May 2007 Newsletter: Royal Patronages
And so the May has come, time when Spring is almost over and Summer is almost here. Time to make plans for summer holidays and prepare the sun creams…
Meanwhile the Royals are working regardless of season. In this newsletter we tried to focus on something Royals in every country share - the immense charity work they do. Hardly anyone would be able to name all the charities one single Royal is involved with or all the Patronages a Royal is Patron of.
Throughout the years, we watched the Royals working tiresly on their charities, trying to make improvement with their actions. We know some charities and Patronages better, some less but there is no doubt how important is the work of every single Royal. It takes hard work, intelligence, poise, maturity and genuine care to be engaged in a Charity or Patronage.
Of course we are not aimed to inform you of all Charities and Patronages of the Royals – no newsletter would fit it. We will merely try to introduce you to some of the most important, notable, distinguished or interesting ones.
We hope you will enjoy the quick profiles on Royal Charities and Patronages we’ve gathered and that you’ll choose The Royal Forums to keep in touch with their work.
Zonk, Norwegianne & Avalon
As before – there has been some changes in the moderating team this past month.
We are happy to tell you that one of our Administrators, Elspeth, has returned to the Team. Her Administrator and Moderator skills, as well as her knowledge and personality, were sorely missed and we are glad to have her back.
Meanwhile we had already successfully have two Formal Picture of the Month Polls and an Informal Picture of the Season Poll in accordance with the new Format. You can view the Poll results for January/February Formal Poll here, the results for March Formal Poll here and finally the results of Informal Picture of the Season here.
Don’t forget to cast your vote when the new Poll comes out.
And remember, we are still looking for volunteers for certain Committees. If you are interested, please send a PM to Mandy or ysbel with the name of the committee(s) for which you are volunteering.
And finally, The Administrative team is always on the lookout for new Moderators. If you think you have what it takes, please contact an administrator.
What happened in April?
April 1 - Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand
April 2 - HRH Sirindhorn Princess of Thailand
April 5 - Princess Ubol Ratana of Thailand
April 6 - Princess Haala of Jordan (2007)
April 7 - Don Jaime de Marichalar y Sáenz de Tejada, Duke of Lugo
April 8 - Prince Carlos Hugo de Bourbon Parma (1930)
April 8 - Leah Isadora Behn
April 9 - Princess Dayangku Sarah binti Pengiran Salleh Ab Rahaman
April 10 - Tatjana von Lattorff, Princess of Liechtenstein
April 10 - Prince Floris (1975)
April 10 - Princess Ariane of the Netherlandds (2007)
April 14 - Fürstin Marie of Liechtenstein (1940)
April 15 - HRH Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium (1960)
April 15 - Anna van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven (2001)
April 16 - Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
April 16 - Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
April 16 - Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg (1992)
April 17 - Prince Maurits van Vollenhoven
April 18 - Princess Annette van Vollenhoven
April 18 - Sayako Kuroda (Princess Sayako)
April 18 - Princess Haya of Jordan (2007)
April 20 - Prince Georg of Liechtenstein
April 21 - Queen Elisabeth II
April 21 - Princess of Denmark (2007)
April 23 - Princess Laeticia-Maria of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este
April 25 - Prince Louis-Alphonso de Bourbon,Duke 'd Anjou (1974)
April 26 - Prince Philippos (1986)
April 27 - The Prince of Orange (1967)
April 29 - Princess Benedikte of Denmark
April 29 - Maud Angelica Behn
April 29 - Prince Tipankorn Rasamijoti of Thailand
April 29 - Infanta Sofia of Spain (2007)
April 30 - King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
April 30 - Don Miguel Urdangarin de Borbon
April 30 - Prof. Pieter van Vollenhoven.
