Princess Tessy of Luxembourg, who is the UNAIDs Global Advocate for Young Women and Adolescent Girls, has spoken about her work with UNAIDs.
When asked about what inspired her to begin working with the organisation, Her Royal Highness said:
My background is unique in two very different ways. On one side there is the adventurer who hopes to change the world, and on the other side, there is a mother and a wife who knows what responsibility signifies. Both parts of my personality are fundamental to achieving positive change in small but meaningful ways. Long-term change is what I am interested in, and this can only be achieved with small steps. The AIDS response is a long-term solution. This satisfies both my realistic ambitions as well as my ambitions of taking part in great change.
Tessy’s unique background includes her time serving in the Luxembourg Army, where she was part of the peace-keeping mission in Kosovo from March to August 2004. Her Royal Highness called this time the highlight of her five-year military career. While in Kosovo, Tessy’s day-to-day schedule was “very simple” and serves as a memory that she has said she would cherish forever. Tessy wrote in an op-ed for
Tessy wrote in an op-ed for The Telegraph about her duties in Kosovo saying, “I worked in a two-person unit that took care of logistics to support my colleagues. I drove a Hummer and a truck – or anything else to hand – and provided support during night watches, searches, and other operations.”
The 31-year-old royal explained what her hope was for the future female leaders of the world:
All around the world young women and adolescent girls are coming into their own voices. And we need to respect their voices. This message needs to reach across borders through girls’ education and investing in programmes for gender equality.
This work has to be done beside young men and adolescent boys. Respect is earned through our individual actions, not by our gender, and everyone deserves to live with dignity. Let’s work together in order to make the future a future for all.
Her Royal Highness recently spoke at the 21st International AIDs Conference in South Africa, where she presented the Women, Girls, and HIV Investigator’s Prize. She and Princess Sikhanyiso of Swaziland spent a day in the field in the country during this time, which was partially filmed for UNAIDs. During the trip, they learned about the sad realities that so many South African women face every day. South Africa has some of the highest rates of rape in the world.
You can read more about Princess Tessy here.