Finding solutions during COVID-19

Kelvin Murunga is a Gold Award holder and Award volunteer with The President’s Award, Kenya. He is also Law student at Moi University Annex Campus where he has set up an Award Centre.

As a result of COVID-19, Kelvin has been instrumental in ensuring that the new participants understand what is expected of them in undertaking the Award, especially now that they are at home.

Kelvin is also using this period to develop himself by growing his passion for leadership.

My name is Kelvin Murunga Makau. I am 21 years old. I have been involved with the Award since I was 14 years old. I got to know about The President’s Award -Kenya when I joined Starehe Boys Centre and School in 2014. At Starehe, I signed up to be a participant. I then did the Bronze level, Silver level and Gold level of the Award while at the centre. At Form 4, I became an Assessor at the school. As an Assessor, I helped many other students at the centre in doing their Award. I encouraged students to sign up, to set their activities and to do the activities they had chosen. I organized and supported young people on their Adventurous Journeys, motivating them not to give up when it got tough!

MANAGING THE AWARD CENTRE DURING COVID19

With the closure of learning institutions due to the outbreak of COVID-19, students went home, making it harder to support growth of the Award Centre. Participants are however doing the Award from home. As an Award Leader and a volunteer, I am helping them as they do the Award from home, in various ways. I help them in choosing activities that are available around them. I formed a WhatsApp group for them to share their experiences.

I also organise WhatsApp meetings where we discuss various issues. I call and text the participants frequently to hear the challenges they may be facing and see possible solutions to those challenges. I also motivate them to keep going. I share their challenges with the coordinator and see how best to overcome them. I look for information shared on social media by the Award Foundation, participants from other countries and Award units and share the ideas with them. I am proud that during lockdown, I have been able to continue to recruit students to sign up from home and become a participant.

 

Kevin from Kenya

THE IMPACT OF THE AWARD ON MY LIFE AND WAY FORWARD: PREPARING TO INFLUENCE LEADERSHIP AT NATIONAL LEVEL

As a young person, I am doing various activities to develop myself during this lockdown period. I have kept myself busy. I am never idle. I spend most of the daytime hours helping my parents with farmwork. During my free time, I am not engaged in an activity related to helping in the running of the Award , such as calling or texting a participant to see how they are fairing, or checking their ORB (Online Record Book) accounts.

So what next for me? After law school, I want to be an activist. I want to be an activist lawyer. I want to be a human rights defender, a fighter for the rights of the oppressed, minorities, the marginalized and other vulnerable groups. I also want to advocate for good governance. I believe that leadership, and especially in public office should be focused on transformation of society and not enrichment of self. I therefore see myself being a voice against bad governance in society.

I am grateful for the Award! May it live long!