November 5 2009

Queen Noor attends 60th anniversary celebration of SOS Children's Villages in Washington, D.C.

05/11/2009 - Her Majesty Queen Noor was the featured speaker at the 60th anniversary celebration of SOS Children's Villages at the Embassy of Austria in Washington, D.C., on 2 November. The event was hosted by His Excellency, the Ambassador of Austria, Dr. Christian Prosl. U.S. Senator George LeMieux from Florida, who has visited the SOS Children's Village in the Fort Lauderdale area, also attended.

SOS Children's Villages USA
Her Majesty Queen Noor and His Excellency, the Ambassador of Austria, Dr. Christian Prosl - Photo: SOS Children's Villages USA

The programme highlight was Her Majesty Queen Noor's account of her experiences with SOS Children's Villages. "I wish that each of you could have the experience of supporting an SOS child, and visiting an SOS Children's Village somewhere in the world. It changed my life, and it indeed would change yours."

Queen Noor, who is Honorary President of SOS Children's Villages Jordan, further described the role of SOS Children's Villages in systemic change: "I am particularly pleased that SOS Children's Villages plays its own special role in peacemaking and cross-cultural understanding in the 132 countries where it operates. A strong tenet of SOS Children's Villages is to respect every child's right to dignity, love, security and the freedom to practice any faith, whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or other. These core values of SOS Children's Villages are now increasingly being extended to poor families in surrounding communities, making SOS a prime advocate for tolerance, gender equality, diversity and cultural understanding."

Photo: SOS Children's Villages USA
Her Majesty Queen Noor and Sharon D'Agostino, Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Contributions and Community Relations for Johnson & Johnson - Photo: SOS Children's Villages USA

Her Majesty Queen Noor presented the SOS Anniversary Award to Johnson & Johnson for its support of SOS Children's Villages in Africa since 1994. Sharon D'Agostino, Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Contributions and Community Relations for Johnson & Johnson, accepted the award and shared her experiences visiting SOS Children's Villages.
"Last year, while I was visiting one of the villages … I welled up because I was so touched by my experience. As I was leaving, the director came and tapped me on the shoulder and told me, ‘I want you and Johnson & Johnson to know that, while I am a Village Director today, I was raised in this village.' And it was one of the most incredible moments that I've had in this terrific job representing our corporation and its commitment to corporate responsibility. I thank SOS Children's Villages and all of you supporters for that experience and this award. Thank you."

The event was sponsored by Cartier, Amway Corporation, Genworth Financial, Hasbro, Inc., and HSBC.