Denmark: Crown Prince Frederik’s emotional visit to Syrian refugee camp

Denmark: Crown Prince Frederik’s emotional visit to Syrian refugee camp

NordenBladet – Crown Prince Frederik paid an emotional visit to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan last week, visiting with Save the Children Denmark to mark the organisation’s 75th anniversary.

The Zaatari refugee camp is just east of the Jordanian city of Mafraq and is the world’s largest Syrian refugee camp. It opened in 2012 following the Syrian Civil War and housed around 76,000 refugees, of which over half are children.

Crown Prince Frederik was joined by the Danish Minister of Development, Rasmus Prehn, and Save the Children’s Secretary-General, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, for the visit which, according to the Royal House, “focused on the work to strengthen the mental health and psychosocial well-being of children and young people in humanitarian crises.”

“I have learned today that in the middle of a dark and gloomy outer area, light can be made in transmitted meaning to larger groups and especially to children and young people,” Crown Prince Frederik said in a media release on Save the Children Denmark’s official website.

“It is useful to be here [and it] is important to elucidate issues in order to help and lift children out of trauma. It is Save the Children once again front runners on. It is fantastic.”

At the Zaatari refugee camp, Save the Children Denmark has opened both educational and football training centres to help children in all aspects of their development. Crown Prince Frederik and Minister Prehn joined young people at the camp in playing with Lego and football and joining in for a meal of kebabs and meatballs.

At the education center, educators are trained “to care for under-stimulated children who, through play and friendships, enhance their learning ability, positive behaviour and mental well-being.” Nearly 40 per cent of children are educated at Save the Children Denmark’s centre.

Crown Prince Frederik and Minister Prehn then visited a football training project to see how learning the sport is also giving the children life skills such as “tools to resolve conflicts, deal with difficult emotions and develop their confidence.”

“It is absolutely invaluable that the Crown Prince and the Minister of Development help us to focus on how crucial the work on children’s mental war damage is,” said Schmidt-Nielsen.

“Children fleeing must have food, water and shelter for rain and cold. But they also need psychological first aid and support to process their traumatic experiences. For children at war are destroyed inside. The great news is that they can heal, and I am so happy to showcase our important work.”

Save the Children Denmark was founded on 14 March 1943 to help Danish children who were displaced and starving during the Second World War. Today, it still helps children displaced by war but has grown to become an international operation.

Crown Prince Frederik is the patron of Save the Children Denmark (

Featured image: Crown Prince Frederik (By Mogens Engelund – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)


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