“I’m learning a lot from our three kids!”

Harper’s Bazaar / Violin Chapalaz

Who do you see as a teacher in a dream, or a student in a dream? In this year’s second edition of Harper’s Bazaar (Order Now!) Column Interview The mentor and the student With young influencer Fahima Alami and heroine Princess Laurentian. One thing is clear: they basically want to learn from each other. Princess Laurentian: “It goes without saying to me: I have a little knowledge, you have a little knowledge and together we can make progress.”

Interview with Princess Laurentian and Fahima Elmi

As a storm rages across the country, Princess Laurentian, 55, and Fahima Elmi, 20, meet at an Amsterdam hotel. The princess is here at the invitation of Fahima, who wants to talk about her social commitment – because she has it all herself. The interdisciplinary social science student has been working since young years through various organizations to improve the situation of children living in reception centers and to make their voices heard. In 2017, she was nominated for the Children’s Peace Prize. She hopes to learn a lot from Princess Laurentian, who has begun unexpected dialogues with her two foundations – the Missing Chapter Foundation and Number 5 Foundation – between organizations and people involved in a cause, often children and young adults. It also works closely with parents and children on the allowance issue to find egalitarian solutions.

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we met before

If one thing is clear, it is that they are eager to get to know each other a little better.
Fahima: I don’t know if you remember, but we’ve met before. The first time was in 2016, at a conference.

Princess Laurentian: ‘I remember exactly that: at Fokker Station. We were on stage together.

Fahima: As one of the youngest members of the team, I was allowed to hand you a study. What I will never forget is that you said, “I think it is very important that the children actually participate in what we are going to do. It shouldn’t just be a bogus participation.” I was impressed when I heard someone of such high rank at such a conference say that we children are really important. And that we weren’t just called on stage to hand something. I also asked questions rather than just hearing our story.

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Princess Laurentian: “I think it’s very special that you came to know about this and still remember it six years later. It seems that this touched something with you. Why is the concept of ‘spurious engagement’ so important to you?”

Fahima: Maybe because I’ve noticed that before. I had ideas about how to do more for vulnerable children, and was invited to conferences to talk about it, but what I said often didn’t get much done, even if I came back to it later.

How can you be distinguished by humility?

Princess Laurentian: “This is at the heart of all my work. It is not always appropriate to put people like you on stage to tell your story without really listening to you or letting in what you have to say. Then think: What does this mean for the current approach? For example, from By not seeing children as equals, listening carefully and asking questions, we never find out what’s really going on and no fundamental changes are made. For me, it goes without saying: I have a little knowledge, you have a little knowledge and we will move forward together. This is where we In him lies our relationship. For me, the importance I place on equality stems from the values ​​I learned from my parents in my childhood. My parents were strict, but I think I was taken seriously when I was a child. How was that for you?

Not taken seriously

Fahima: ‘I just felt like I wasn’t taken seriously at home. When I was eleven years old I spent a year and a half in a women’s shelter with my mother, and I had there too
The idea that things were the way they were and that there wasn’t much I could do about it. It wasn’t until after I started volunteering that I met people who took me seriously. When I was 14, I became an active member of the Augeo Foundation’s Youth Action Team. I spoke with them about topics such as child abuse, domestic violence, and poverty. At the time, my own experiences in women’s shelters were still too present to talk about. Seeing the impact that sharing your experiences can have, I also began to tell my story. At a female empowerment event at my old high school, United World College in Maastricht, a woman came up to me and told me she was so inspired by what I said that she wanted to do something with her. I loved it: that my story not only stirred emotions, but also led to tangible change.

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Princess Laurentian: ‘And then I immediately think, without value judgment: the obligation to do something is not yet a business. Had I been there, I would have summed up your question by saying, “Wow, we’ll be in touch in a month to see what you’re going to do? It’s hard for you to ask, it’s easier for a ‘middleman’ to do that.” That’s my role in many operations I’m kind of an amplifier for people like you, who are powerful in their own right, but need to be heard better.

I learn a lot from our three kids

Fahima: Until the last decisive step towards action is taken, I understand. For this equality, you have a daughter who is about the same age or younger. Do you also learn from her to do things differently?

Princess Laurentin: “I learn a lot from our three kids. Take Eloise. I’m not into social media myself, but she showed me how you can be who you are out there. Doing research and making mistakes is part of it. As a mom, it’s exciting to see that happen, but I find it.” Very educational for myself.

read more? You can read the full interview with Princess Laurentien at Harper’s Bazaar #2.

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