First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Nairobi, Kenya late on Thursday evening. She was greeted by the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta and the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya, Robert Godec.
On the morning of Friday, October 5, Mrs. Trump traveled to Nairobi National Park. Upon arrival, she went to the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage to learn about their facilities and mission and to observe the staff engage in their daily routine of feeding the baby elephants rescued by the shelter. Mrs. Trump, joined by Mrs. Kenyatta, fed the baby elephants with large bottles of milk. After the feeding concluded, Mrs. Trump spoke with briefly Angela Sheldrick, the owner of Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and Edwin Lusuchi, the Chief Elephant Keeper.
On the Safari, the First Lady was able to see many wild animals including zebras, hippos, rhinos, and giraffes. Along the way, Mrs. Trump was briefed by Nelly Palmeris, the senior warden of Nairobi National Park, about the conservation efforts of the Kenya Wildlife Service. Near the end of the tour, Mrs. Trump visited one of the ivory burn sites, which are important landmarks in conservation, where Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi made a dramatic statement to poachers by setting fire to 11 tons of seized ivory in 1989.
Following her visit at Nairobi National Park, Mrs. Trump visited the Nest Baby Village part of the Nest Children’s Home, which cares for children ages newborn to 17 whose mothers are imprisoned. This shelter focuses on children by providing them with clothing and food, emotional support, medical care, and educational opportunities.
Director and founder of the Nest Children’s Home, Irene Baumgartner, greeted the First Lady. Children sang and danced around Mrs. Trump to welcome her and escorted her to the nursery village. Mrs. Trump met with the staff and held many of the babies. Outside in the gardens, older children sang to the First Lady. Mrs. Trump read a story titled The Lion and the Mouse. Before departing, the children circled the First Lady for a prayer and each child gave her a flower.
The shelter, which has been in operation since 1994, is a charitable trust that relies solely on private donations. The First Lady donated baby blankets, teddy bears, and children’s bags containing several items, including Frisbees and water bottles.
In the late afternoon, Mrs. Trump joined Mrs. Kenyatta at the State House for a private meeting where they discussed their shared goals within their respective countries – noting the importance of maternal health and education for children. First Lady Melania Trump and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta visited the Nairobi National Theater for a cultural performance by the Sarakasi Allstars. The audience included children from various schools and programs including the Nest and USAID Nilendi program.
Mrs. Trump also attended an Embassy Meet and Greet in order to thank United States Ambassador Robert Godec and Embassy employees for their service.
“My time in Kenya impacted me greatly and I want to thank everyone who took the time to meet with me, especially Mrs. Kenyatta,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “The hospitality that I received made the experience so special. I was awed by the beauty of Nairobi National Park and was very interested to learn more about Kenya’s conservation efforts. The Nest is a prime example of what it means to protect and nurture our next generation – seeing their efforts shape the lives of so many children is something I will never forget. I look forward to visiting again in the future.”