HM The Queen's speech at Mentor Arabia's gala dinner in Amman
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Your Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah
Your Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, Chairman of Mentor Arabia
Your Royal Highness/es
Prime Minister & Members of Parliament
Ladies, Gentlemen and Friends
I would like to start by extending my sincere gratitude to Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, for hosting and being the patron of Mentor Arabia’s Gala Dinner.
Let me also express my delight at having made the acquaintance of so many wonderful pupils on my school visit this morning. And for the meaningful dialogue with the Jordanian Ministry of Education and other members of the Mentor Arabia community.
I feel blessed to be here with you in Jordan. This is a beautiful country, rich with culture and warmth. From the red deserts of Wadi Rum to the historic city of Petra to the Citadel and Roman Theatre in Amman, it gives me great pleasure to be here to celebrate Mentor Arabia; an important member of our Mentor International family.
28 years ago, I founded Mentor International in cooperation with members of the World Health Organization. Our vision was clear then, and still guides us today: to realize a world where all young people are empowered to make sound decisions and lead healthy lives, free from harmful behaviours.
Over the years, Mentor has grown into a federation that advocates and runs prevention programs for youth in local communities around the world. Mentor Arabia was founded in 2006 and has since done a tremendous job for young people throughout the Arab League, including in Jordan. This evening, we will celebrate all that Mentor Arabia has accomplished so far and offer inspiration for the many challenges that lie ahead.
Ladies and gentlemen. We have all been young once. And while we often think back at the happy and carefree times of our youth, I think we know, in our hearts, that growing up was not always easy. Believing in yourself is not always easy. In fact, it can be quite difficult – even impossible – at times.
We know that many young people today suffer from mental health issues. The worse they feel, the higher their risk is for social exclusion, educational difficulties, risk-taking behaviour, and negative feedback cycles.
When you don’t believe in yourself, you need others to believe in you. You need supportive role models, who can help you see – and realize – your full potential. And that is exactly what Mentor provides.
Dear friends! Mentor’s mission is as imperative in 2022 as it was in 1994. We need to continue to prioritise our youth, to invest in them and empower them to believe in themselves.
I would like to extend a warm thank you to the Royal Trustees and Members of the Board of Mentor Arabia, as well as the organizing team behind this evening, especially Executive Director Thuraya Ismail.
Thank you also to our Partners here in Jordan; a strong network of companies and organizations who share our view that youth is the real wealth of our future, and that their well-being is a concern for the whole society.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to applaud Mentor Arabia’s advisors and friends and encourage you to continue and even further your invaluable support to Mentor. Without you, we would not be able to carry out our mission.
I am encouraged to see you all here this evening, as we shine a light on the future of Jordanian youth and the much-needed work of Mentor Arabia. It is with great hope and a warm heart that I look towards the future. Together we can accomplish so much in the years to come!