USIU-Africa hosts high-level delegation from The Duke of Edinburghs International Award Foundation

By Aquillah Onchana and Eunice Mwadzoya
Last Friday, USIU-Africa hosted a high-level delegation from The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation (IAF). Led by the Secretary General Mr. Martin Houghton-Brown, the delegation included representatives from both IAF and the President's Award Kenya (PA-K), the national Award operator in Kenya. The delegation also included Nellie Munala (CEO-President’s Award-Kenya), Rachel Kamana (Africa Coordinator-IAF and Project Lead for Africa), Maria Birgen (Deputy Director Programmes-PA-K), Wangari Kaburi (Project Lead-PA-K), and Neddy Mbori (Communications-PA-K), who visited the university to observe the implementation of the Going for Gold Project.

The visit commenced with a courtesy call to the university’s Management Board, who had the opportunity to engage with the delegation in regard to the ongoing collaboration between USIU-Africa and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, highlighting the importance of youth empowerment initiatives in shaping future leaders.

"We are delighted to welcome this distinguished delegation from the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award," said Dr. Omolola Odubekun, the Interim Vice Chancellor. "The Award plays a vital role in fostering leadership, self-reliance, and a sense of adventure in young people, and we are committed to supporting its growth in USIU-Africa," she said.

In his comments, the Secretary General, Mr. Martin Houghton-Brown noted that the Award was crucial in enabling youth to harness the power of their potential, which would position them to make a difference in their communities and take control of their futures.

"The Award provides young people with the opportunity to develop valuable life skills that will benefit them throughout their lives," he said. "We are confident that our partnership with USIU-Africa will help us to reach even more young people in Kenya and empower them to make a positive impact on their communities."

Additionally, in an effort to strengthen collaboration and enrich participant experiences, the team also engaged with the Award leaders and participants. During these interactions, Award leaders shared their insights into guiding and supporting participants, while the participants shared their personal development journeys and engagements in the Award.

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award is a global non-formal education framework that challenges young people to develop their skills, talents, and experiences. The program operates in over 130 countries and territories, with over 1.3 million participants currently enrolled. USIU-Africa is among the centers implementing the 'Going for Gold' project, which is the highest level of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award program.

The initiative is currently in its fifth month of execution, with Gold participants currently engaged in skills development, voluntary service, and physical activities for a duration of 12 months. Following this period, they have the option to choose a specific activity to focus on for an additional 6 months. Later stages of the project will include the adventurous journey and the Gold Residential project.

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