Countess of Wessex ends Nairobi trip with a message of hope and survival for all women

On Friday, The Countess of Wessex ended her two-day trip to Kenya by visiting the International Peace Support Training Centre, and the Moi Girls Secondary School. Sophie’s visit was focused on highlighting gender equality, girl’s education and preventing sexual violence in conflict. You can read about her first day in Nairobi, attending the Commonwealth’s Women’s Affairs Ministers’ Meeting here.

The Countess was greeted at the Training Centre by Defence Cabinet Secretary, Amb. Raychelle Omamo, Ms. Jane Marriot, British High Commissioner to Kenya, ACDF P&L Maj. Gen. Fatuma Ahmed, and the Director IPSTC, Brigadier Rashid Elmi.

Countess of Wessex in Nairobi. (Photo courtesy of The Royal Family)

For her first event, Sophie took part in a roundtable discussion focusing on the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. This discussion enabled Kenyan Defence Forces female Officers and Service Members to share their different experiences while they were serving in various UN and AU peace missions. Testimonials were given by female personnel encompassing all military ranks, who served at UNMISS, MONUSCO, UNAMID, MINUSCA, and AMISOM. These experiences demonstrated the significant contributions and the incredible milestones that women continue to achieve within the peace and security program. These brave women hope that by speaking up about what they have endured, they may be able to help another survivor of gender based violence.

During the roundtable, Sophie expressed to the service members and officers that diligent service needed to be provided at all times during their missions. She challenged them to use their training and the struggles that they have been through to motivate others into helping prevent and to respond urgently to conflict related sexual violence.

Countess of Wessex Nairobi 2019 (Photo courtesy of The Royal Family)

Countess of Wessex roundtable in Nairobi. (Photo courtesy of The Royal Family)

Defence Cabinet Secretary Omamo praised The Countess of Wessex for being a great motivator to females serving in the military, which is a predominantly male environment. She expressed that a continued partnership between IPSTC and the British Government would be a wonderful thing.

Additionally, the Royal chatted with members and civilians who together are a part of the British Peace Support Training Team in Africa. The team provides Women, Peace and Security/Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict training to units deploying to neighbouring countries.

Countess of Wessex meets British Peace Support Training Team Africa. (Photo courtesy of The Royal Family)

Next on Sophie’s agenda was a stop at the Moi Girls Secondary School. The Countess of Wessex attended an assembly and was able to meet with many of the students. The mission of the school is to provide a high quality education through nurturing talent and using innovative ideas to develop the next generation of leaders. Through their values and vision, the Moi Girls Secondary School is committed to being the Premier National School for Girls in Kenya.

Sophie attends math class at Moi Girls School. (Photo courtesy of The Royal Family)

Accompanying Sophie on a tour of the school and the assembly were Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage Amina Mohamed and British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot. The Countess took part in a maths lesson and visited a technology class with some of the girls.

Sophie attending Moi Girls’ School, Nairobi. (Photo courtesy of The Royal Family)

Sophie stated: “It is crucial that all girls receive at least 12 years of quality education in order to realise their rights, increase their political participation and to open opportunities for them to secure better jobs and livelihoods.”

It was a positive note to end on for this very successful trip.

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