April 9 - Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles: April 9, 2005
April 9 Wedding Of Jean And Joséphine-Charlotte
April 10 Prince Akihito and Michiko Shoda
April 10 Princess Haya of Jordan to Sheikh Mohamad Bin Rashad Al-Maktoum of Dubai: 2004
April 19 King Hussein and Dina Bint Abdul Hamid
April 19 Prince Rainier & Grace Kelly: 19 April 1956
April 24 Princess Alexandra of Kent & The Honourable Angus Ogilvy - April 24th 1963
April 24 Prince Johan-Friso of Orange-Nassau & Mabel Wisse-Smit 2004
April 26 Prince Albert, Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon 1923
State Visit from Austria - April 2007
State Visit to Latvia - April 2007
State Visit from Spain
Other Events of Note
Funeral of Prince Rainier: April 15, 2005
Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) - April 30, 2007
What will happen in May?
May 1 – Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg
May 2 – Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburgh
May 4 – Pauline Ducruet
May 7- Prince Josef-Emanuel Leopold Marie of Liechtenstein
May 8 – Princess Elisabeth of Denmark
May 8 – Crown Prince Moulay Al-Hassan of Morocco
May 10 – Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco
May 12- Prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein
May 12 - Princess Maria-Annunciata Astrid Joséphine Veronica of Liechtenstein
May 13 – Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
May 13 - Lukas Maria von Lattorf
May 14 - King Shamoni of Cambodia
May 15 – Zara Phillips
May 15 – Ana Maria Morales
May 15 – Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein
May 15 - Don Duarte, Duke of Braganca
May 16 – Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein
May 17 – Crown Princess Maxima of the Netherlands
May 18 – Prince Alfons of Liechtenstein
May 19 - Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein
May 20 – Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece
May 24 – Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein
May 25 – Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
May 25 - Samuel vav Vollenhoven
May 26 – Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
May 27 – Prince Moritz of Liechtenstein
May 31 – Prince Joseph of Liechtenstein
May 31 - Felicia van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven
May 2 - Archduke Karl Peter von Habsburg & Princess Alexandra von Wrede 1998
May 6 - Princess Margaret Rose & Anthony Armstrong-Jones, May 6th 1960
May 6 - Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan & Masako Owada 1993
May 11 - Baroness Nicola von und zu Bodman & Mathias Schilling 2002
May 12 - Baroness Isabelle von Senden & Sebastian von Ribbentrop 2001
May 14 - Prince Juan Carlos of Spain & Princess Sofia of Greece 1962
May 14 - Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark & Mary Donaldson 2004
May 17 - Prince Heinrich Donatus von Hessen & Countess Floria-Franziska von Faber-Castell 2003
May 19 - Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands & Laurentien Brinkhorst 2001
May 22 - Felipe, Prince of Asturias & Letizia Ortiz, May 22nd, 2004
May 24 - Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn: May 24, 2002
May 29 - Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau & Marilene van der Broek 1998
May 6 - Laura Parker-Bowles & Harry Lopes, May 2006
May 3-8 - Queen Elizabeh II and The Duke of Edinburgh to visit USA
May 8-11 - Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit visit South Korea
May 9-11 - State visit from Sweden
May 21-23 - State Visit to Slovakia
May 2007 - Queen Rania in New York: May 2007
Other Events of Note
May 17 - Norway National Day
May 14 - 20 - The Monaco Charity Film Festival
May 25 - Jordan Independence Day Celebrations
King Albert is Patron of many Organizations and is perhaps most famous for serving as a Chairman of the Belgian Red Cross for almost 40 years. He is also Honorary President of the Belgian Office of Foreign Trade. Other charities of the King reflect his interests, for example he is Patron of Belgian Meteorological Society.
Queen Paola has worked tirelessly to improve lives of young people. Her most significant charity, Queen Paola Foundation for Children (created the Queen) is aimed to provide support to Belgian organizations that help young people facing problems with re-integration into society. Queen Paola is also Chairwoman of the Belgian branch of AMADE, a worldwide foundation established by the late Princess Grace of Monaco in 1964 to befriend all children regardless of race or creed.
