Leadership through Committed and Disciplined Service
The President’s Award-Kenya (PA-K) is an exciting self-development programme available to all young people aged between 14 – 24 years countrywide aimed at equipping them with positive life skills to make a difference for themselves, their communities, their country and the world. The program was started in the United Kingdom under His Royal Highness, Prince Philip in 1956 and was name the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. It was meant to encourage the young people to give useful service to others while developing their personal interest and practical skills, participating in physical recreation for the improvement of performance, broadening experience through involvement with others in residential setting and develop a spirit of adventure and discovery while undertaking a journey in a group.
In 1966, the Founding Father of the nation and President of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta launched the program in Kenya as its patron. It was meant to encourage and prepare young people of Kenya in celebrating their giftedness in serving others, self-growth and enhancing the spirit of adventure. The program was formally instituted in Kisii University in 2018 with the Vice Chancellor as the local patron. It is managed by volunteer award leaders who are supervised by a local award coordinator.
The Award is structured in three noncompetitive levels; Bronze, Silver and Gold. Participants are free to join at any level of their choice mostly depending on their age bracket timelines and personal goals. The activities are events required to gain certification at each level are similar but with varying intensity and commitment.
Participation in the award programme has helped participants in personal development through acquisition of several skills among them leadership, transferring hobbies into competencies, adventure, and finding invaluable meaning through service of humanity. This program challenges individuals through a personal journey of growth thus enhancing their self-confidence, sense of service and the drive to be achievers in life.
In 2019, the university celebrated 34 participants who received their Golden Award Certificates at the hands of the President, H.E. Hon Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, in a colourful ceremony held at State House Nairobi. These participants and the others who are ongoing have been engaged in a myriad of activities including mentorship programs, environmental clean-ups and conservation, food and clothe donations to children homes and homes of the most vulnerable, training on first aid, safety, swimming, and many others that has enhanced their resilience making them champions of servant leadership.
The award program is recruiting membership from all students without discrimination to undertake the various activities. Registration can be done by reaching the award coordinator Bro. Francis Kerongo firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Paul Wachiuri email@example.com
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
There are ten guiding principles that underpin the philosophy of the Award.
They are designed to ensure that a young person has a meaningful and purposeful journey through their Award, as well as ensuring that the impact of achieving their Award provides a lasting personal legacy. The Award’s guiding principles are as follows:
Individuals design their own programme, which can be tailored to suit their personal circumstances, choices and local provision. They start at whichever level suits them best and they can take as long as they wish (within the age limit) to achieve their Award.
The Award provides a balanced framework to develop the individual’s mind, body and community spirit by engaging them in four activities at Bronze and Silver levels, and five activities at Gold level.
Doing their Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. Every participant’s programme is tailor-made to reflect their individual starting point, abilities and interests.
At each level, the Award demands progressively more time, commitment and responsibility from the participant.
An Award is achievable by any individual who chooses to take up the challenge, regardless of ability, gender, background or location, with the right guidance and inspiration.
The Award inspires individuals to exceed their expectations. They are encouraged to set their own challenges and goals before starting an activity, aim for these goals and by showing improvement, will move towards achieving an Award.
Whilst the Award may be offered within school, college, work time, custody or extracurricular activity, individuals choose to do a programme and must commit a substantial amount of their free time to undertake their activities.
The Award requires persistence and cannot be completed with a short burst of enthusiasm. Participants are encouraged to continue with activities and to maintain their interest beyond their programme requirements.
Participating in their Award programme fosters personal and social development. Individuals gain valuable experiences and life skills, grow in confidence and become more aware of their environment and community, transforming them in to responsible young adults.
Participants and Leaders should find the Award enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding.