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Visit to a refugee camp in Kenya

This week, Her Majesty The Queen visited the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya in connection with Norway’s annual television fundraiser, whose proceeds this year will go to the Norwegian Refugee Council. Queen Sonja is the Royal Patron of the fundraising event.

Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, is located in one of the most war-torn areas in the world. Established in 1991, the camp currently has almost 300,000 refugees and is growing by 5,000-6,000 people each month. The camp is located in Kenya along the border to Somalia.

Visited families

Queen Sonja was welcomed by Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Elisabeth Rasmussen and Country Coordinator Hassan Khaire at their new headquarters in Dadaab. She was given a thorough briefing on the conditions at the camp and the Norwegian Refugee Council’s projects in the area. She then paid a visit to two families in the camp; one of the families has lived in the camp since its establishment in 1991 and the other family has just arrived. The Queen was able to see and learn about the challenges facing these families, as well as the results of the Norwegian Refugee Council’s work with the camp.

School visit

The Queen also visited one of the schools run by the Norwegian Refugee Council in Dadaab, where young people are given vocational training in various subjects. The Norwegian Refugee Council also implements projects for constructing homes and building latrines. This is a crucial part of the effort to create a sense of security around each individual refugee. Queen Sonja has been involved in the refugee issue since she served as the Royal Patron of the television fundraiser in 1974. This is the third time that her participation as the Royal Patron has benefited the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The television fundraiser will be held on 24 October 2010.

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