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Inside Princess Charlene's trip to her native Africa with Prince Albert

The royal couple paid a 'friendly and working' visit to Burkina Faso in West Africa

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Princess Charlene of Monaco recently returned to her native Africa accompanied by her husband Prince Albert. The royal couple paid a "friendly and working" visit to Burkina Faso in West Africa last week. Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella's parents were welcomed by President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso and his wife Sika Bella Kaboré at a ceremony held at Kosyam Palace on Thursday, 11 January. Following their welcome, the royal couple visited the Center of Awakening and Preschool Education of Saaba with the presidential couple. Albert, 59, and his wife made a personal donation of $5,000 to the Saaba Center. 

On Friday, 12 January, the foursome attended the inauguration of the multipurpose training center of the Burkinabe Red Cross in Loumbila. The group toured the complex that is equipped with a semi-Olympic swimming pool in its pool/rescue center. The space, which will educate children and adults on the risks of drowning, was created thanks to the support of the Princess Charlene Foundation of Monaco.

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The royal's foundation's water safety and learning to swim programmes will be offered to nearby schools. Princess Charlene, who is patron of the South African Red Cross Society, also attended a presentation of first aid gestures with trainers from the Burkinabe Red Cross.

Later in the day, the former Olympic swimmer, 39, and the first lady visited Bogodogo Hospital, where they learned about its services including emergency, maternity and the premises of the neonatal service that will be operational later this year. Princess Charlene wanted to personally help open the service by offering two pediatric incubators, two radiant lamps and a staffing for the purchase of equipment.

The Monaco royals wrapped their trip abroad with a visit to the Burkinabe Red Cross headquarters and meeting children in the care of the Monaco Collectif Humanitaire — a project which is designed to give a second life to children from developing countries. Before leaving, the couple expressed their gratitude to the president of Burkina Faso and his people for their friendly hospitality.

Princess Charlene opened up about her love for Africa in an interview with Eyewitness News last April. "I am African. This is my home. It will always be. It’s in my heart. It's in my veins," she said. Discussing her three-year-old twins, Charlene admitted, "I can't wait for them to come here and I can't wait for them to be introduced to Africa."

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