NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – A foundation supporting school-going girls in the western region on Monday became the latest recipient of the much coveted Commonwealth Points of Light award.
The 28th Commonwealth Points of Light was given to Golda Ayodo, the founder of the Golden Girls Foundation, a nongovernmental organization that has been supporting school-going girls through the provision of menstrual cups.
The award certificate which was signed by Commonwealth Head, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, was presented to Ayodo by Britain’s Deputy High Commissioner, Susie Kitchens.
Kitchens lauded Ayodo for distributing over 10,000 menstrual cups to needy girls; an initiative she noted had helped retain many girls in schools.
She also set up a mentoring scheme in which 100 female volunteers mentor over 500 girls while encouraging them to remain in school.
United Kingdom High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, equally lauded Ayodo for supporting the education of girls saying girl-child education was a major priority of the UK government.
“Girls’ education is a major priority for the UK government, and Golda has played an inspirational role in encouraging Kenyan girls to finish school,” he said.
“As a result of her work on menstrual hygiene, thousands of menstrual cups have been distributed across Western Kenya to ensure that those girls stay at school throughout the month,” Hailey noted.
The British envoy also assured that his government was committed to deepening relations in Kenya on all fronts, including supporting education in the country.
While acknowledging receipt of the award, Ayodo promised to double her efforts in empowering girls in the western region and the entire nation.
“Like a candle, this Point of Light award will always shine out for volunteers working to change the lives of girls and women, one at a time,” she said.
Speaking at the event, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ababu Namwamba, thanked the UK government for the recognition saying President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration will continue to partner with Britain.
“Kenya has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1963 and we remain committed to its ideals and objectives. The Commonwealth since grown and expanded its range and reach of priorities such as governance, respect for human rights, as peace and international cooperation,” he said.
The Commonwealth Points of Light award is given issued to volunteers in each of the 53 Commonwealth nations in recognition of individual efforts made in tackling some of the greatest social challenges in the world.
Stories of awardees of the Commonwealth Points of Light are expected to feature prominently at the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government summit to be held from April 19 – 20 in London.