Duke of Brabant
Crown Prince Philippe undertakes a great variety of duties, including the role as Honorary President of the Belgian Office of Foreign Trade. He is President of the organization since 1993 and makes frequent trips abroad. In recent years these have included visits to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Santiago de Chile, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, China, India and other countires.
Duchess of Brabant
Princess Mathilde's special field of interest are charities related to special needs. The Princess Mathilde Fund was set up in 2000 and is aimed at identifying and supporting projects that are likely to improve the situation of vulnerable people. The Princess took part in the United Nations Conference on Children's Rights. She has traveled on humanitarian missions to Niger and Mali. Princess Mathilde was also a United Nations Envoy for the International Year on Micro-Credit and is a UNICEF and ONUSIDA Special Representative for the international campaign on orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV/Aids.
Queen Elizabeth has been doing charity work all trough her life, starting from the times the was a princess. Currently Her Majesty is a Patron of more then 620 charities and organizations, among them Campaign to Protect Rural England and numerous others.
Queen Elizabeth often meets with the leaders from other religions. She is Patron of The Council of Christians and Jews in the UK.
The Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh is a Patron of many organizations, including The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, that can be obtained by anyone aged from 14 to 25. Another important Patronage of the Duke is the World Wide Fund for Nature. The Duke of Edinburgh has devoted himself to raising public awareness of the relationship of humanity with the environment and has spoken widely on this subject.
The Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales is Patron or President of more then 380 Charities or Organizations. He is well-known for his extensive charity work, particularly The Prince’s Trust, which provides help, training, financial, and practical support to the young people of the UK. Other Charities include The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, which focuses on alternative medicine and Prince’s Foundation for the Built Enviroment, which struggles to keep the traditional British buildings. The Prince is also engaged in many charties that promote cultural and relgious tolerance and undertanding.
The Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall has become widely engaged in charity work, particularly the National Osteoporosis Society, which struggles to promote understanding and raise awarness of osteoporosis, a brittle bone disease. Her Royal Highness was Patron of the society from 1997 and President since 2001. The Duchess is also Patron of Emmaus, which works to provide homeless people with a home and work. She is also Patron of the Unicorn Theatre for Children and Youth Action Wiltshire.
In April 2006, Prince Harry launched a charity with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, Sentebale: The Princes’ Fund for Lesotho. Sentebale aims to help vulnerable children and young people in Lesotho. Prince Harry is also Patron of Dolen Cymru (which promotes friendship and understanding between the people of Wales and Lesotho), MapAction (which helps aid agencies in providing crucial situational mapping in the event of diasters) and WellChild (the only UK charity caring for the individual needs of all sick children in the UK).
The Princess Royal is the most hard-working member of the British Royal Family. She is involved with more then 200 charities and organization. Princess Anne works extensively for the Save the Children charity, of which she is President since 1970. Another important Charity of the Princess, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, was created on her initiative in 1991. Also her extensive work for St. John Ambulance as Commandant-in-Chief of St. John Ambulance Cadets has helped many young people as she annually attends the Grand Prior Award reception.
Her Majesty serves as Patron for numerous organizations and charities. She takes close to heart issues connected with children and homeless people. Queen Margrethe has also close interest in charities, connected with Art. Several of Her Majesty’s illustrated books and calendars have been sold for charitable purposes. Likewise, her Majesty accepted to undertake the Patronage of the Sir John Evans Centenary Project at the Ashmolean Museum.
As Prince Consort of Denmark, Prince Henrik undertakes huge ammount of duties and is Patron and President of many Charities and organization. Probably refecting his past of diplomat best is his role as Patron of the Danish – Chinese Buisness Forum, a non-profit organization, aimed at strengthening commercial ties between Denmark and China.
Crown Prince Frederik
Crown Prince Frederik is Patron of more then 25 Organizations and Charities, including The Foreign Policy Society, which promotes knowledge about and interest in foreign affairs, The Danish Dyslexia Organization, which is aimed to ensure there was adequate information about dyslexia, promote training and education of the dyslexic, and Danish Deaf Association, which is working for the benefit of approximately 4,000 Danish deaf people.
