Princess Marie as Patron of DanChurchAid

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:previous:I agree a very strong interview. Good for Marie for going:flowers:
Summary of a number of articles in Billed Bladet #41 & 42, 2012.
All written by Trine Larsen.

After a journey lasting fourteen hours Marie arrived at Phnom Penh airport to a damp heat of 30 degrees C.
With her were her LiW, Britt Siesbye and secretary general for DanChurchAid, Henrik Stubkjær. They were received by the Danish ambassador to Cambodia and Thailand, Michael H. Winther, and the local manager for DanChurchAid, Katja Levin. They were basically the persons who were to accompany our Marie on this four-day visit.
After a short breather at the hotel it was off for a work-lunch with local representatives for DanChurchAid (DCA).
Then back to the hotel for a quick shower and a new dress before it was time for a reception and later a dinner for local Danish representatives, for among other things Danish companies. (*)

Then it was off for a four-hour drive far, very far, out in the countryside to a village called Kroch, which has suffered hard from flooding. Here she was very welcome! No wonder as she was to hand out fifteen envelopes from DCA to the most needy in the village. The envelopes contained 40 $, for which they can live for more than a month.
It was explained why: “We have found out that cash do more good than for instance giving them rice. If they need medicine, they often have to sell their rice-rations, which they won’t get much for anyway. In that way they can buy rice themselves and medicine and perhaps buy some seed for the field”.
Indeed the whole village had turned out to meet and see Marie. Marie gave an improvised speech in return before she was shown around the village. Among them a couple of parents with a two month old baby girl, who has HIV. That made Marie tear up, the stories from other villagers moved
her as well. The flooding completely devastated the economy of this already poor village.

Another item on the agenda was a visit to some slum, Andong, outside the capital of Phnom Penh, one of the worst in the country. Here some 1.700 families live a meager existence without water, sanitation and electricity amidst garbage and feces from animals as well as humans. An existence without hope.
Sis years ago, these families were relocated by the government from a slum neighborhood in the capital and within a few hours placed here. Away from the capital, out of sight and out of mind. Without any compensation. (**)
Here Marie was shown around by a local human rights activist Madame Kek, whose safety is far from guaranteed. DCA has a few projects in this area, aiming at providing some work and some education for some of the poor.
The article describes Marie as walking around in the village completely numbed or paralyzed from what she saw.
She said: “It’s utterly horrible to experience. We must go home and tell everyone about this”.
She visited local homes where extended families are cramped together in single room sheds. No privacy, no water, all just lying on the same wooden bunk, raised a little over the ground. With cats, dogs and chicken walking around everywhere. With muddy streets outside, mud that is mixed with waste from humans and animals.
DCA had set up primitive workshops, where women produced jewellery from recycled paper and bags from old tires, which they sell in the city and earn a months salary of 25 $.

Back in Phnom Penh Marie visited street children. Some of these children, the fortunate ones, are taken into the care of a place like Friends House. Here children get a basic education and also learn a basic trade, some even learn languages. Including cooking and Marie indeed ate lunch at a restaurant set up by children who came from Friends House.
At Friends House Marie fell for the children in the kindergarten there and hugged all of them, saying: “Wonder if I should grab a couple of them with me home”.
Here the children can also get medical attention should they fall ill. (***)
Marie said: “Yes, I think you could see that something good is really happening for those street children. Not only do they get an opportunity for a better life, but they learn things they can use later on. We did see so many opportunities for them, a lot of activities. There were for example a beauty salon, hairdresser, machine shop and different forms of crafts (as artisans), just as the young can get an education and learn languages. It is so important to give the young hope for the future. Because without education they can’t get a job. They do have dreams and hopes like all other youths and that was nice to see. It was lovely to see them smile and nice to know that there is such a place, where they are at the same time taken good care of. Where they for instance also can get medical attention and medicine, should they become ill”.

