The President’s Award is a programme that was first introduced in the United Kingdom as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with the aim of encouraging young people to give useful service to others. It is also aimed to encourage the development of personal interest and practical skills, participation in physical recreation and improvement of performance, broaden experience through involvement with others in residential setting and develop a spirit of adventure and discovery while undertaking a journey in a group. The programme was later advanced to Kenya where it was named The President’s Award and the Head of State as its Patron. It was introduced at the University of Eldoret in 2013 with the head of the institution as the local Patron. The programme is managed by Award group leaders who are among the participating students under the supervision of a coordinator who is a staff.
The Award is structured in three levels; Bronze, Silver and Gold. At the university level, participants register for the Gold Award. However, the three levels share similar activities but in varying intensity where the Gold participants put more commitment.
Participation in the Award programme has helped participants in personal development through acquisition of several skills among them leadership. It has also helped build their self-confidence, sense of service and the drive to be achievers in their individual endeavours.
For the last three years, UoE President’s Award Unit participants have engaged in various appropriate activities among them clean-up exercises at Marula Primary School and residential projects in Chepkanga Health Centre. The participants have also undertaken manual work, food donations and mentoring the children in Langas and Mwanzo Children homes in Uasin Gishu County making the University name visible among the needy in the society. They have also taken several adventurous journeys especially in the Keio Valley and the Rift Valley escarpment which has made them appreciate the diversity of their country and culture. The undertaking has also given them the endurance that has shaped their discipline.
The Unit has also trained first aiders, safety and rescue proficient students, and yarn to continuously improve their skills in different areas. On weekly basis, the participants engage in recreational activities within and outside the University to keep fit and have fun.
Currently, the programme has 80 registered participants and is seeking to recruit more members. So far, 12 participants have graduated with Gold level certificates; one in 2015 and 11 others this year at a ceremony that took place at the State House, Nairobi on 27th October, 2016 presided over by H.E. The President of the Republic of Kenya. One other student from our institution received Life Membership certificate of the President’s Award-Kenya. During this year’s Award presentation ceremony, the recipients and Award participants were accompanied by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Teresa Akenga. It is the expectation of the Award Unit that next year Award recipients will increase.
UoE President’s Award participants during Global Hand Washing Day at Kamagut Primary School, Uasin Gishu County
The Vice-Chancellor with 2016 President’s Award recipients from University of Eldoret at State House, Nairobi on 27th October, 2016
The Vice-Chancellor celebrating the achievement with participants after receiving the Awards at State House grounds in a selfie