Princess Madeleine is photographed with Secretary General Kattis Ahlström at BRIS's head office. Photo: royalcourt.se
On Tuesday 13 March, Princess Madeleine visited the organisations BRIS and Save the Children Sweden.
At BRIS, The Princess met Secretary General Kattis Ahlström, BRIS's Director of Support Services Eva Waltré and Anna Bergelv, who works with support services. The meeting began with a short review of highlights from BRIS's history, from its foundation 41 years ago to the introduction of a telephone helpline in 1980 and an online chat service which was launched four years ago. Eva Waltré talked about the importance of working together with other organisations to promote the issue of children's vulnerability in Sweden. She then continued by explaining how BRIS works as an intermediary between schools and social services for children who need help and support. Anna Bergelv then showed how BRIS's website works, and the various ways in which children and young people can contact BRIS. Kattis Ahlström concluded the visit by talking about the future, and the aim of introducing a 24-hour service for the organisation's helpline, 116 111. In 2011, BRIS received 26,000 communications from children and young people by e-mail, telephone and the chat service on BRIS's website. After the visit to BRIS, The Princess visited Save the Children Sweden. She was welcomed by Secretary General Elisabeth Dahlin, who gave a tour of Save the Children Sweden's offices. Elisabeth then gave a historical overview from 1919, when Save the Children was founded in response to the plight of all the children affected by the First World War. Elisabeth — together with Agneta Åhlund, Sweden Programme Director — gave an overview of how the organisation works at local, national and international levels, on the basis of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to improve children's circumstances. Save the Children works both in Sweden and internationally, with eight regional offices around the world and operations in more than 120 different countries. Agneta explained more about the various ways in which the organisation works in Sweden, from assistance with homework to lobbying politicians at all levels, as well as helping refugees and lone refugee children, working with issues in schools such as bullying, and protecting children from violence and abuse. Anniken Elisson Tydén, International Programme Director, then talked about the organisation's work in the world. By working together with local partners, Save the Children can act quickly in the event of a disaster. She used Burma and Haiti as examples of places where Save the Children was already present when the disasters struck, meaning that rescue work could begin within a matter of hours. Save the Children Sweden works internationally in four different ways: with research and analysis, direct support, knowledge and skills, and advocacy and awareness-raising. Find out more about BRIS. Find out more about Save the Children Sweden.