Summary of articles in Billed Bladet #09 & 10.
Written by Henrik Salling.
Joachim first visited Nepal back in 1991, on his first trip as patron for CARE in fact.
Nepal has of course changed over the years, not least in respect, which was the focus on this visit: "Women were not in focus 25 years ago. But the position of women (in the society) is surprisingly well. Nepal is culturally speaking not oppressive towards women, but previously she didn't have much influence, but she had a lot to do. Now she still has a lot to do, but now she getting something out of it".
Joachim, who has an agrarian education very much focused on agriculture and the methods used. But also on a project which provides a basic course for women in building houses. Women earn considerably more laying bricks than working in the fields. - Roughly some 8$ a day.
Joachim was interviewed at the end of the trip. And here also spoke about the future plans for his family.
Joachim talks about the big difference between his first visit and today. Nepal is still not self sufficient and economically speaking still vulnerable, but today there is an actual middle class. And the economy is growing. 26 years ago Nepal had more or less just stepped out of the middle ages.
The attitude for aid-organizations like CARE has changed over the years, says Joachim. Previously there was no criticism at all, but today demands are made and critical questions asked: " - Today I dare be a bit a sharper. It's about changing and influencing the mindset - or work it, if you prefer.
It's after all often primitive societies with many illiterates. They do as their fathers, and their fathers and their fathers have done. Now we've fortunately gone one step further. Because they may not be able to read or write, but that doesn't mean we can't change the methods".
Joachim got his first protection when he was 18. How about Nikolai when he turns 18?
J: "I will not say what he must do! I'd rather say what he must not do. He is not to be forced into anything. Nikolai's life must proceed according to his very own plan. I'd like to help him along and try to inspire him. Advise him to some things and advise him against other things.
The by the way, applies to all the children. They must build up their own careers and life. And for that very reason he is not to be forced into something official. No matter what he want's to, as grandson of the Queen, as nephew to the future king and as cousin to the next king to come, he will always get some attention. But he is not to suffer from that fact.
He should be free to act no matter what.
So I will absolutely not rule out that he will become patron for something, but it's not something that must happen automatically. He must wish for it himself".
Q: How do You feel about him turning eighteen?
J: (Laughing): "It's dreadful... It's utterly dreadful. Incredible as time flies".
Joachim goes on to explain that while is is briefly in contact with his family back in DK, it's only when he comes home that he talks about his experiences in earnest. Bette Henrik now understands that people elsewhere are poor and need help and to some degree so does Athena.
But he is not going to take his family along on such a trip. - He will not be a tour-guide for "poverty-tourism".
- I think it's a sound decision that J&M and probably Alexandra as well, leave it to their children to decide whether they will have an active role within the DRF or not. Joachim had no choice in becoming a "lord of a (derelict) manor". So if one or two of his children show interest and talent for representing, it's better they sign up for the royal duties voluntarily. - And that way they can support M&F's children, because apart from Christian, at least the twins will be in a similar situation as Joachim's children.