Photo: Liv Anette Luane, The Royal Court
It is not every day that a Crown Prince’s working day consists of scooping ice cream, but that was the case for Crown Prince Haakon of Norway on Tuesday at the opening of Cousin’s café in Oslo.
The Crown Prince participated in making ice cream at the small ice cream factory that employs young people with a refugee background.
During the event, Hussein Mahmoud, Sanaa Tamin, and founder Christoffer Naustdal Hjelm demonstrated the ice cream-making process to the Crown Prince, inviting His Royal Highness to join in and help.
Crown Prince Haakon inaugurated the cafe by making the first sale at the till with a chocolate ice cream to Mayor Marianne Borgen. Cousins, formerly Sandwich Brothers, was established in 2016 to provide job opportunities to young, unmarried refugees. Since 2018, the Crown Prince Couple’s Fund has supported this small ice cream factory.
The Royal Court explained: “At Cousins, young refugees get jobs, language training and new opportunities. The job at Cousins will be their first experience of Norwegian working life before Cousins helps them into other jobs.”
The staff hails from various countries, including Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and Afghanistan, sharing a common goal to promote a more diverse and inclusive local community.
The new cafe, located in central Oslo, encompasses an ice cream factory and a pastry shop. Cousins will also serve as a sandwich shop and provide popsicle ice cream to individuals and businesses.
Crown Prince Haakon is an advocate for immigrants and refugees in Norwegian society. He has repeatedly stated that diversity and inclusion are essential for a well-functioning society.
The Crown Prince has been involved in several projects that give immigrants and refugees opportunities to participate in society and create a safe and dignified life for themselves.