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Our association was founded with a vision of bringing together Kenyans living and working in France, promoting our rich Kenyan culture, and providing support and guidance to newcomers settling in France. We strive to create a community where all Kenyans in France feel connected, supported and empowered.

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Ambassador Helen GIGUHI Madaraka Day speech.

Happy Madaraka Day! I am so happy to be with you today. Thank you so much for coming to cele- brate our national day at such short notice. This Madaraka Day marks 60 years of self rule. We are grateful for the many gains registered. This season also marks a time to recommit ourselves to the ideals that animated the inde- pendence struggle, and to use the energy to transform the socio-economic lives of all Kenyans.

Brothers and sisters, the government has placed Diaspora as one of the greatest ambassadors of our time. Your contribution towards the economy through the remittances you make, your contribution to our economy through technology transfer when you come back home, and your contribution to- wards the economy through investments that we are all familiar with makes you a strong pillar in our country. It is true that sometimes your investments have not ended as expected, and sometimes you have felt you are speaking and we, the representatives of government, are deaf to your needs. Some- times we don’t hear you and sometimes we don’t understand you. For this I apologize. I am sorry, we try our best but sometimes we fail.

However, alot has happened under H. E. President Ruto to showcase the im- portant place you hold. As you are aware, there is a State Department for Di- aspora Affairs. We are fully engaged with them to address some of the issues that concern the Diaspora in countries of accreditation, namely France, Portu- gal, Serbia, Monaco, and the Holy See.oids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful again anyone

You may have seen currently that there’s been a worldwide outreach by the Diaspora Department to offer mobile consular services. We are in discussions to see how best the Diaspora in our countries of accreditation can be served through this initiative. When we concretise the mobile consular service visit and firm up the dates, we hope you will come out in large numbers to receive the services.

In addition, together with key stakeholders, the Diaspora department is work- ing on a centralised system to improve communication and linkages for better services.

One area that our new PS for Diaspora, Ms Roseline Njogu, is passionate about is the Diaspora mental health. Some of us are alone and may not be able to deal with winter for example. Some may feel so lonely to the extent of getting clinically depressed. We want to come together as a family. I keep jok- ing that the embassy is like a mother hen. We cover all our chicks, the pretty chicks as in girls, the rough chicks as in bearded men, the elusive chicks as in the ones not registered, including all the other chicks who have no feathers on the neck. We want every Kenyan to feel the warmth of the embassy and to know they matter to us. You matter. You all matter regardless of your situa- tion. You are ours. Mpende msipende you are one of us.

And to be able to serve all Kenyans more effectively, we are so thankful to the umbrella body KIFUA (Kenyans in France Umbrella Association). Its is our prayer and hope that our interactions with the Diaspora can be consolidated through KIFUA. And through KIFUAs long arms, kama mikono mirefu ya serikali, we hope to reach each and every Kenyan in our countries of accredi- tation. And to be able to be there for each and every one of you in your time of need.

Of course we have expectations for us to serve you properly and effectively. We expect Kenyans to register with the mission. We don’t want to know the deep story but we need to know you are here. Your data is safe with us. So it is our sincere hope that this journey we have started will cover and benefit every single Kenyan.

Today we did not have an elaborate program. It is the first of many. We hope to have many more exciting moments ahead. So today we may not be able to take questions but we will have a moment to shake everyone’s hand, a meet and greet.

Finally, to commemorate this wonderful day, let us take a photograph to sym- bolise our new found friendship at the stairs. Mr. Muriuki, the Head of Chancery will guide us in the photograph session and the cake cutting ses- sion. I thank you for coming today even though it was at very short notice. We recognise your sacrifice. Kenya Istahili heshima. God bless Kenya, God bless you all.

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