Crown Princess Mary
The Princess’s patronages range across areas of culture, the fashion industry, humanitarian aid, support for research and science, social and health patronages and sport. Among them are The Danish Refugee Counil, which works to give refugees a future and helps them to become self-sufficient, The Danish Youth Association of Science, which aims to promote the interest for and knowledge about science and engineering among young people and Children’s Aid Foundation, which has been working for the improvement of children's conditions of life since 1904.
The Queen, who always devoted much attention to the contact with public, is patron of many organizations and holds several honorary appointments. Prominent among Her Majesty’s patronages stands The Netherlands Cancer Institute. The Dutch Royal family has a long-standing relation with the Institute, Queen Mother Emma and Queen Juliana had close conections with the Institute and Queen Beatrix regularly attends events connected with it.
The Prince of Orange
Prince Willem-Alexander carries out various duties on behalf of the Crown. He is Patron or President of many Charities and Organizations. Both the Prince and his wife are Patrons of the Orange Fund, which was set up to promote social welfare and social cohesion in the Netherlands. Taking keen interest in Water Management, The Crown Prince is an honorary member of the World Commission on Waater for the 21st Century and Patron of the Global Water Partnership. He was also appointed as the Chairperson of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.
The Princess of Orange
The Crown Princess is Patron or President of many orgnizations. She accepted the invitation of the United Nation to be involved in the Advisors Group to the International year of Microcredit 2005, aimed to achieve universal access to financial services. The Princess undertook a number of trips to promote Microcredit. Together with her husband, Princess Maxima is Patron of the Orange Fund, which promotes social welfare and cohesion in the Netherlands. The Princess also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Prince Claus Chair, which was endowed to promote training and research in the field of development cooperation.
Her Majesty is renowned for her charity work. Among the others, Her Majesty is involved with following organizations: Microfinance, Arab Women’s Summit, which focuses on giving women more rights, Jordan Cancer Society, which promotes knowledge about cancer in the society, National Team for Family Safety, which aims to ensure safe life for children and women in the family, Child Safety Program, aimed to guarantee safety of the children and Sar Al-Amman, centre for abused and neglected children, the first of its kind in the Middle East.
Her Majesty is Patron, President and Member of many Organizations. Queen Noor is actively involved in a number of International Organizations advancing global peace-building and conflict recovery and advises the United Nations on these issues. Among others, Her Majesty is the President of the UnitedWorldColleges, Chair of the United Nations University International Leadership Academy, International Patron and Honorary Chair of Landmine Survivors Network, Advisor to Women Waging Peace and Seeds Peace organizations, Patron of the World Conservation Union, Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons and many other organizations.
Grand Duke Henri
Though one of the Grand Duke’s main functions is to represent Luxembourg in the field of foreign affairs, he still undertakes a huge number of engagements and is Patron or President of many Organizations and Foundations. Among others, Grand Duke Henri is a member of The Mentor Foundation (established by the World Health Organization), Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands and a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa
The Grand Duchess has always worked restlessly for humanitarian causes. This was recognized in 2006, when Grand Duchess Maria Teresa received the Path to Peace Award from Holy See Foundation (with which the Grand Duchess cooperated on various occasions) for her ‘relentless contribution to humanitarian causes.’ Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also continued her family’s tradition to charity and cultural tasks in Cuba.
Prince Albert is Patron of many organizations, some reflecting his won personal interest. As a person, who has shown huge interest and concern over environmental issues, Prince Albert became Patron of the International Year of the Dolphin. He has launched the start of the year on September 17, 2006. Prince Albert also works on many other environmental issues, sometimes cooperating with another famous environmentalist, the Prince of Wales.
As an enthusiastic athlete himself, he chose to be a patron of Monaco’s football teams and can often be seen cheering for his team.
