Princess Caroline's two-week humanitarian field trip to Africa - 2007

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Some 'new' pics (thanks to Ianna who has found the new agency;) )

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And a few more scans, one more from the gala dinner (Princess Caroline delivering the speech)

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A NEW interview!!! But it is in french, perhaps some one could try to translate it? That would be great. Here it is:

Interview of HRH The Princess of Hanover - 27 april 2007
Interview with Mr Jacques Danois after the AMADE annual General Assembly, about Her humanitarian journey in Africa

Link to the pdf file - Link
Here is the first part of my translation from the link.

Interview with her Royal Highness the Princess of Hanover, speaking with Jacques Danois

Jacques Danois: Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Hanover, President of the AMADE, has travelled to Africa, which she visited from North Niger to the tip of South Africa. She wanted to see, she wanted to hear, she wanted to watch from up close the work of the AMADE on that continent, and she also wanted to find out for herself what African children were doing, what they were , and what they needed. Therefore what we listen to here are words about that safari of the heart, it is the report of a professional trip, focused on children.

Her Royal Highness: In face of such titanic work to be done, we sometimes feel that we are applying bandaids to a wooden leg. It is impossible to know if what is being done will be really useful in the long term, but I think that it is worth it for each smile it brings to the face of a child, for each child whose life we save, whom we lift from dire poverty, from injustice, from the horrendous lottery of life that we enter from birth. For one does not choose to be born in a country in a state of war, to lose one's parents, to lose one's set of references, not being able to get food, or be defended or protected....One does not choose this. Therefore I think that if we manage to save one, out of the millions who are in need, we have begun to accomplish our duty as human beings.

J.D. Did you get the impression that you were seeing Africa through the eyes of the children, or did you see it through the eyes of all of its population? Is it mostly the eyes of children which have opened the doors of Africa to you?

H.R.H. You can't isolate one thing from another: of course with the AMADE, we are an association which strives to come to the assistance, to fly to the aid of the children, but you must understand that children cannot be seen independently from their bond with their mothers. And when the mother is not there, you have to try to weave a cocoon again, to reconstruct warmth. I am thinking here, among other things, about war orphans or AIDS orphans. You need a protective structure for these children, and in order to warn and protect other children, you have to work from the top. Let's take the examples of climate disasters and desertification. How can you remedy that ? There, you are confronted with adult problems, and you try to resolve an injustice which strikes the children's parents. If you really want to do an effective job, you need to educate, nurture and create an environment which must be safe and viable for the family.
Second part of the translation

Jacques Danois: Is the AMADE's work, which is yours, which you direct with a master's hand, which you feel you want to do in Africa, is that a new beginning or a reconstruction ? For example, are you going to try, thanks to the people who work with you there, to erase everything and begin something new ?

H.R.H : This depends on the places, the circumstances, the countries... especially when you are confronted with customs which personally I would find very difficult to accept, even though I don't want to exhibit western, cultural or medical imperialism. For example, I am thinking here of female circumcision, which is a painful case. As a European woman, I'd like to wipe it out. But I feel I have no moral right to attack this problem alone, I think it is a problem of women in Africa. You can help them, you can give them the means to handle this struggle, but it's up to them to take it in hand. And it's already done: there is a real spirit originating from African women to put an end to that practise. In this very particular case, I'd quite certainly like to see a clean slate so that it would not be practiced any more, but it is not up to me nor our association to come in and with a heavy-handed manner, to say "This is not done". Confronted with another culture, even if we don't agree, I don't think we have a moral right to impose ourselves in this manner.
This being said, there is a huge energy within the tradition, the culture, within certain ancestral practices, such as in the way they dig wells, consolidate rivers' edges, capture the dripping of the water in order to fill the underground aquifier and get better access to water... We must use those energies. If we can be such a catalyst and give the means, even if they are financial means, to allow the temporary rooting of a population in one place, and help them make their environment less hostile, we must do it. By supporting agriculture, by permitting an agricultural activity, therefore an economic one, we help the families, and consequently, the children.
Third part of the translation

Jacques Danois : You have spoken of the African women. If you divide the population into three parts, the fathers, the mothers, and the children, are women, in your opinion, the most solid, and those in whom resides the best hope ?

H.R.H : Again, this depends on the places. There are contries with a strong muslim tradition where women don't really have a right to express an opinion. They have little autonomy and decision-making power, as to how to educate their children or have access to health care, because they are prisoners of illiteracy or of certain customs. I am thinking here of some precise cases, for example in cases of grave malnutrition. which could often be avoided, solutions do exist. But the crushing weight of their culture, their traditions, may make it impossible for them to be ready to always follow certain directions, certain advice which would benefit their babies' health.
Then it is a more complicated work. You need intermediaries, women on the field, who can attempt to lead them to save their child. As a matter of fact, with the Princess Grace Foundation, we have financed a school of midwives, in the sahraoui camps, because we are very well aware that husbands forbid their wives, and fathers their daughters, from consulting male physicians. So we need female physicians, at least midwives, competent and qualified, whereas the traditional matrons, who are capable, sometimes don't have the necessary medical training to deal with serious cases. These are small projects, but they are particularly useful.
I will continue typing the translation soon !
Translation, part 4

J.D: You went across 2 regions in a state of war, at least in a state of disorder, Congo and Burudia. Did you feel any fear or did it feel totally natural for you to be travelling that way through that torn and dangerous continent ?

