President Uhuru Kenyatta made a public address to the youth at State House on the 27th October. In his speech, he said, “Kenya needs public servants, professionals, and politicians who have no time for mediocrity.” The President presided over the President’s Award-Kenya Gold Award presentation a self-development program that equips the youth with positive life skills to enable them participate in nation building and boost their patriotism. The ceremony saw 766 young people from different schools, colleges and universities received Gold Award certificates while 10 alumni received life membership certificates.
President Kenyatta commended the youth saying, “when some of your elders have given way to laxity – and even to mediocrity – it fills me with hope to see that you have rejected their ways.” The President encouraged the gold awardees to serve Kenya. “Distinction is about dedication to efficient and effective service delivery, it is about devotion to our values and to national unity; it is about selflessness — serving others; ultimately, it is about improving the lives of those around us,” the President said.
He challenged them to champion national unity, saying “you know that each of your companions deserves to be treated the same, wherever they come from and regardless of their tribe or religion”.
During the occasion, President Kenyatta also launched the President’s Award-Kenya Foundation and cut a cake to mark the award scheme’s 50th anniversary. Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki also present at the event noted that under the Commonwealth Secretariat, Kenya received an award for having the largest leap in terms of growth under the youth development index that placed the country in the most premium position within the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nellie Munala, President’s Award Executive Director expressed satisfaction that the program has succeeded in inculcating values in young people that are important for the growth of society, “especially at this time when the country is keen to find solutions to challenges regarding integrity and patriotism.”
“The story we get from young people across the country is that social cohesion, patriotism, fairness, and integrity are all possible if we expose children and the youth to experiences that challenge their inner self to live and do right,” Ms. Munala said.