In a new interview with Australian Women’s Weekly, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark talks about the work of her namesake foundation, The Mary Foundation, which celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this year.
About the first ten years of the organisation, Her Royal Highness said, “The last ten years have been a rewarding and challenging journey.”
She continued by adding, “We have worked hard and in collaboration with experts and partners have established the Mary Foundation. That our efforts can help to improve people’s lives and give them a sense of hope for the future, gives all of us at the Mary Foundation a sense of fulfilment and pride.
“However, today I am more convinced than ever that our work has only just begun. When working with social issues, you quickly and out that the more you learn, the more complex it becomes − and the more humble you get when it comes to creating lasting changes and securing long-term impact.”
She also spoke about the importance of everyone feeling accepted, “I believe that we all have a fundamental need to be an accepted and valued member of a group, that we are an important part of something greater than ourselves. Alone, we feel vulnerable. This is the basic idea behind the Mary Foundation’s underlying philosophy that everyone has the right to belong.”
The Mary Foundation (Mary Fonden) was founded in 2007 by Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. After her wedding to Crown Prince Frederick, the people of Denmark and Greenland raised and donated close to £123,000 (1.1 million Danish kroner) in celebration of the union as a national gift. This money was, in turn, used partially to create the Mary Foundation.
The Crown Princess found her inspiration from her social work with her patronages and other similar foundations around the globe. Its first project was launched in 2008, and the organisation has expanded due to the generosity of donations and the eight co-founders.
The Mary Foundation focuses on three significant points: Bullying and Well-being, Domestic Violence, and Loneliness. Its mission is to “combat social isolation – based on the belief that everyone has a right to belong,” according to their official website.
The Crown Princess even admitted that her son, Prince Vincent, came home from school to tell her that they were learning about her anti-bullying project “Free of Bullying” at his school – showing the impact the foundation has on Denmark. She even said that the way bullying is viewed in Denmark is changing and added, “Today the focus is more and more on the group and each child within the group, no longer just the children who bully and the children who are being bullied. We view bullying as not being about vulnerable children or mean children, but rather about unhealthy dynamics within a group. Therefore, if we are to effectively combat bullying, we have to engage everyone within the group.”
The domestic violence portion of the charity is particularly important to the Crown Princess with her saying, “Violence against women is one of the most prevalent human violations in the world…In the Mary Foundation, we strive to empower the individual woman and to support her in starting a new life, free of violence.”
You can read more about The Mary Foundation in our foundation spotlight, here.