HRH Crown Princess Katherine’s interview to Glas Javnosti daily, 13 April 2008
Crown Princess Katherine Karadjordjevic talks
about humanitarian work and living in Serbia
SHE BROUGHT THE LOVE FOR GIVING FROM HER
There are many problems in the country, but the priority of the HRH Crown
Princess Katherine Foundation is to help babies and children by donating needed
equipment to children’s hospitals, since we have the highest mortality rate of
newborn babies in Europe. The Karadjordjevics are also helping children with
congenital heart disease and are outfitting a new surgery unit at the Children’s
Hospital in Tirsova Street
BELGRADE – Seven years ago Crown Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic and his wife
Crown Princess Katherine came to live in Belgrade. A decade of chaos, war end
economic collapse brought many people, especially children, elderly and refugees
to an unbearable situation, and the Karadjordjevics believed, even before
returning to homeland, that engagement in humanitarian work and helping those in
need is the most significant necessity. Crown Princess Katherine completely
devoted herself to humanitarian work and established a Foundation with aim to
help all people, regardless of age, religion and ethnic origin.
- That is my life. The people are tired and guideless and I believe that it
is my duty to support them as much as I can. I am helped by the strength given
to me by God and great support from my friends. Besides that, I am a very
persistent person. When I start something I also finish it, and I never
underestimate my possibilities – says Crown Princess Katherine to Glas Javnosti.
She believes that her spirit and commitment to Serbia and the Serbian people
inspires donors from all around the world to help her.
There are many problems, but the Foundation’s priority is to help babies and
children by donating needed equipment to children’s hospitals, since we have the
highest mortality rate of newborn babies in Europe. Karadjordjevics are also
helping children with congenital heart disease and are outfitting a new surgery
unit at the Children’s Hospital in Tirsova Street.
- We are also engaged in palliative care that practically does not exist in
our country. When someone suffers from a hard and incurable disease, the family
is not in a position to take care of this person in a right way, and also
hospitals cannot help these patients any longer. There must be an institution
for these people, which would be somewhere in between a home and a hospital.
Palliative care will help families and give the patient the best possible care,
relieve pain and suffering – says the Crown Princess.
The improvement of women’s health is another Foundation project, she adds,
since Serbia has the highest incidence in the number of breast and cervical
cancer patients in Europe.
- We also help refugees. However, besides humanitarian aid, these people also
need support, especially in finding jobs. For that, we need investors in Serbia
to create new jobs. Investments are the only reliable way for all people in
Serbia to live better. Nevertheless – says Crown Princess Katherine – for
capital placement there is the need for a stable Government. For business people
from all around the world to invest, there must be stability and continuity,
which my husband contributes to. I sincerely hope and pray that our people will
finally obtain a stable Government that will work for the people to create
prosperity and a better future for all.
She also became very concerned when she heard that only 11 per cent of the
citizens of our country have passports.
- How is the world going to know our culture and our wonderful people and to
know anything about us if they do not have a chance to travel? How will the
Serbian people know the world? I hope the new Government will change this
situation and give new hope to all people, successful scientists and sportsmen,
dedicated doctors… - says Crown Princess Katherine.
In addition to the great love and understanding she has for her people, Crown
Princess Katherine would like that people here show less envy one for another,
and share more joy for success of their compatriots. Positive atmosphere,
understanding and love are, in her opinion, emotions which can be shared with so
- I learned about the love for giving from an early age in my home. My
parents, and especially my mother, were constantly saying that only a person who
gives to others can be happy and fulfilled. Life is short and we have to find
strength and time to help others so we could give more sense to our life. Every
person needs help sometimes, but how can someone, who has never given support to
others, hope to receive comfort and help when needed. That is why we have to go
above our own interests and give people around us at least a smile and a few
nice words. It does not cost anything and it can mean a lot – she explains.
The Crown Princess advises that people should not wait to become rich in
order to give something, and should not use their current situation as an excuse
for not giving what they could. People must not wait for good and peaceful times
to become benefactors. Thereby, one who is not ready to share what little he or
she has, for sure will not share when he or she has a lot. Those people will
never feel the endless joy of giving – concludes Crown Princess Katherine.
Crown Princess Katherine, along three young Princes of whom she is very
proud, also has two children from her first marriage. Not long ago, she became a
grandmother for the fifth time. Her oldest granddaughter is graduating from
college. They are all great children who bring her a lot of joy, and thoughts of
the newborn baby make her especially happy.
Efforts for Serbia
- Our sons Peter, Philip and Alexander love their country and are proud of
it. For the last 17 years while they were growing up, they saw our efforts to do
something good for Serbia. At one time, when they were still little children and
we lived in London, they were giving separate interviews for one television
station. When they were asked about Crown Princess Katherine they all gave the
same answer – “Crown Princess Katherine is on the phone all day trying to
convince people to help our country” – smilingly says the Crown Princess.