On Friday, April 1, 2022, Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway visited with various Ukrainian refugees at the Caritas Norge in Oslo, Norway.
Caritas Norge was founded in 1952 as Norsk Katolsk Flyktninghjelp (Norwegian Catholic Help for refugees) by the Catholic Church in Norway. In 1964, its current name was adopted. Today Caritas Norge is run as an independent humanitarian foundation.
During today’s visit, Her Majesty met with women and children who had to flee their homeland due to the ongoing war with Russia. According to the Norwegian royal court, Her Majesty was also briefed on the work Caritas Norge does in Ukraine and on refugees who are currently on their way to Norway. In speaking with the press regarding Caritas Norge’s humanitarian work Her Majesty said, “…I am very impressed with this organization – what they do and how they work in both Ukraine and here in Norway.
When asked about how the Ukrainian refugees are adjusting to life in Norway and the conflict in their homeland Her Majesty noted that:
“…they are very happy to be safe. One thing is to be safe – another thing is to have a home. That home is not here. It’s just for now. Even if you do the best you can, the Queen told the press after the visit – and added. Everyone hopes and wishes that this cruel war will soon end – in one way or another. It made a strong impression to meet those who have experienced this cruel in the war in Ukraine, said Queen Sonja who herself has experienced war up close. I myself am quite old, so I also experienced the war. I hear the plane alarm, and you go down to the basement. There’s something ticking back. And it hurts a lot for these people to have this all the time over them.”
In Ukraine, more than 3,500 Caritas employees and volunteers provide food, water and hygiene items, and children are protected and cared for in the best possible way. They also provide shelter and transportation.
Already in the first month of the war, Caritas has helped more than 350,000 people in Ukraine, and tens of thousands of refugees have received help in the recipient countries Poland, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary, says Secretary General Martha Rubiano Skretteberg.
If you’re interested in learning more about Caritas Norge and the wonderful work they do around the world please visit their official website here.
Photos courtesy of the Norwegian Royal Court/S.Lysberg Solum