Princess Caroline is renown for both her Charity work and for her Commitment to Arts and Culture. In 2005 the Princess was awarded the insignia of Commander of Cultural Merit in recognition of her commitment to the Arts. She founded Les Ballets de Mote Carlo, has been the President and Chairperson of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Monte Carlo Opera, Prince Pierre Foundation, The Spring Arts Festival, The Monte Carlo Garden Club and of course, the Princess Grace Foundation.
The princess founded Jeaune J’ecoute, a charity, which focuses on safe and happy environment for children. Princess Caroline is a Patron of Peter Le Marchant Trust and President of Amade Mondiale. In 2006 the Princess was awarded the UNICEF Children’s Champion Award.
The eldest son of Princess Caroline, Andrea began to represent his mother at official functions in 2006. Most notably, he made trip to Manila to the charity Amade Virlanie Foundation, a socio-civic organization of which Princess Caroline is patron.
Princess Stephanie, like her siblings Prince Albert and Princess Caroline, has always been in the centre of charity work. Her most famous project is perhaps her fight against AIDS. The Princess became a UNAIDS ambassador. She has also created ‘Fight Aids Monaco’, her own foundation to support people living with HIV and also to fight against the social stigma attached to the disease. In 2006 Princess Stephanie, along with a group of French singers, took part in the recording of the song ‘L’or de nos Vies’, which battles against social perception of the people, who suffer AIDS or HIV, and also aims to raise funds for the foundation.
Lalla Salma works very hard to raise awareness of cancer in Morocco and is member of many charities that are aimed to understanding the issue and alerting the population of the subject. The Princess is also very involved in cultural live of her country, she is Patron of the Moroccan Festival of Sacred Music.
Lalla Meryem of Morocco
Lalla Meryem focuses much of her attention on social and cultural life of her country. She is the President of the Moroccan Association in support of UNIXEF, President of the Hassan II Foundation for the Moroccans residing abroad and President of he Moroccan National Observatory of the Children’s Rights. In July 2001 she was made UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and focuses on projects for women and children. Lalla Meryem works on behalf of weomen and children and advocate their righs on International Level.
Since her childhood, Princess Hasna has been interested in social and cultural activities, with special emphasis to environmental issues in Morocco. In 1999 she launched the national campaign for the protection of the environment and gave the prize for the most beautiful and cleanest beach in Morocco.
To shore up her work, the Mohammed VI Foundation for the protection of the environment was created in 2001 and chaired by Princess Hasna. She presides over the governing board of the foundation and regularly pays on the terrain visits to sensitize the population about environmental issues.
In 2002, Princess Hasna set up the prize of young reporters for the environment and in 2003 a prize for photography annually awarded on the international environment day.
Lalla Asma is engaged in manay charitis. Her particular real of care is the fight against cruelty with animals. Lalla Asma is Honourable President of SPANA in Morocco. SPANA is Society for the Protection of Anmals Abroad. Its purpose is to provide veterinary care to working animals in communities.
His Majesty is Patron of various organizations with different profiles. He is particularly focused on preserving and promoting Norwegian values abroad. Together with Queen Elizabeth II, King Harald is patron of Anglo-Norse Society in London. The King is Patron of Norwegian-American Foundation and the Norse Federation in the United States, as well as Sons of Norway Foundation, which represents people of Norwegian heritage in the United States and Canada.
Her Majesty, like King Harald, is focused in preserving and cherishing Norwegian culture and values. Queen Sonja is Patron of various organizations, in particular The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments, which works to preserve the monuments of the past and generate public interest in them, Norges Museumsforbund, association of Norwegian museums, and Norges Husflidslag, the Norwegian handicraft association.
Crown Prince Haakon
The Prince is Patron of various organizations, especially those reflecting his strong interest in cultural matters. He is Patron of Annual Bjørnson Literary Festival, the Norwegian International Film Festival and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. Prince Haakon is also Patron of the Norwegian Association Against Substance Abuse, which focuses on preventing abuse and helping abuse victims.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit
The Crown Princess’s public duties cover a broad range of areas. Her involvement in the fields of mental health, design, children and adolescents, and music is reflected in her patronage of organizations such as the Norwegian Red Cross, the Norwegian Design Council, the OsloInternationalChurch Music Festival and the Norwegian Council for Mental Health. Princess Mette-Marit is also UNAIDS Special Representative and, along with Crown Prince Haakon, attended the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August of 2006 as part of this role.
