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Princess Marie visits Myanmar for poverty reduction

Her Royal Highness Princess Marie of Denmark has returned from her trip to Myanmar. She travelled to the Asian country in her capacity as patron of the DanChurchAid with the focus on poverty reduction.

Princess Marie visits a local textile mill at Inle Lake. Weaving is the primary source of income for the majority of women at Inle Lake. Photo Nikolaj Svennevig (CC) via DanChurchAid

Princess Marie visits a local textile mill at Inle Lake. Weaving is the primary source of income for the majority of women at Inle Lake. Photo Nikolaj Svennevig (CC) via DanChurchAid

The Princess, along with other members of DanChurchAid, visited numerous local villages and projects which are aimed at giving the locals a better life.

One of the local communities that Marie visited was Inle Lake, which is located in the central area of the country. The Royal Danish House reports that DanChurchAid projects began operation in the area eighteen months ago. However, much assistance has still not yet reached the population.

On average, villages here receive support for up to three years. The DanChurchAid has been working with the residents to ‘achieve sustainable development, which aims to ensure better living conditions for villagers,’ according to the Royal Court.

Princess Marie on a visit to a women's group in the village of Hsi Hsv West Village in Myanmar, where the goal is to empower women and their rights. Photo: Nikolaj Svennevig (CC) via DanChurchAid

Princess Marie on a visit to a women’s group in the village of Hsi Hseng West Village in Myanmar, where the goal is to empower women and their rights. Photo: Nikolaj Svennevig (CC) via DanChurchAid

When discussing the visit, Her Royal Highness said, “It was very reassuring to see how simple tools can help to create better conditions for poor and vulnerable families. The people learn to organise themselves in loan-saving groups, where they, in turn, can lend to some major investments, such as a sewing machine or a goat, in particular, which allows families to earn their own money and thus feed themselves. It touched me deeply to feel the people’s pride in the progress they have helped to create.”

DanChurchAid said in a press release regarding their work in Myanmar, “The people are taught how they can ensure a better, and more stable income, and particularly the women organise themselves into groups, where they are taught rights. A large part of the project also aims to improve hygiene in the villages, so there is better access to clean water and sanitation.”

Princess Marie greets a local woman in the village of Hsi Hson West Village at Inle lake in the central part of Myanmar. Photo: Nikolaj Svennevig

Princess Marie greets a local woman in the village of Hsi Hseng West Village at Inle lake in the central part of Myanmar. Photo: Nikolaj Svennevig (CC) via DanChurchAid

With Marie were various Danish contributors who are involved in long-term development. Their goal on this visit was to visit and learn about the different projects going on in the villages.

Birgitte Bøgh-Sørensen, a strong supporter of DanChurchAid who was on this trip said, “I’m so lucky that this is my second trip to Myanmar. It is impressive to see how far the villagers have come to work. They will, like all of us in the rest of the world, be creating the best conditions for their families.”

Princess Marie became the patron in 2010, and in this same year, DanChurchAid began operations in Myanmar. The majority of the projects taking place in this southeastern Asian country revolve around food safety and rights.

Myanmar has had rapid development in the past few years. Sadly, this development has not reached the poorest areas of the country.

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