Thank you all for the warm welcome and the gracious invitation to be part of such an important event in your school. It is a privilege to join the GEMS Community of students and parents to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the school’s presence in Kenya.
I always look forward to spending time with young people. As I toured this magnificent school complex, I saw the spirit and passion of the GEMS community through the students I interacted with – your classrooms showcased your creativity and innovative talents. And in this room, I see students who are curious about the current state of our world and ready to direct their passion, energy and ideas towards the building of a better world. That is why today is also a special day, where we have, through the Super Citizen Assembly, recognized students who have truly embodied GEMS values and practically applied them in their everyday lives.
Around the world, we are seeing a new movement to offer our children a holistic educational experience that empowers them to be active citizens and contributors of ideas towards humanity’s progress. For this to happen, we need teaching and learning spaces that promote progressive attitudes that encourage our children to be positive catalysts of change. So I applaud the GEMS community for what it stands for: for putting quality education within the reach of every child; for embedding its principle that ‘No Child Shall be left behind’ into its institutional values; for extending its inclusive approach to impact over 1.4 million students through the partnerships with charities across the world.
The past 55 years of GEMS existence has been marked with an impressive footprint across the world today operating in over 20 countries – to become the largest private education provider in the world. So today, we not only recognize the presence of GEMS in Kenya, but we also recognize the exemplary model of GEMS Education outreach plans across Africa – to establish over 1000 schools through the top to bottom pyramid approach that embraces inclusiveness. That recognizes the harsh reality of our world, and the barriers that prevent so many children from making the most of their talents. We must not forget that there are many girls and boys who deserve the opportunities offered in this school.
So, let me end by encouraging the students to make the most of your experience here at GEMS. Because you are all GEMS and privileged to be part of a larger global network and surrounded by a faculty that has invested not only in molding your minds, but inspiring your hearts to be both compassionate and lead responsible lives. Here you are taught to embrace diversity and treat all people with dignity and respect. This community teaches you to leverage your talents, not just for personal success, but to build a better world. And because you have been offered so much, you too must give much to others whose circumstances may not be the same as yours. That is the kind of person I encourage my children to be, that is the kind of person we parents, teachers and the world needs you to be. And I am convinced that each one of you here, in whatever stage of learning and age, will shine your light and be the best person you can be.
And to the GEMS Community, I wish you all the success in the next 5 years as you strive to grow your networks and nurture GEMS who will change the world. That is what we can all look forward to with excitement and hope.
Thank you and God Bless!