King Juan Carlos
The King pays constant attention to intellectual developments and innovation. He is Patron of the Royal Academies and maintains close links with cultural circles and especially with universities. The Spanish language and heritage of the Spanish-speaking community are also subjects of special interest to His Majesty. The King encourages the creation of the Foundation in support of the RoyalAcademy which set up in 1994. King Juan Carlos is also Patron of the Cervantes Institute, which promotes the dissemination of the Spanish language throughout the world. King Juan Carlos has also earned many International Awards for his role in the restoration of the democracy and for his pro-European profile.
In addition to her official and institutional engagements, the Queen devoted much of her time to social and welfare activities. The Queen is the Honorary President of the Foundation for Aid for Drug Users and of the Royal Trust for the Handicapped, as well as of various cultural and musical institutions, including the Queen Sofia Higher School of Music. The Queen also participates in a number of micro credits for the disadvantaged, having worked closely with Dr. Muhammed Yunus on his Grameen Bank. And perhaps most notably, the Queen is the Executive President of the Queen Sofia Foundation, which aims to solve various goals, including promoting, helping and meeting the demands of people, both physical and spiritual, integration of people into society, preservation of the treasures of the Spanish culture, etc.
The Prince of Asturias
Prince Felipe is undertaking a large amount of duties and is Patron or President of numerous organizations such as the Codespa Foundation, which finances specific economic and social development activities in Ibero-America and other countries, and the Spanish branch of the Association of European Journalists, which is composed of outstanding communications professionals. Most notable perhaps is the Prince of Asturias Foundation, the main purpose of which is strengthening the links between the Principality of Asturias and its Prince, as well as contributing to upholding and promoting scientific, cultural and human values that form the heritage of humanity.
King Carl XVI Gustaf
The King supports a large variety of charities. Many of his charities involve the outdoors and the environment. The King personally established the King Carl Gustaf Environmental Competition, as well as the Royal Colloquium, an environmental symposium held each year in Sweden. King Carl XVI Gustaf is also the chair of the Swedish Branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature. The King became a Cub Scout in 1955 and has continued to support the scouting movement as the Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation.
Queen Silvia has shown a strong commitment to helping disadvantaged children. The Queen co-founded the World Childhood Foundation in 1999. Queen Silvia is also an honorary member of the International Mentor Foundation. The Queen also helped to establish SilviaHome, which provides care for patients with dementia, as well as research into the disease.
Crown Princess Victoria
Crown Princess Victoria has become involved in many charities since she began royal duties. Her fund, the Crown Princess Victoria Fund, supports recreational activities for disabled young people. The Crown Princess’ other patronages show her interest in young people. For example, she is patron of the Children’s Diabetes Fund, the Youth Business Federation, and the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.
Prince Carl Philip & Princess Madeline
Despite still undertaking studies, both Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine do charity work. Prince Carl Philip, who has studied graphic design, designed the cover for CD of The Nutcracker that was released in honor of Queen Silvia’s 60th birthday. The proceeds from the CD went to the World Childhood Foundation. In 2004 the Prince helped to create a Calendar benefiting the same organization.
Princess Madeleine is patron of various organizations as well. She is patron of Min Stora Dag, (My Big Day), which is the Swedish equivalent of the Make A Wish Foundation. The Princess is also patron of Europa Nostra, an organization working to preserve European cultural heritage. Recently, she has interned at UNICEF and the World Childhood Foundation as well.
Despite her old age, Princess Lilian continues to undertake some royal engagements. Each year, she awards grants from the Prince Bertil and Princess Lilian Sports Foundation. She also awards the medals at the annual meeting of the Royal Swedish Automobile Club, and the Prince Bertil Memorial Race.
