Fellow Guides and Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I salute you all. Our founders, Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Olave, have Kenya as their final resting place. Kenya had a special place in their hearts, and they hold a special place in ours.
I appreciate that Girl guiding in Kenya has a most distinguished history. For over ninety years now, the organization, has taught young girls the importance of community and service. Then, as it does now, the movement met a real and urgent need: in a world that was changing around them, young women needed a safe place to come together, a safe place to associate with each other – a place where they could learn the skills they needed for the happy productive lives they desired and deserved.
The Girl Guides and the wider scouting movement in Kenya, have served that need admirably. It’s is an honourable history. It is an honour and a pleasure to remember it with you. This distinguished history also imposes a duty upon you to ensure that our young women today and tomorrow enjoy the same advantages which we have inherited. Let us mount an aggressive recruitment campaign to register 1 million girls into the Kenya Girl Guide Association as we mark the centenary of our association.
Let us use modern means – I have in mind social media here, to spread the word that it is both fun and virtuous to be a girl guide. We might even want to start a competition to see which county registers the most members. As your Patron, I will help in any way I can. I will help because having been a Guide myself, I have been deeply impressed by the dedication to service that the association exemplifies.
Many of our young people – many of our young women – are faced with problems not too different from those their counterparts faced generations ago. In the early days as it is now, society was changing rapidly; pitfalls were at least as common as opportunities and it was not always clear how to live a full and productive life. The Girl Guides answered the problem by offering to our young women the ideal of a life of service. This ideal has stood the test of time.
I need not remind you of the struggles that women in this country have endured in order to pursue education. But it is my pleasure to commend the Association for its wonderful work in enlightening young women down the years, and to urge you to continue it. I trust that you have all enjoyed the activities centered on this year’s theme; your Workbook had many exciting challenges on how to improve learning and education and particularly how to remove obstacles on this path.
Personally, I make a solemn vow to do my best – to serve God and my country….”
Thank you and May God bless you.