Meghan Markle says ‘I see myself in all of you’ during 1st trip to Nigeria

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have embarked on their first-ever trip to Nigeria.

On Friday (May 9), the Duke and Duchess of Sussex kicked off their three-day visit to Nigeria by invitation of the country’s Chief of Defense Staff, its highest-ranking military official, per ABC News.

The couple started the trip by visiting a school in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. Harry and Meghan were greeted by cheering children before they spoke to the students about mental health amid an inaugural mental health summit run by a local nonprofit, GEANCO, which is affiliated with their Archewell Foundation.

Meghan encouraged the students to “just be honest with each other.”

“If you see your friend in your class not smiling, what are you going to do? Are you going to check in on them? Are you going to ask them if they’re OK? Because it’s OK not to be OK,” Harry chimed in.

At one point during the conversation, Meghan said she sees herself in the Nigerian children.

“As I look around this room, I see myself in all of you as well. So it is a complete honor to have our first visit to Nigeria, be here with all of you,” she said. “We believe in all of you, we believe in your futures, we believe in your ability to continue telling your stories and to just be honest with each other. There is no need to suffer in silence. Just make sure that you’re taking care of yourselves.”

Harry explained why he believes it’s important to break the stigma surrounding mental health.

“Every single person in this room, the youngest, the oldest, every single person has mental health. So therefore, you have to look after yourself to be able to look after other people. And other people have to be able to look after themselves, to look after you. That’s the way it works. And there is no shame to be able to acknowledge that today is a bad day, OK?” Harry told the crowd.

“[If] you woke up this morning feeling sad, and you left school feeling stressed, and you’ve lost a loved one in your family, and you don’t know who you talk to or who to speak to — all of these things you may be led to believe are not for conversation, we are here today to tell you that that is not the case. Every single one of those things is completely normal. It is a human reaction, whether it’s grief, stress, whatever the feeling is, it comes from an experience that you have had. You can have it. She can have it. I can have it. They can have it. Every single one of us is likely to have that on any given day. So, if you take anything away from today, just know that mental health affects every single person in the entire world.”

After their school visit, Harry and Meghan reportedly headed to the Nigerian Defence Headquarters for their next engagement. The couple is set to interact with military officials, women leaders, and servicemen and women during their three-day visit in Nigeria.

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