Then she visited a crisis center for women, where there were 38 women and their children. Marie spoke to two of them. Here the women get shelter and learn a basic trade, enabling them to set up a business and take care of themselves and their children.
Marie said: “To support and help make such a center function really makes sense. That has a big, big significance and the visit made a big impression on me. The stories of the women were so cruel and shocking for me to hear, so it’s nice that they have a place where they are protected and get help. Both psychological and legal help, if they want to divorce and not least help to get an education or a job so that they can build a future for themselves and their children. Children who have often also been beaten and abused, so it’s fantastic that they find help in such a place”.

- Well, it looks like Marie really has had her baptism of fire.
I noticed no PET officers around, so I guess protection, if there was any, was local.

(*) As usual where the DRF are going, Danish commerce get some attention. Southeast Asia is very much a market that is cultivated by Danish companies, and the countries welcome investments and jobs.

(**) It gets worse. They are so poor that they cannot afford transportation to the capital where they may find some work, so now they have no work at all! Meaning that they get even poorer.

(***) For those who wish to know more about Friends House and similar projects, I can recommend the thread covering Frederik’s visit to Cambodia.

You are welcome, Artemisia :)
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Summary of article in Billed Bladet #50, 2012.
Jeg glemmer det aldrig - I'll never forget it.
Written by Trine Larsen.

Wearing red and sporting a slightly different hairstyle Marie gave a speech at DanChurchAide's Christmas event, where sponsors had been invited.

Our Marie very much based her speech on her recent visit to Cambodia:
"I had prepared myself well but still I have to say that what I experienced is something you can never prepare yourself for.
Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world, where one in four live under the UN's definition of powerty of one Dollar a day. It was both hard and fantastic to meet people who have nothing but yet face life with dignity. That leaves a good feeling of that things will turn out alright despite the difficult circumstances.
It was hard to stand face to face with some of those who needed the most help. But I was met by trusting people, who knew that I came to hear their story and pass it on and in that way help. It was great inspiration for me to feel their trust and hope.
The most important thing is that they themselves are a part of the solution. That is the most dignified way to provide aide".

Marie told more about her experience and continued: "It was the most dreadful slum with hygiene-related deseases.
I had experinces I will never forget. And I got the work by DanChurchAide right under my skin. I'm now back with a good sense of that the effort works. And that those out there who really need help are in full swing themselves, because it takes very little to improve their lives.
I'm now even more motivated to address the Danes and takes so little to make a difference".
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Princess Marie as Patron of the DanChurchAid has attended the organization's Christmas event at Schæffergården in Gentofte yesterday afternoon, November 27.

** Pic ** fb: Folkekirkens Nødhjælp **

But that's not all, Marie is patron of DanChurchAid as well. The relief organisation under the state church.

Summary of article in Billed Bladet #49, 2013.
Written by Henrik Salling.

And in that capacity she attended a Christmas event in Copenhagen, where active members and staff of DanChurchAid meet, along with invited contributors and ambassadors for the organisation.
One of the ambassadors is the young and very talented singer and songwriter Mads Langer, whome Marie also met. She said: "Your songs go straight to my heart".

About DanChurchAid Marie said: "I think it has been so exciting to learn about the projects. I have travelled with DanChurchAid and (I) can see it makes a difference. I'm very proud to be a part of DanChurchAid".
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The programme of the visit to Ethiopia has been released today:

** Program for besøg i Etiopien ** translation **

Monday 27 January

Lunch at the Danish ambassador in Addis Ababa
pm. 13:00
Princess Marie participates in a luncheon organized by the Danish Ambassador to Ethiopia, which will report on developments in the country and to cooperation between Ethiopia and Denmark .

Visit to ENGSKO United Milling System
pm. 14:45

Meeting with DanChurchAid
pm. 18:00
Princess Marie greets local employees from DanChurchAid's office in Addis Ababa and is informed about the organization's work in Ethiopia.


