Prince Joachim as Patron of CARE 2006 - 2024

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If you should chose to read this interview, you may end up thinking how fortunate you are.

Translation of interview in Billed Bladet #38, 2012.
Interviewer: Henrik Salling.

Q: What feelings come to you when you experience want and misery?
J: “That the world unfortunately is like that. Many things could be done in the ideal world. Unfortunately the ideal world doesn’t exist. But we can make a difference with very small means and when first the populations accepts wanting to be helped, then it can actually happen. It’s about breaking some habits – without denying them the culture”.

Q: So the feeling is that the work makes a difference?
J: “It makes a difference. No doubt about that. We in Care can boast about having a big influence”.

Q: Can you talk about a climax on this trip? (As in: is that at all possible?)
J: “That’s difficult. Things (impressions) has to settle first But we do have several examples of how a Care-project succeeded”.

Q: You visited some pregnant women at a hospital in Zanzibar. There the women lay sixteen-eighteen in the same room and gave birth next to each other. How was that?
J: “That was very interesting. Almost shocking. I do however always choose to see the positive in the realities. It’s fantastic that the hospital-staff accomplishes so much for so many and for so few means. Two women on the same mattress, where one has to move over, while the other deliver a child. Then to be two again on the mattress afterwards. When you look at the statistics over how many children that are saved, it’s a fantastic achievement”.

Q: You yourself know an incredible lot about Africa and the problems here. Why do you think it’s difficult to get the Danes to be interested in the problems of Africa?
J: “The Danes are fortunately very interested in Africa. But we have our own views and agendas. During the 60’s and 70’s we’ve heard about places where things have gone bad – seriously bad actually. And Africa has always been a part of that.
We have fortunately also heard about places where things have gone well.
I don’t think there is a Dane who hasn’t at some point in his childhood has heard that it went bad somewhere down here. Then you beat the drums for a disaster and get raised some funds. Fundraising which are very different from when I was a child. Now it’s done as an event or a TV-show. It’s very clever, because that brings in much more money.
The Danes don’t mind supporting”.

Q: You mentioned yourself memories from the childhood. Can you remember when you yourself noticed that we live in a privileged country?
J: “I can’t put a year on that, but it must have been in the beginning of the 70’s. I can’t remember exactly what country, but it had something to do with a famine caused by a civil war. (*) And nature has probably made it even worse”.

Q: Do you try to pass on the commitment you put in to relief-effort on to your own children?
J: “I’ve talked to them about that several times. I always tell them when I’m going on travels. And (I) tell them about it when I come home. It’s a good way for them to see things in perspective. To explain to them how things are in the countries I travel to. That our world is like that.
That’s why it’s our humane duty to contribute with what we can. And them I explain to them what it is I’m running around doing down here and what I experience.
I explain to them what we manage to accomplish in Care. In that way they get a picture of the conditions.
It’s not that I put them on a bench and lecture them that they are spoiled rotten. But they must know how the world is and that we each and everyone actually can do something. And they take that in very well”.

Q: It’s I guess almost in the work-description for royals that you have to get involved in humanitarian work?
J: “You can put it like that. We can, as persons about whom there is a lot of attention, help shed light over the problems.
When I about every two years visit the projects of Care and other projects which involve Denmark, that fortunately helps shed a light over the problems that certain parts of the world are facing”,

Q: Do you phone home to the family, while you are away?
J: “There is written and phoned home often, so that I can tell about what I experience. Pour out of my experiences from the day. It’s a good way to get it off your chest.
In the delegation we have experiences basically the same thing. But to phone or write home means that I can describe what we are doing, and then it helps to put things into perspective”.

Q: Would it have been nice to bring your wife with you?
J: “Of course! But I must also be the first to say – and I’ve told her that – the trips with Care is tough reality, but for the eyes and the heart.
But also for the muscles and the sleep. As taking part in the travel I have an obligation – also on the last day – to be awake/in good spirit/attentive. Because those we visit on the last day has the right of just as much attention and interest as those on the first day”.

Q: It is also a very relaxed Prince Joachim, one experience on these travels. Is it nice to away a bit from the Danish daily pond?
J: “It is actually. There are a lot of templates for officials trips. But here it’s about compassion, which can be stressful and tough. It’s nice that we can travel as one company.
When the projects have been visited we shut down for the official part (behavior). In that way it becomes more relaxing. It’s more practical that the entire group live in the same place. In that way you can also discuss the day with each other”.

Q: You also had an opportunity to tell some of the women at Zanzibar about your own family?
J: “Yes, that was a lot of fun. There sure were questions! Among other things they would like to know how many children I had and whether I was married and whether we in Denmark live close to our family like in Africa. To that I could answer that my parents live just across (the square) and that my brother lives next to. So in that way it’s fortunate that Amalienborg is located as it is. Of course I didn’t go into details. They don’t necessarily need to know about the comparatively size. That’s essential for the conversation”.