Apart from different Patronages and Charities, there are also projects that several Royals have contribution to. One of such Projects is the Microcredit Program.
Queen Sofia of Spain, Queen Fabiola of Belgium and Queen Rania of Jordan, Crown Prince Willelm-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Crown Princess Maxima, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Crown Princess Mathilde, Lalla Salma of Morocco are just some of the Royals and Dignitaries that are actively engaged in promoting and contributing to the Program.
For example, Queen Sofia has been working with Mohammed Yunus on his Grameen Bank. Her Majesty has traveled to Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and El Salvador to support the activities of the organization. Crown Princess Maxima was a member of the Advisors Group for the United Nations International year of Microcredit 2005.
Since it’s such a worthy cause, we thought we can give a little introduction to this important program.
Microcredit is the extension of very small loans to the unemployed, small (poor) enterpreneurs and to others living in poverty, who are not considred bankable by the traditional banks and are not eligible for traditional credits. Microcredit is part of Microfinance, which is the provisio of financial services to thecery poor.
Women have become the focus of many microcredit institutions and agencies worldwide. The reasoning behind this is the observation that loans to women tend to more often benefit the whole family than loans to men do. It has also been observed that giving women the control and the responsibility of small loans raises their socio-economic status, which is seen as a positive change to many of the current relationships of gender and class.
According to the Microcredit Summit Campaign: “1.2 billion people are living on less than a dollar a day. Women are often responsible for the upbringing of the world’s children and the poverty of the women generally results in the physical and social underdevelopment of their children. Experience shows that women are a good credit risk, and that women invest their income toward the well being of their families. At the same time, women themselves benefit from the higher social status they achieve within the home when they are able to provide income.”
Many Microcredit organizations focus completely on woman borrower. Pro Mujer and NamasteDirect are 2 of such organizations.
The World Bank eestimated that there are now more then 7,000 Microfinance institutions, serving some 16 million poor people in developing countires. According to CGAP, more then 500 million households benefit from these small loans.
The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations proclaimed the year 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit to call for buildin inclusive financial sector and strengthening the powerful enterpreneurial spirit exisitng in communities around the world. Five goals assiciated with the Year are: 1. Access and promote the contribution of microfinance and microcredit to the MDGs 2. Increase public awarness and understanding of microfinance and microcredit as vital parts of development equation 3. Promote inclusive financial sectors 4. Support sustainable assess to financial services 5. Ecourage innovation and new partnerships by promoting and supporting strategic partnerships to build and expand the outreach and success of microcredit and microfinance for all.
In 2006 Grameen Bank and its founder Muhammad Yunus were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. We all remember how emotional the audience was during his speech. Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway even had tears in her eyes.
And it all started in a very simple way. Around 1974 Muhammad Yunus, during a famine in his native Bangladesh, discovered that even very small loans could make a significant difference in a poor person’s life, however traditional banks were not interested in making tiny loans to poor people, who were considered poor repayment risks. Yunus’s first loan consisted fo 27$ from his own pocket, which he lent to 42 people.
In 1976, Yunus founded the Grameen Bank to make loans to poor Bangladeshi people. Since then the
Grameen Bank has issued more than $5 billion in loans to several million borrowers. To ensure repayment, the bank uses a system of "solidarity groups": small informal groups, nearly all of them exclusively female, that meet weekly in their villages to conduct business with representatives of the bank, and who support each other's efforts at economic self-advancement. As it has grown, the Grameen Bank has also developed other systems of alternate credit that serve the poor. In addition to microcredit, it offers housing loans as well as financing for fisheries and irrigation projects, venture capital, textiles, and other activities, along with other banking services such as savings.
If you have any suggestions for future topics, or comments about previous newsletters, share your ideas in the Newsletter Feedback thread.
Have a nice May, :flowers:
Norwegianne, Zonk, Avalon
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