Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited Myanmar last week. She was introduced to projects by the Norwegian Red Cross and the Norwegian People’s Aid, who in different ways work to improve the safety situation for the people of Myanmar – especially for children and young women.
Through the Norwegian Red Cross, HRH Mette-Marit visited schools and private homes to hear about the Red Cross crisis prevention work. In the schools she visited, she listened to children telling her about the contingency plans and routines in case of emergency, and witnessed a practice evacuation.
In the private homes, the Crown Princess was told of how the children are teaching their parents about important safety issues like how to prevent diseases such as dengue fever and diarrhea, and how to act in case of natural disasters.
The Norwegian People’s Aid introduced the Crown Princess to the organization Ahkaya Women. Akhaya Women is battling sexual harassment in Myanmar, through providing girls with whistles. Young girls are often sexually harassed on crowded buses, where blowing a whistle can be an effective means of drawing attention to the situation. The campaign is the first women’s campaign in Myanmar, and it has received much attention nationally. The whistles distributed through the program are decorated to be worn as jewelry, and they are made by women who would otherwise not have had a job. The Crown Princess got to meet the women working on the programme, and tried her hand at decorating whistles.