Q: You have traveled around the world yourself and gotten dirt under your nails. Could you imagine yourself going out as a relief worker?
J: “I could easily imagine that. It’s incredibly rewarding to help. But you must be prepared as a relief-worker to have some experiences where it isn’t fun and games. There will be tough experiences as well.
Experiences that sets on the retina and which are no fun. You have to be prepared for that as well”.

Q: What do you think you would have been doing today, if you had not been born into the royal family?
J: (Long pause). “I really don’t know. I’ve always known I was to become a farmer since I was very young. And I’ve also been involved in shipping. (**) I probably wouldn’t, had I not been invited.
I’m very spoiled and I’m very grateful for that even to this day. I’ve experienced so much I wouldn’t have, had I not been a member of the royal family”.

Q: Do you sometimes pinch yourself in the arm?
J: “Yes, - and you should. So that you wake up”!

(*) Perhaps Biafra.

(**) While in Hong Kong.
There is an avalanche of DRF news today, it's difficult to keep up!

Today, Joachim, who has been patron for CARE DK for 25 years, was (deservedly) honored for his commitment.
And on that occasion a new painting was unveiled to the visibly akward Joachim:

Our Marie was there too and she took a look at the painting and said: "He's very handsome. - This is very much him, because he is both people. Him on the picture - and him", pointing at her husband.

Here is a HQ look at the painting:
Painted by Mikael Melbye who has spend more than 200 hour painting it. Joachim posed for two or three settings.
Mikael Melbye has portraied other members of the DRF.

Nice big pics from CARE of Joachim, our Marie and the painting:
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I like the painting! Not a typical painting of a royal. Very nice.
Summary of article in Billed Bladet #21, 2014.
Written by Henrik Salling.

Joachim has been a patron, and an active on, for CARE for 25 years and on that occasion CARE honored him with a portrait and the CARE award, which will be in his posession for the next year.

The painting depicting Joachim in Africa, where he has been so often, was painted by Mikael Melbye and he said: "It's no particular difference from paiting Prince Joachim than any other I have portrayed. What is different is that I know Prince Joachim from our work together at CARE. (Melbye is ambassador for CARE). It has no doubt made it easier. We have crawled around in Masai villages and we have got dust and dung on us together.
To me it's about getting under the skin - no matter who it is I'm painting. Prince Joachim is an easy model. The more free reins I get the better the portrait will get. In this case I was given completely free reins. I presented my draft and that he accepted".
Melbye has previously painted QMII and Christian.

Our reporter asked: Have you (formal you) decided where the trophy will be placed?
Joachim replied: "Well, it is a wandering trophy so I've only got it for a year or so. But in that year it will have a prominent place. Because that one I'd like to show off with. It genuinely means a lot to me. Apart from championship awards, this is actually the first prize I've recieved. It's a fantastic acknowledgement and my ears almsot turned red from the words of praise. But it bloodies the teeth and I'm willing to take on another 25 years".

Q: What does it mean to you?
J: "It means a lot. On my travel with CARE I've seen how important it is that you aim straight, when you work with developement (in developing countries). That's why this prize will find a very special place".

About his travels Joachim said: "I've growen a more thick hide over time, so I'm not as affected as in the beginning. But you cannot grade poverty and it will always be something that affects you. We can't save the world just like that (snapping his fingers). But through CARE's projects we make the world a better place.
I do of course take home my experiences to my children, but we do after all live a very different life. It's difficult to explain it to Prince Henrik, but with my two oldest children I can better explain what it is I experience on my travels".

About the painting: "I think the picture is really neat. I can recognise a CARE situation in the picture. The artist express what he sees - and it resembles. And that is also the word from Princess Marie".
Who added: " The painting is very him. He is both people. Him on the picture - and him here", looking at her husband.
Prins Joachim blev petanque-mester i Laos | Billed Bladet

Joachim is as you know in Laos thes days. And here he among other things played petangue. A game that is very popular among the very poor - but also in France..., so when the locals challenged Joachim to a game they were beaten, soundly.

- Petangue is also very popular here in DK especially among senior citizens, keeps them off the streets and out of mischief.
We have a local petangue team here as well and they may look docile enough, like any other nice grandparents. :yoda: Wrong! They are fanatics, sharks who will skin you should you be foolish enough to challenge them to a game. :hornets:
A nice little BB story about Joachim in Laos: Prins Joachim fandt piges sko i Laos | Billed Bladet

The area he was visiting is so remote that even the crows bring their own lunchbags (DK idiom).

Anyway, while being showed around on a field, in this very poor area, he spotted a child's shoe and picked it up, knowing that a shoe represents a very considerable investment for the local peasants.
Fortunately he saw a father with his daughter nearby looking for the shoe. And now everyone was happy. :)
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Summary of article in Billed Bladet #47, 2014.
Written by Trine Larsen.

