Grants from the Fund for 2010
The board of Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marits Humanitarian Fund has decided to give support to a youth venture initiative organised as a joint effort between the Strømme Foundation and the Norwegian Mission Alliance.
Grants from the Fund will be awarded directly to two projects under the initiative: the Strømme Foundation Shonglap programme and the Norwegian Mission Alliances Jóvenes emprendedores project.
The award ceremony will take place on Monday, 30 August 2010, in connection with a seminar on microfinance and youth entrepreneurship at the University of Agder in Kristiansand.
Collaborative project on youth entrepreneurship
Although there are 1 billion people in the world today between the ages of 15 and 23, the majority of global development cooperation projects focus on children or families. Very few target young people.
In 2010, grants from the Fund have therefore been awarded directly to two youth-related projects: the Shonglap programme in Bangladesh and the Jóvenes emprendedores project in Ecuador. The Strømme Foundation and the Norwegian Mission Alliance have collaborated to share their experience on how to help young people in poor countries by assisting them in starting their own businesses.
Each project will receive NOK 300 000 from Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marits Humanitarian Fund. This year marks the tenth consecutive year in which grants have been allocated from the Fund.
The Strømme Foundations Shonglap programme in Bangladesh is a one-year educational programme for unmarried girls between the ages of 11 and 19 whose impoverished circumstances have prevented them from attending school. Shonglap means dialogue in Bengali.
The aim is increase the girls self-esteem and independence, while teaching them about their rights and how they can earn their own money. In this way the girls can avoid very early marriage, involuntary prostitution, abuse and exploitation. After completing the course, the oldest girls are given the opportunity to take a loan and start their own business.
A total of 40,000 girls have completed the programme to date.
Jóvenes emprendedores means young entrepreneurs in Spanish. It is the title of a new project combining microfinance and education that targets youths aged 17 to 23 in zonas marginales in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The aim is to enable young people to earn a livelihood in order to relieve the financial burden on their parents and – most importantly – to teach them how to work at a young age. This will help to reduce social problems and raise young peoples self-esteem.
The project consists of training to help participants to identify their entrepreneur talents as well as educating them about what is required to succeed as an entrepreneur. Youths with viable business ideas are granted a loan to start their own enterprise.
Science and culture
Research, sports, beekeeping and music. Norway and Slovenia share a wide array of interests, and today the King and Queen and the Slovenian President, Borut Pahor, gained insight into several of them.
State visit from Slovenia
Today Their Majesties The King and Queen welcomed the President of the Republic of Slovenia, His Excellency Mr Borut Pahor, to Norway. This is the first State Visit to Norway of a Slovenian President and King Harald and Queen Sonja are his hosts.