H.R.H : Quite honestly, I didn't really feel that weight. In Burundi, I felt that the country was swept over by a huge sigh of relief after all those years, and showed a real desire to breathe, to bandage up its wounds and start all over again with something else. There was a kind of joy, as well as a certain exhaustion, in all these orphans and all those displaced populations.
Translation, part 5

J.D : Whom did the Africans see in you ? The Princess, the President of the AMADE, or a mom ?

H.R.H : You'd have to ask them that. (laughter)

J.D : You had brought one of your sons with you ?

H.R.H : That's correct, but since he is taller than I am, I don't think it really registered. (laughter)

J.D : And you, how did you feel ? Princess ? President of the AMADE, or mother ?

H.R.H : Once you're a mother, I think it is what you identify with the most, I think that all mothers feel that way. Once you're a mother, you're a mother for life; you don't decide to be one at one moment, and no longer to be one at another moment. No, you are a mother before anything else, even if you have other activities which you try to do as best you can.

J.D : An important encounter that took place there was the one with Nelson Mandela. I don't mean to be indiscreet, but what were your conversation topics ? Was AIDS an important one ?

H.R.H : I had had the joy of meeting Nelson Mandela several times before, and it was wonderful to see him again. He is a wonderful man, with such a warm personality; he is good-natured and a great goodness of heart exudes from him. We talked and laughed a lot. We spoke in particular of countries torn by internal conflicts; this encounter took place at the end of my trip, and he showed a lot of interest, and asked me many questions about Burundi, about our projects in Congo, In Niger. He was particularly interested in and concerned with the case of (depranocytise?), a real plague which has escaped the attention of many leaders and health organizations.
As for AIDS in Africa, I am not saying anything new when I tell you that it is a huge problem, as well as malaria, which remains the primary cause of mortality. But thanks to a new generation of available medications, you can see many promising achievements and hope .
Translation, part 6

J.D : Did people seem to you to be very conscious of these dangers ?

H.R.H : Yes, I think that today a bright spotlight has been beamed on these problems. All the NGO, the media, those who are involved and filled with good will, all have been able to ascertain an awareness and a desire to make things move.

J.D : One last question, Madam. What remains from that trip in your head, your ears ? Is it the noise of an African crowd in overpopulated cities and towns, is it the singing of the South or the drummers of Burundi ?

H.R.H : All these sounds are certainly present, but what stays with me is the idea of all the work that remains to be done. And also perhaps sometimes the silence in some hospital rooms, where there are such resignations in front of misery; those mute mothers in front of their sick babies; those patients waiting for a bed. This may be well be what is most terrifying. There is still a long way to go and much energy to mobilize.

J.D : You have, I think, seen mothers who had just given birth or were about to give birth. What is, for you, the future of this newborn who was delivered near you ?

H.R.H : I see many babies who have just been delivered, whether in Monaco or in hospitals, a little bit everywhere. You cannot but wish what is best, nothing is more moving than a new life that comes on this earth. As to knowing what its destiny will be, that remains unfathomable.

J.D : Does it belong to us ?

H.R.H : Nothing belongs to us.

(end of translation)

A very moving interview, it was a pleasure translating it, as if speaking in her voice, a real honor really.
thank you so much for the translation iLoveroyals. she is truly so lovely in all ways.
Thank you very very much iloveroyals. I really wish I could speak french a bit better, but I knew we have some great members like you who could do the work.;) It is really an interesting interview and it really showes that she really cares for those countries and their people. I esp. love the part of her talking about her role as a mother, I think she is absolutly right. She is a mom and that is the most important thing. Thanks again.....:flowers::clap:
You are both very welcome. thhrc, thanks for giving the link.

I had never translated any of her interviews before; it is a strange feeling, because I know she is bilingual of course, and I wonder what words she would have chosen to express herself in English. So it is a bit more "intimate" than just a regular translation.

As I reread biographies of Princess Grace, I relaize how much she resembles Princess Grace in her dedication to the less privileged people and to being a mother. Apparently, what mattered most to Princess Grace was to raise her children well, and she devoted herself to that task in as educated a way as one could at that time. Times have chnged and Princess Caroline has incorporated the more recent research in effective parenthood in her own methods (more liberty for the children, less micro-management, etc), and being on the huminatarian mission in Africa must have the dual effect of seeing herself in every mother there and vice versa, (sort of "the vanity of materialism, we are all brothers and sisters in our feelings of love and protection for the vulnerable"), yet also recoginizing the tremendous differences in opportunities and safety issues that separates the haves from the haves-not, and it permits her to express all the compassion and generosity of heart she is capable of in constructive ways, in a positive outlet. Her emphasis on how much remains to be done shows she will keep her focus on the mission and create energy around her, and her optimism in the womens' strengths and desires must be a great engine to keep everybody on task. (Sorry this is so long-winded !)
Thank you very much for this translation, iloveroyals! :flowers: Princess Caroline's interview is real pleasure to read..Amazing woman!:)
Princess Caroline of Hanover gives Siyasanga Beja (3) a cuddle with head teacher Ebrahim Rasool (right) on the 12th of February 2007. The Princess is the president of Amade Mondiale (World Association of Children\'s Friends), and was visiting the Khanyisa Pre-Primary School on their behalf.


Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover visit\'s African Children. Honoured with the UNICEF Champion Award in May 2006 H.R.H. The Princess of Hanover (Princess Caroline) continues her humanitarian duties while touring to promote the rights of children on her African Tour. Also in attendance was Pierre Casiraghi, Princess Caroline\'s younger son.

I know that this is old, but here is a link to a nice review of Princess Caroline's 2007 visit to Africa. Visit to Africa
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