The Duchess of Sussex revealed on her podcast that she learned she was 43% Nigerian through a genealogy test
On Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Archewell Foundation announced the donation of school supplies and menstrual products to young women in Nigeria in partnership with The GEANCO Foundation.
"As students around the world returned to school this month, The Archewell Foundation supported girls’ education and health by sending school supplies and menstrual products to young scholars in Nigeria with The GEANCO Foundation,” a statement on their website said.
“GEANCO provides critical health care and education services in Nigeria. Its David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship provides full tuition, medical care, and social and emotional support to young female victims of terrorism and gender inequality in Nigeria,” it continued.
The Archewell Foundation’s support will also provide menstrual health education for 2,500 girls throughout where GEANCO serves, supporting the well-being of young women in school.
In a peek behind the scenes, the GEANCO Foundation also posted photos showing the team filling backpacks with classroom essentials and feminine hygiene products. The statement said Afam Onyema, CEO of GEANCO, joined the Archewell staff to pack the bookbags.
The Instagram carousel opened with a shot of a young woman smiling with a backpack and water bottle before a homemade banner, rolling to shots of other young girls checking out the new gear and posing with the packs on their shoulders.
“We’re honored to partner with The Archewell Foundation on an exciting back-to-school project for girls in Nigeria!! They have generously donated backpacks filled with much-needed school supplies and feminine hygiene products to our David Oyelowo Leadership Scholars! This incredibly thoughtful gift will equip and empower our girls this school year with confidence & joy!!❤️,” the caption read.
Nigeria recently made its debut at Prince Harry’s 2023 Invictus Games, which welcomed 21 nations and 500 athletes to Düsseldorf, Germany from Sept. 9 to 16. The Duke of Sussex, a former captain in the British Army, launched the international adaptive sports competition for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans in 2014 to amplify the transformative power of sport for those who have served.
While Prince Harry, 39, stayed neutral at the sixth iteration of the Invictus Games as founding patron, his wife showed support for the Nigerian team — a revelation Harry made in his opening speech!
"Now, I'm not saying we play favorites in our home, but since my wife discovered she's of Nigerian descent, it's likely to get a little bit more competitive this year," he joked at the opening ceremony. Last fall, the Duchess of Sussex revealed on her podcast Archetypes that she learned she was 43% Nigerian through a genealogy test.
On Meghan’s first day watching sports events at the Invictus Games (she joined Harry a few days after the tournament began), she and her husband spent time with the Nigerian team. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posed for a photo with members of the squad holding their national flag on Sept. 13. According to Hello!, the athletes presented the couple with a plaque from the Chief of Defense — plus a new nickname for Meghan!
According to the outlet, she received the name “Amira Ngozi Lolo." Amira is the name of a warrior princess from a legend, while Ngozi means "blessed" and Lolo means "royal wife."
The next day, the Duchess of Sussex, 42, waved a Nigerian flag from her spot in the stands as Nigeria competed against Ukraine in sitting volleyball. Meghan and Prince Harry enthusiastically followed the action at Merkur Spiel Arena and smiled for selfies with fellow attendees supporting the Nigerian team.
While the latest charitable effort from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Foundation is all about supporting students in Nigeria, the couple have paid it forward with care packs for other charitable causes before.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020, the couple stepped out in Los Angeles to take part in a drive-through event with Baby2Baby, an L.A.-based national nonprofit organization. They helped distribute school supplies, books, backpacks, clothing, food, hygiene items and more to those in need as children prepare for the new school year.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sported masks and gloves as they surprised recipients in their cars. At one point, Meghan knelt down to help fit a backpack for a young boy as Prince Harry squatted down to take a look.
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It wasn’t the first time Meghan and Prince Harry have supported the L.A.-based organization, either. In April 2019, just before they welcomed son Prince Archie, they thanked fans via their Instagram page for the virtual "baby shower" encouraging charitable donations to celebrate Baby Sussex. They also gave four suggestions on charities if people were still looking to participate, including Baby2Baby.
Founders and co-presidents Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof had no idea that they were on the royals’ radar — they found out like the rest of the world when the Instagram post was shared.
"We were thrilled and overwhelmed at the support," Weinstein told PEOPLE at the time. "We believe that the fact that the Duchess is from Los Angeles was what prompted her to highlight L.A., where Baby2Baby is based. We felt particularly grateful that she was highlighting an American organization."
Prince Harry and Meghan relocated to Meghan’s home state of California after stepping back from their royal roles in 2020 and went on to welcome daughter Princess Lilibet in June 2021.
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