HRH The Crown Princess' speech at the inauguration of Gundua Girls’ Dormitory

Ex-Lewa, Kenya

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends of Gundua!

Thirteen years ago, in November 2009, I had the pleasure of officially inaugurating Gundua Secondary School.

So much has happened since then. Since I was last here, Gundua has taken several important steps forward. For instance, the Gundua Primary school and Kindergarten in 2014, The Wallenberg Houses for entrepreneurial training in 2018 and the Sewing and horticultural training during the pandemic in 2020.

Today, we celebrate a new milestone in the history of Gundua: the new and much anticipated Dormitory for girls.

Dear students! You are the future of your community, the future of your country, and the future of the world. So far, 180 of Gundua’s students have been sent on scholarships to University education. In the years ahead, I hope that many of you will follow in their footsteps.

Education is the pathway to progress. But it is so much more than that: Education is also about getting to know yourself, and others. It’s about making friends. Helping each other. And having fun!

What I want for you, is that this new dormitory – your new dormitory – will be a place where every girl can feel safe, included and supported by her friends. A place where you will take care of each other, so that friendship and knowledge can grow, together.

As much as I would like to, I can’t make that happen. But you can.

Dear students! When you are in school and you need to learn a lot, it helps to have fun. So today, I brought with me a small gift from Sweden: some floorballs and floorball sticks, some soccer balls and also my son Prince Oscar’s beloved soccer goal. He very much wants you to have it.

Prince Oscar is six years old. His older sister, Princess Estelle, is ten. All their lives, they have heard me talk about this school, thousands of miles away from Sweden, and about its outstanding students. When I left Stockholm, I promised my children to tell you, that they are very much looking forward to coming here themselves one day.

And now: Dear students, dear friends of Gundua! I hereby declare the new Dormitory officially opened! I wish you all the best of luck for the future.