Tuesday 28 January

Departure from Addis Ababa
pm. 8.00
The Princess and the remaining participating delegation head towards Bale Mountain, which is 400 kilometers south of Addis Ababa to visit the organization's projects in local areas.

Wednesday 29 January

Visit the project in Jibri
pm. 10:30
Princess visits a community in Jibri , Goro , and gets showcased the common water pump, which was established in June 2013.(..)

Thursday, 30 January

Visit to Sinana
pm. 9.30
Princess Marie visits a project in Goro , which aims to provide information on HIV in rural communities where people with the disease are often stigmatized . Princess meets men and women who have HIV that through the project attempted re-integrate into society. (..)

Friday 31 January

Visit to Tufa - Miessa Livelihood Enhancement Project
pm. 8.30
Princess visits a project in DCA in the area Tufa - Miessa , which is vulnerable due to lack of water and one-sided focus on livestock (..)

Reception at the Danish Ambassador
pm. 19:00
Princess Marie attends a reception hosted by the Danish Ambassador to Ethiopia in the Ambassador's residence .
i'm looking forward to the trip starting. it's nice to see how the DRF lets their newer members like mary and marie take relatively long journeys and perform relatively long official visits on their own. :)
i'm looking forward to the trip starting. it's nice to see how the DRF lets their newer members like mary and marie take relatively long journeys and perform relatively long official visits on their own. :)

I agree. Both are an asset to the family :flowers:
Thanks, Iceflower & Ricarda. :flowers:

I see BB has dispatched Henrik Salling to cover this trip, he has previously followed our Marie closely, but this is AFAIR the first major trip abroad covering Marie and it will be interesting to see how he deals with it.
Anyway, the gentleman with whom Marie share a double-high-five is the Foreign Minister Holger K (Nielsen). He is fairly inexperienced minister as yet (Marie actually has more experience than him, when it comes to representing) but certainly a vast improvement over the previous foreign minister! He is accompanying Marie on this part of the trip because he will be attending a meeting at the African Union, with the purpose of creating initatives and conditions for economic growth in Africa.
The mill-stone factory here is a part of that indirect economic aid, because even though it's Danish owned (to ensure capital, leadership experience and to be brutally honest, to avoid corruption and nepotism) it is nevertheless an example of what is in many ways the most efficent form of aid in developing countries: low-tech equipment that is vital and can be used instantly and by everyone on a local level. I.e. enabling people to set up small family-businesses and for a reasonable amount of money. In this case mills for grinding coffee and corn.

Another example of Danish initiative is currently taking place in East Africa. A Danish engineer who had lived for a number of years in South East Asia. He went to Africa and with him he brought a technigue from Asia, where you can set up a kiln for brick production, using very low tech equipment, and more importantly using local, freely available material. Result: kilns are shooting up like mushrooms, in some districts it's common with a kiln for each village, creating jobs in the building sector and benefitting the economy. - There's a guy who seriously deserves a Knights Cross!

Okay, a lot of boring text stuff as usual, I know, but crucial if you wish to know why Danish organisations and as a consequence Marie are in Ethiopia in the first place. She's not just there to charm the locals.
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:previous:Always appreciate your insights and background info, In cases where people might wonder why the royals visit certain areas in the first place :flowers::flowers:
:previous: Very glad you find it interesting. :)

Etiopiens børn vilde med prinsesse Marie | Billed Bladet

BB continues the coverage from the second day of the expedition. This time Marie went on an eleven hour drive to Goba.
During the drive they made a number of pitstops. And that meant that the locals, the children especially, gathered around.
Strangers, princesses or not are a novelty in this area and attracts attention. And Marie was at the centre of attention, presumably because the locals could notice that she was treated in a special way.
Towards the end of the journey our Marie handed out bananas, which had been bought at a previous pitstop, to the curious children. (That should make for some nice pics).
BB has a little update on Marie's journey through Ethiopia: Prinsesse Marie: Det er svært med børnene | Billed Bladet

She was today presented with a goat by the locals, and it's always interesting to learn what actually happens with the animals the royals are presented with, but let's start with our Marie's own response: "I was very pleased with my present. It's a great honor. I've never been presented with a goat before. But it's important for them to give something in return and it's difficult to say no. I didn't want to say no to the present but they need the goat more than I do. - My husband is a skillful farmer and he would be able to look after the goat".

