My first post highlighting the work a royal lady is doing was about Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. This time, I chose to focus on Princess Sofia’s work on her charity, Project Playground, as well as other engagements she has participated in around the topic of children’s rights.
As I have told you in my previous post, Princess Sofia has created Project Playground in 2010, before she became a royal.
Project Playground is a non-profit organisation which focuses on improving life opportunities for children and young people. It was founded in 2010 by Princess Sofia of Sweden and Frida Vesterberg. It has operated in South Africa since 2010, where free after-school activities are offered to all children ages 4-21. Approximately 750 children are involved in the Project Playground programs each day. The organization employs 50 people who work with the children. Some of these free after-school activities include: recreational activities, psychological support and nutritious meals.
In 2016, Project Playground launched a new operation in Sweden, which focuses on the unaccompanied refugee children who have relocated to the country. At the moment, there are around 60 children receiving help by Project Playground.
According to their website,
Project Playground is not government funded and is completely financed through companies, private donations and contributions from foundations and trusts. By supporting Project Playground you contribute to giving children and youth the knowledge and tools they need to improve their preconditions and their lives.
Let’s focus now on Princess Sofia’s work. It’s important to note that she is still a new royal and during her first year she gave birth to her son, Prince Alexander, meaning that she had to take some time off of her duties. That being said, I believe that since she was one of the two co-founders and managed to keep the organization going for more than five years, she has done a lot of work that can’t be bypassed*. However, as a royal, she is not allowed to be running her own organization, even if it’s a non-profit. This is why she resigned from her position as Secretary General right before her wedding and remained as a Honorary Chairperson.
Nonetheless, not even three months after her wedding, Princess Sofia traveled to South Africa for a solo royal visit, where she gave a speech in support of children’s rights at the Global Child Forum. Global Child Forum is an organization founded by her in-laws, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia, in Pretoria.
During her speech, she stated:
“What action can you do as a professional and as individual person to make a positive impact on a child’s life? As long as children suffer, we have work to do.”
On November 6, 2015, Project Playground released a video of the two founders sharing their fondest memories of their involvement with the charity on the occation of its 5th anniversary. To commemorate the anniversary, Princess Sofia spend two weeks in South Africa.
On November 26, 2015, Princess Sofia attened the Global Child forum at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, alongside King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine.
Also on November 26, 2015, Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip attended an exclusive dinner with the aim to raise money for Project Playground.
On June 30th, 2015, Sofia participated at a fundraiser for Project Playground.
On August 19 2015, Princess Sofia attended the “Easy Street diploma ceremony” as the honorary president of Project Playground, where she spoke about her own experiences of violence in the townships. The diploma ceremony was the final part of the education that young people from the township of Langa, South Africa completed with Easy Street. The project is called the Great Corner and is a collaboration between Project Playground and Easy Street. The aim is that young people with Calm Way’s techniques will help to create a safer environment for all young people in Langa.
On August 29, 2015, Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip attended a charity dinner for Project Playground in Örnsköldsvik. Project Playground reported that the proceeds from the dinner were half a million SEK.
On March 18, 2016, Princess Sofia of Sweden attended a charity dinner for the benefit of Project Playground at the Auktionsverket Kulturarena in Göteborg city of Sweden. The purpose of the charity dinner was to provide fund for unaccompanied young people in the districts of South Africa.
On Monday,21 of March 2016, The Queen invited children’s rights organisations to the Royal Palace of Stockholm to discuss initiatives to help newly arrived children and young people. The Queen took the initiative for the meeting, which Princess Sofia also attended.
On August 4 2016, Princess Sofia participated in a project at Industry Day in Båstad in support of Project Playground. The theme of the project was “Sustainable Tomorrow”. In addition, Sofia was joined by the former City’s minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Daniek Madhani, Bo Nilsson, and President Barack Obama’s advisor and author John Hope Bryant.
Later in the same day, Princess Sofia attended a fundraising dinner and auction in the evening at Norrvikens Trädgårdar for Project Playground.
On Tuesday 11 October 2016, The Queen, The Crown Princess and Princess Sofia took part in the Global Child Forum’s annual Partners’ Day together with the organisation’s corporate and expert partners. The meeting was held in the Bernadotte Library at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
The topics covered during the meeting included experiences and results from previous forums such as those held in Dubai, in which The Queen took part, in Pretoria, in which Princess Sofia took part, and in Kuala Lumpur, in which The King and Queen took part.
While Princess Sofia clearly is still new to this and has a long way to go in order to match the impact that the other Swedish royal ladies have, she is definitely trying. Plus, it’s refreshing to see a royal lady participating in charitable endeavors before marrying into the family-showing clearly what causes are close to her heart.