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Belgium

Queen Mathilde visits temporary shelter for homeless and victims of domestic violence


By Martin Kraft, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wiki Commons

Queen Mathilde of the Belgians undertook an engagement for a cause that is extremely close to her heart. 

On Tuesday, 18th January 2022, the Queen travelled to Namur, the capital of Wallonia, about 60 km south of Brussels, to visit the NGO “Les trois portes” (French for “the three doors”). 

The organisation takes care of people in extreme poverty, by offering temporary shelter and programs for getting back into work and society with the ultimate goal of permanent independence. 

Queen Mathilde’s visit comes as Les Trois Portes celebrates its 50th anniversary, and Her Majesty took great care in interacting with residents. 

Les Trois Portes has six structures: one for men, one for women and children, one that is a preschool, another one for community life, the fifth for a “stabilisation service” and the final one for the post-sheltering programs. 

Her Majesty seems to have visited the women and children shelter, as the Royal Palace posted a picture of the Queen sat down on the floor listening to a mother while her child plays with a book, under the watchful eye of a member of the structure’s staff. 

The women and children’s shelter works in particular with victims of domestic violence, and is equipped with staff members that can address the person to the most appropriate post-sheltering program. 

Another big percentage of people comes to Les Trois Portes because of homelessness, a topic particularly relevant during winter, when Belgium experiences freezing temperatures regularly, especially at night, and homelessness means health hazards. 

Queen Mathilde also sat down for a meeting with staff members for the organization, and  they explained to her how they work, how they navigate the daily challenges they face and how the pandemic has complicated things even further. 

The Queen of the Belgians has always shown a particular interest in organisations that work to provide help to those in need, with the ultimate goal of building a more equitable society, in which everyone has the same opportunities.