Princess Mathilde Fund

Caring for vulnerable people

“Promoting solidarity among young people – reconnecting youngsters with life”. (Princess Mathilde Prize 2009)

Created with the donations collected following her marriage, the Fund is focused on HRH Princess Mathilde's support for good works and not least the most vulnerable people in our society. Every year, in December, the Fund awards the Princess Mathilde Prize (worth Euro 10,000) in recognition of a specific initiative focused on strengthening the position of vulnerable people. Apart from the financial support provided, the Prize helps raise the profile of the winning project, while acknowledging the relevance of the work undertaken by all the participating associations and organisations.

Award ceremony in 2008

Target group:

Each competition is focused on one theme and a specific target group.

  • 2001 : vulnerable young children
  • 2002 : children facing a loss
  • 2003 : violence among young people : a make-it-or-break-it situation
  • 2004 : women at the centre of the multicultural society
  • 2005 : women and the economy : the strength to celebrate the colours of diversity
  • 2006 : women and health
  • 2007 : children and youngsters in their relation to upbringing
  • 2008 : supporting parents in the education of their children

Bringing up a child is a complex interplay between adults, youngsters, children and their entourage. Investigations into the causes of unacceptable, aggressive and even racist behaviour among young people show that in many cases their conduct is due to the escalation of problems caused by a lack of ‘solidarity’ – the absence of a connection with themselves, with others, with society and with life.

Everyone has special gifts which they can use to help others. Often it does not take very much at all – for example, positive relations with those around them, between young people and their peer group, between grandparents and grandchildren, between neighbours, etc. – for children to feel a sense of recognition and solidarity with their environment, so helping them to grow into responsible adults. Accordingly, solidarity needs to be promoted among young people, as a way of avoiding problems and ensuring their balanced development.

The notice for the 2009 Prize invites those close to young people – their families, neighbours, other youngsters, and so on – to together present, within a structured framework, original projects which promote the talents of young people and play a role in making them feel ‘connected’ with themselves, with others, with their material surroundings, with their group, with nature and with life.

The projects will be assessed by an independent jury of experts as well as by a jury of schoolgoing youngsters. The Prize will be awarded on 1 December.


Ms Patricia Van Houtte
Programme Adviser
King Baudouin Foundation
Rue Bréderode 21
1000 Brussels
Tel.: +32 (0)2 549 02 31