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BelgiumEuropean Royals

A look at the Queen Paola Foundation

The Queen Paola Foundation was created in 1992 as an initiative of Belgium’s Queen Paola to promote the integration and training of socially vulnerable youth.

Her husband, King Albert II abdicated the throne for health reasons in 2013, but Queen Paola continued to focus on her work with the foundation, which operates autonomously and employs a small team of full-time staff and volunteers.

The Queen Paola Foundation’s activities are geared towards social integration, support for teachers at all levels of the education system, and schools in socio-economically disadvantaged areas.

The foundation’s key initiatives include:

The Queen Paola Prize for Teaching 

This award, which was created in 1996, recognises excellence in teaching. According to the foundation, they “honour the creativity and dedication of teachers, who not only transmit their knowledge but also harmoniously construct the personality of their students through concrete and original educational achievements.”

Winners of the prize will have demonstrated an exemplary educational project that delivers “a real and meaningful impetus to teaching” and shows creativity and innovation.

The School of Hope

This initiative supports innovative projects aimed at improving the social integration of young people and/or their families from difficult backgrounds. The foundation provides financial support of up to a maximum of €15,000 per year. Currently, the foundation is not seeking projects for this award.  

Terre d’Avenir

The Terre d’Avenir (Land of the Future) award is given in collaboration with the Dirk Frimout Foundation and honours vocational/technical students’ projects in the areas of environment, earth or space. Award-winning projects “must be of a nature to improve the quality of life and can be approached from a scientific, technical, artistic or ecological point of view.”

Students and their schools receive a monetary award and diploma at an official ceremony at the Palais des Academies, which will be held this year on 9th October.

Learn more about the foundation on their website.

About author

Kristin was Chief Reporter for Royal Central until 2022 and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.