The goat was indeed brought back to the hotel, where the Danish delegation is staying and it munched contededly on the grass at the hotel. Later on it will quietly be donated to a local family.

This trip has hardly been covered in the Danish media so far. Presumably because there is so much happening here politically which take up a lot of space in the papers.
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I was interested to learn how BB's reporter Henrik Salling would cover our Marie's trip to Ethiopia. It was I believe one of his first major trips abroad with the DRF and I would like to know his style.
The article in this weeks issue cover the first day of Marie's visit and so far I think he has done well. Henrik Salling has always been very positive towards Marie but his account is also pretty matter of fact.

But judge for yourselves, you can read it here:
:previous: :)

And on this the last day, our man in Africa, Henrik Salling, explains why pics and reports have been few and far between. There simply isn't inadequte telephone and internet connection that far out. (Amazing how we take that for granted now). - I guess they are out there where the pigs wear number plates. (DK idiom).

There is also a video: Prinsesse Marie i Etiopien 2014 - YouTube

In the clip our Marie asks how far the women carry the jerry cans with water. - Five kilometres.
Not even the representatives for DanChurchAid had been that far out before.
And the now famous goat makes another appearance.
Towards the end of the clip, she greets some HIV infected.
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BB wraps up Marie's trip to Ethiopia with a comprehensive coverage.
Our man in Africa, Henrik Salling, is using a unique but actually very good style IMO.
Matter of fact articles that serves as background info, for detailed captions of the pictures. On top of that we have a brief interview with our Marie.

As such I will divide this into three parts.
A summary of the article.

A detailed look at the captions, probably Saturday.

And the interview.

Sadly this is a trip that for various reasons didn't get much coverage here in DK and as it is an important topic, I think it deserves a little extra effort.

First a sense of the atmosphere by Henrik Salling:
We are in one of the most remote places on the planet. There where the road ends and there where the baking sun is both friend and enemy. Here life depends on whether you get the necessary amount of water to keep you alive and that the harvest, no matter the cost, does not fail.
People from from the nearby villages have gathered and stend with expectancy in their eyes. They in unison with their hands and many have walked several kilometres. Because today something very special will happen.
In the middle of the whole things stands a Danish Princess. She smiles to the children, who look on with puzzled eyes. They stand very still. Some have never seen a white person before... and certainly not princess. The visit is historical in a way and perhaps the only one of it's kind in these parts...

At the moment things are reasonably well in Ethiopia, apart from poverty, infant mortallity, the rising number born or infected with HIV and so on.
It is also a country with a culture going back to Biblical times.
But, every five years or so the country litterally dires out and famine strikes.
On top of that there is a population explosion going on, with an increase that is estimated to be between 30 and 90 million people since the 1980's. No one really knows, in the rural district very few are registered and the average couple have at least four children.
It was into this world, 400 KM from Addis Abbaba, that Marie went on the second day of her journey. Here she saw some of the projects initiated and in some cases run by DanChurchAid.
It was here Marie met the locals and they in return got to see the giraffe. (DK idiom: Seeing something very novel). But they are also proud people and even though they may be poor, Marie as an honoured visitor, must be given a present in return, so she recieved a goat as well as a local womans dress, that on the face of it looks fairly simple, but as it has been handmade it has been a big job!
The goat has found a new home with a HIV infected family and it is expected to soon end up in the cooking pot. Most male goats are destined for the dinner table.
Beforehand HIV infected were ostricised. If they were invited at all to village gatherings, they had to sit at their own tables and they had to bring their own cups. That has changed.

