. (She's more experienced than he is).
Mary: "On the personal level you talk it out of your system and you tell and explain others what you have experienced and of course you remember the stories that have made the greatest impact. You can then use those stories to make your presentation of a complex issue more alive and present. That at least is how I do it.
It's important that when we get home we can talk to the society as a whole and the public sector (authorities) about the problems and the possibillities to do something about them".
The frank discussion with young people in the LoveLife center:
Mary was delighted that the young opened up and talked about subjects that in South Africa is somewhat taboo. That it eveolved into spontaneous song and dance was fantastic. - Including the proposal: "That was a bit special. I have never before experienced that a little boy proposed to me. I tried to tell him that I was married. That was fun and courageous of him"
Mary and Mogens Jensen will again work together at a huge women's conference that will take place in Copenhagen in 2016. The largest women's conference in the world with some 5.000 participants. About that Mary said: "It will be fantastic with the women's conference Women Deliver. And it's a busy period we will go into with these subjects. There will be many good things from us.
In the future we will continue to fight in our different ways, but with the same subjects - reproductive health very much so and women's rights. The Minister and I will meet along the way to ensure that this agenda will become a central part of our global goals for developement". (*)
After the visit to South Africa Mary went to Geneva, while Mogens Jensen stayed in Africa.
(*) It's interesting, when Mary has a message she wish to put across she speaks very advanced Danish, almost written Danish.