Who went with Joachim on his ten day journey to Laos.
Every two years or so Joachim go on a long trip for Care to often extremely remote places on the planet.
This trip is no exception!

He has visited the mountanous norther part of Laos, which is poor as it is but also has next to no modern communications, including phones and certainly workable internet.
Here he has visited the most poor ethnic group of the country, the Akah people.

He and the delegation have had to sleep rough. Joachim's bed was a thin mattrass on a floor, with a blanket. That in a house in the mountains with no heating and no windows either.
His morning shower was at the only water pump in the village, where he had to strip his shirt and wash in cold water as best he could. In a temperature of some 6-7 degrees C, which incidentally is the temperature back in DK today on this balmy November day.

Being in contact with his family? Well: "It has only amounted to a couple of text messages, when I've been lucky, but we were prepared for that before leaving".

The Akah village Joachim visited consists of 43 families with 209 people. And about staying with them he said: "It's a huge experience to be allowed to become a part of their every day life. To be with the people of the village and live with them, and yet not like them, because we can go away".
About sleeping rough: "Yes, I've had a softer bed".

And about washing in full public view at the water pump: "Fortunately I'm not so shy and it's the same for everyone. I'm not deterred by that and it is after all nice with a little water in the hair and face in the morning. And when I started the others in the delegation had to follow suit. But I admit that I postponed shaving".

The village threw a party in his honor and that meant he was placed on the floor in the local school to take part in a ceremony to ward off evil spirits: "The ceremony was another big experience which ended with everyone, while praying for me and my future happiness they tied white ribbons to my wrists, so that I in the end looked like a mummy. It was a bit akin to necromancy (correct expression? at a kind of shaman ceremony), but it warmed my heart".
Joachim kept the bands on his wrists for three days because that's what the ceremony dictates.

About the trip in general: "The whole trip ha offered fantastic experiences and some days will pass before you can really deal with all impressions. That often happens when you return home and it has settled and when you tell the family about it. And that I'm looking forward to".
And the first thing he will when coming home is to take his children to kindergarten: "I come straight from the airport but (I) can just manage it. It'll be nice and even though the reuniion will probably be big, it is also important that the children still have their everyday life and fixed frames". - Joachim touched down in Copenhagen yesterday, Wednesday, morning.

About the visit in general: "I actually like going to see such places... it's after all there you can see what CARE is capable of, see that it helps and has a use. That there - despite the country's big challenges with both poverty, climate changes and the most unexploded bombs from the Vietnam War (*) , which still cause casualties, - still is hope".

With Joachim in the delagation went Kurt Bache, who is Joachim's private secretary, who has a military background. A meteorologist. Representatives from CARE and a security coordinater. (Read: a private Danish bodyguard, my guess he's hired by the Foreign Ministry).

This must be the first part of the coverage which usually include a large interview. I guess we will see next week.

(*) As a part of the "secret" bombcampaign during the Vietnam War, Laos is until this day one of the most, if not the most, bombed countries in the world. When you drop more bombs on a country than was dropped over Germany and Japan during WWII, and considering that a percentage of bombs dropped fail to detonate, that means that thousands of unexploded ordonance litter Laos today. - It only takes and ox on a field, a plough, a spade, a curious child and...

Here is the article:
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Prins Joachim besøger Aftenshowet - Kendte |

Tonight at 19.05 on DR1 Joachim will appear on Aftenshowet, where he will talk about his work for CARE and about his latest trip that went to Laos.

Nice! For once a male member of the DRF gets an opportunity to talk on prime time TV about his charity.
About time IMO. We may eventually end up having gender egality in this country...:p
And now for some more sobering reading. It is after all far from glamorous all the time, when the royals are on the job.

This is the second part of Joachim's trip to Laos. Divided into two parts: a general overview and an interview. The interview will be added to this post later.

Summary of article in Billed Bladet #48, 2014.
Written by Trine Larsen.

One of the more important things CARE is to help victims of the countless mines and other unexploded ordonances left after the war from 1964-73.
During that period two million tonnes of boms were dropped over Laos and 270 million, repeat million, bomblets from clusterbombs. (*) Of those an estimated 30% failed to detonate, but they are still unstable and dangerous!
In fact the six million inhabitants of Laos is matched by half a ton of unexploded explosives per person scattered all over the country.
Joachim visited the Phou Khaou province, which is the hardest hit in regards to mines (**) and other unexploded devices. Here the organisation Lao National UXO is doing what they can to remove the devices they find - a monumental task!
Joachim push a botton and started a controlled explosion that removed three mines and afterwards he said: "It's terrifying and terrible. And that there are still so many unexploded bombs, mines and clusterbombs that endanger the population on a day to day basis is unbearable. It's a drop in the ocean. But now there are three less and that's after all a pretty good feeling".
Because there are so many crippled victims of mines and bomblets and because the country is so poor, many have to rely on homemade artificial legs, before eventually getting a properly made artifical limb. (***)
One of the clinics making those limbs is the Cope-centre which Joachim also visited.
And each year more are crippled by mines and bomblets. - Animals, livestock and people of all ages, especially smaller children because they are curious and careless.

