USIU-Africa hosts delegation from Duke of Edinburgh International Award Foundation

By Brenda Odhiambo

The delegation from the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation alongside the team from the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa pose for a photo following the courtesy call held last Thursday. Photo: Kahiro NgamauLast week, USIU-Africa hosted a delegation from the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, who were on campus to meet the Award participants as well as the team implementing the Award at USIU-Africa. The Foundation was represented by Rachel Kamana, the Africa Coordinator for the International Award Foundation, Wangari Kaburi-Programme Manager, the President’s Award-Kenya, Maria Birgen-Deputy Director Programmes-the President’s Award-Kenya, Abigail Gyakye, Licencing and Compliance Officer-International Award Foundation, Emma Morton, the Chief Finance Officer-International Award Foundation, and Grace Hall, Financial Controller- International Award Foundation.

The team’s visit started with a courtesy call to the Director Advancement and Partnerships, Mr. Eannes Ongus, who in his remarks shared a brief overview of USIU-Africa as well as updates on how the Award was being implemented in USIU-Africa.

“USIU-Africa was very intentional in the selection of the Award participants, who were selected due to their participation in student leadership activities, including Club participation as well as being members of the Student Council. We look forward to seeing the impact that the Award will have on our students,” he said.

Also present at the meeting were the Program Director of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa, Ms. Linet Aguko who underscored the inclusivity in the selection of Scholars into the Program at USIU-Africa, but also in the selection of Award participants.

“USIU-Africa is committed to building a truly inclusive community by ensuring that we recruit students from marginalized communities, including refugees and internally displaced youth, as well as persons with disabilities. These efforts at inclusion are also evident in the selection of Award participants, where we have 5 students with disabilities and 5 refugee students taking part in the Award,” she said.

The delegation additionally engaged with the USIU-Africa team responsible for executing the Award, comprising the Award Coordinator, Award Leaders, and Award participants. The Award Coordinator provided in-depth insights into the structure and operations of the Award program at USIU-Africa. The Award Leaders shared their experiences in overseeing participants, discussing their best practices and the challenges they've encountered. Likewise, the Award participants shared their perspectives on engaging in the Award, detailing their accomplishments and the challenges they face.

120 students are taking part in the Award at the Gold level, with 100 of them being Scholars drawn from the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa. Gold Award participants will be expected to take part in activities focused around four sections, comprising physical recreation, voluntary service, skill development and challenge through the Adventurous Journey.

They will also complete the Gold Residential project, which is a community service activity designed to broaden the participants’ experiences with their community as they work towards a common goal that they will have identified at the beginning of the Award. Upon completion of the Award after 18 months, the participants will receive the Gold level certificates from the patron of the President’s Award- Kenya, H.E. Dr. William Ruto.

The Award, which operates in 129 countries and territories, is a global framework for non-formal education and learning, which challenges young people to dream big, celebrate their achievements and make a difference in their world. Through developing transferable skills, increasing their fitness levels, cultivating a sense of adventure and volunteering in their community, the Award helps young people to find their purpose, passion and place in the world.

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