It's harvest time now in Ethiopia and as mentioned previously things are pretty well down there these days. Some families actually have two meals a day...

I notice from the pictures that apparently no PET officers accompanied Marie and I couldn't even spot any local security. That surprise me a lot!

The interview is coming up, followed by an indepth look at the captions in the next post. (They will deliberatly be kept seperate).
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Marie's interview:

I think Henrik Salling has faithfully recorded Marie's words.
She express herself is a farily simple way, as can be expected by someone who has only been speaking Danish for a few years.
I.e. keeping it safe, with short sentences and everyday words - and she has adopted the native habit of cutting off sentences.


Right, now for the captions. In order to make better sense of it all, I have scanned the pics to the captions and I'll write a summary below.
Each caption has been given a letter.
A: Here our Marie is interating with school children at Jibri, 400 KM from Addis Ababa. DanChurchAid (DCA), has a project where rainwater is being collected from the schools roof. A very small investment with a big effect.
B: Henrik Salling has always been an...admirer of Marie. This quote says it all I think: Princess Marie has from nature been equipped with a sweetness and a natural way of behaving which rubs off on all on her way.
Apart from that, she is here meeting an HIV infected family at the Goro district.

C: The infamous goat. And Marie was deeply honored by recieving the goat - knowing well what a goat actually means when you are poor. It's their way of showing gratitude.

D: It's the job of the women to fetch water and that is transported in jerrycans, worn on the back of the women. Weighing twenty kilos the women carry such cans for five kilometres.

E: The goat enjoying a free meal in the hotel garden - before ending up at a local family and eventually on the dinner table.
F: On the long drive from the capital the cortege stopped a number of times and refreshments were purchased. Among them bananas which Marie handed out at the next pit stop. The children had no idea they were presented with royal bananas.

G: A classroom at the school mentioned under A. There are 200 pupils and the class consists of 60 pupils.
The school was build in 2010. The rain-gathering-equipment on the roof ensure that the school is self-reliant on drinking water and that has the added effect of more children attending school. Simply because there they get fresh drinking water every day.

H: At the village of Tufa-Miessa. It's the women who look after crops while men look after the animals. DCA have supported women with planting new crops, in this case papaya. That has the added bonus that women in this way gain more importance within the family. Simply because she creates more income.
I: At the village of Jibri. The entire village turned out in force.

J: The village of Tufa-Miessa presented Marie with a dress in thye local design.
K: Marie actually stayed for half a day longer in Ethiopia, to get a good rest, before she went home to her family. She didnøt want to be completely wasted when she saw them again.
M: When you can't speak the same language a good tickle helps.
N: The, again, low-cost investments in agriculture at the village of Tufa-Miessa has meant that the status of women has gone up. Normally it's the women whp do most of the hard work, within the families.

O: Two simple pumping stations at the village of Jibri has meant that the local living standard has gone up. Easier access to fresh water, which agains makes it faster and easier to wash and cook.

P: The man to the right of Marie is the secretary general of DCA, Henrik Stubkjær. The man to the left must be a governemnt official, because I've seen him in a number of pics. The man to the far left of Marie is DCA's head in Ethiopia, Mads Lindegaard.
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The journey of our Marie to Ethiopia will be shown on TV2 this Saturday at 18.25. So it will last about half an hour.
It was a crew from the regional TV Syd, who often follow J&M on the job in Southern Jutland, who went with her to Africa.

Marie says in the docu: "I was less than ten years old when the great famine hit Ethiopia in the summer of 1984. Those were dreadful pictures.
I cannot imagine myself being a mother and not being ablt to feed my child.
I cannot enjoy my life without supporting and helping other people. My social commitment comes from the heart. It's important for me to be in it with my heart in what I do.
The aim is to eradicate the extreme poverty. Every individual can make a difference".

I don't expect to see it live, but I'll record it and give a summary later. And I guess the docu will be online later.
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