The interview to follow.

(*) Clusterbomb. Basically a container with say 200 small bombs, each the size of a handgrenade which are scattered from an airplane or a helicopter.
Such bomblets, as they are called, can cover an area the size of a soccer field and devastate it. As a thumb rule you estimate that about 10 % will fail to detonate, but they are still dangerous. Another 10 % have delayed fuses, which puts the area out of bounds for up to several days and another 10 % are specifically designed as boobytraps that will detonate when handled. - Apart from being very efficient and devastating an area espeically against personel and soft targets, the area is also "polluted" for enemy use for a considerable period.
During the Cold War it was common for clusterbombs to also include chemical agents as well as explosives and that was a particularly nasty weapon!

(**) Mines. The mines in Laos predominantly differ from IED's used in say Afghanistan, which are now often homemade pressure mines. And also from mines used in say the fomer Jugoslavia, which were mainly claymore type mines or "jump-mines" and they were specifically designed to hit soldiers. The mines in Laos are mainly small footmines. Being very small they were often scattered from the air, sometimes by artillery shells. And they were designed to permanently "pollute" an area. I.e. few had time fuses, meaning that they would self-destruct at a given time. And made from plastic they are very resistant against the elements and as such in fine working order even decades after being scattered.

(***) Mine injuries. The injuries in Laos are mainly caused by footmines (and bomblets) that are designed to cripple rather than kill. A crippled person cannot fight (not in a country like Laos), have difficulty working manually, takes a long time to recover and is a huge drain on already limited resources. Apart from that there is the psycological effect of mines and bomblets. All it takes to trigger that effect when people enter say a large grove is one mine found there, just a single mine.
But footmines are particularly nasty in several ways. If you step on a footmine with the back of your foot, you lose half your leg and you are crippled.
If you step on such a footmine with the front part of your foot, you will lose half your foot, but fragments of bone and footwear will fly upwards and because you tend to lean forward into a step, the fragments will hit your face. It is estimated that about a quarter of Soviet soldiers stepping on such footmines during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan lost their sight as well as their foot. For males it gets even worse. A considerable percentage of men and boys stepping on footmines have their genitals damaged or destroyed from fragments. The smaller the male, the larger the risk...
In Afghanistan some mines were camuflaged as toys or ballpens (A ballpen back then being a sign of litteracy in rural areas) and they exploded when picked up. Don't know if such mines were used in Laos though.


Translation of the interview with Joachim, where he talks about CARE and his children:
I know perfectly well that few will ever read this, but for those who do I think this is worth the read.
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Thanks, Iceflower :flowers:

It was funny to see Joachim answer a question by a child why he was Prince. And it sounds like he's answered that question before... "My mother, is Queen Margrethe, so that's why I'm Prince.
My brother, Crown Prince frederik is one year older than me, so one day he's going to be king. - And his children will take over after him".

But he had to think long and hard to answer which of the many TV-Christmas calendars (*) was his favorite.

(*) Don't know which other countries have this tradition: From 1st December until 24th, the TV-networks send a Christmas calendar for the children (and often the adults as well). They consists of short episodes, sometimes dramatic, sometimes educational, sometimes hilarious based on some sort of Christmas theme. The point is of course that the children should be in suspense as to whether there will be a real Christmas this year for the characters.


Prince Joachim as Patron of CARE participated in the launch of the Children's Advent calendar 2015 at the Ørestad School in Copenhagen this morning, October 5:

** BB: VIDEO: Prins Joachim: Derfor er jeg prins ** translation **

** Årets ulandskalender skal hjælpe Nepals bjergbørn ** translation **

** article and gallery: BILLEDER: Prins Joachim præsenterede Børnenes U-landskalender i år ** translation **
I can't remember, but if such a trip coincided with Athena's birthday that would have been the reason.
I understand he usually travel for CARE in the beginning of every two years. It may have had something to do with things being more quiet at Schackenborg - agriculturally speaking.
I can't remember, but if such a trip coincided with Athena's birthday that would have been the reason.
I understand he usually travel for CARE in the beginning of every two years. It may have had something to do with things being more quiet at Schackenborg - agriculturally speaking.

Interesting,thank you for your answer!
That's why he missed Athena's birthday in 2013,right?

According to the article Muhler posted Joachim embarked on visits in 2012 and in 2014. So that was most probably not the reason why he missed the 2013 birthday.
:previous: packed agenda. Great that he can to an area he first visited 25 years ago.
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