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Gold Award International Conference, Malaysia 2016 Silas Wafula

Makini Represents Kenya in President's Award GAIN Conference, Malaysia

07 October 2016

Makini's Award Leader for the President's Award Scheme in Makini Schools had the privilege of attending the GAIN 2016, which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from the 24th to the 30th of September. Mr. Silas Wafula got to represent both our institution and Kenya as whole, among other participants. This is his report on the event and what he learnt about Malaysia that he brought home.

GAIN is a platform for the Alumni Award Recipients at all Levels of The Duke of Edinburgh’s (DoE) International Award, locally The President’s Award-Kenya (P.A.-K) from all around the world to gather. The inaugural GAIN in 2014 that was held in Mauritius had participants from the members of Award Holders Associations, Award Leaders and volunteers from Mauritius, Rodrigues, Malaysia, Ghana, Kenya and Pakistan. Malaysia, chosen as the host county for GAIN 2016 hosted this year’s event as from Saturday 24th to Friday 30th September 2016. The main aim of the event was to bring together the Award Holders to act as a think-tank and have the opportunity to respond positively on the issues affecting our world today and also to focus on strategies to further promote volunteerism, cohesion and collaboration among young people of the present and forthcoming generations.  There were almost 40 participants from Africa and Asia Regions drawn from Mauritius, Rodrigues, Kenya, Ghana, South Korea and the Host Malaysia. Kenya was represented by Mr. Paul Olungae, Chairman of Award-Holders’ Alumni-Kenya and Mr. Silas Wafula from the HR Department and Award Leader President’s Award-Scheme in Makini School. In attendance was Ms. Veek Purun, Africa Region Emerging Youth Leader, Vice-President of the Gold-Award Holder Association Mauritius and also member of the International Council that is chaired by Prince Edward of England, the Patron of the Award Programme Worldwide. The participants were of diverse cultures, religions, races and ages as young as 19 and as old as 58. It was organized by Malaysia Gold Award Association (MAGAA) and supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia. The objectives were to create and expand a global network of Award Holders Association; Promote Exchange Programmes and consolidate links with International Award Holders; Share experience to generate constructive ideas on development in many areas and Empower youth development initiatives to produce excellent assets to the nations worldwide.

Malaysia is one of the countries with the fastest growing economy and they have been able to pursue strategies that combined rapid growth with a relatively equitable distribution of income to attain a satisfactory social status among its citizens. Participants had the best of the opportunities to tour and visit attraction, rich historical and beautiful monuments, buildings and cities that left them amazed and awed. Some of the activities included visiting Masjid Putra- Palace of Justice Masjid Sultan Zainal Abidin, They Royal Palace Museum, The Old Prime Minister’s Residence, Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), Malacca Dataran Pahlawan, Boat Ride along The River of Malacca at night, explored The Night Market, Jungle Trekking, Visit to Army Museum, National Planetarium Centre, BBQ and Fire Camp at Port Dickson. The most interesting one was having lunch atop the Revolving Menara Kuala Lumpur Towers, the higher building in the country. They were able to have a sky view of Kuala Lumpur City as they enjoyed the sumptuous meal.

Above all, the Conference sessions generated constructive and practical ideas from four discussion groups that were formed to come up with factors hindering youth empowerment and the solutions to these challenges.  At the end of it, the group leaders converged and harmonized all the points and deliberations brainstormed by the groups. They came up with ten-point resolutions which centered around Emotional Intelligence, Identity, Education, Mentorship, Cultural and Gender Barriers, Funding, Technical Support, Parents Involvement and Promoting the spirit of Volunteerism as the youths go through Programme to remain relevant and useful. The resolutions will be tabled and presented during this year’s International Council Meeting that will be take place in the United Kingdom in November. Makini School Award Unit which took part in an exchange Programme in December 2015 in Mauritius, as one of the objectives and outcomes of GAIN was recognized and awarded a certificate. The exchange trip was attended by Jonathan Nyagaka, Gold Award Holder and outgoing Head Boy at the High School who was accompanied by Mr. Silas Wafula the Award Leader and they also got certificates of participation. 

All the participants were happy and satisfied with high level of organization by the Hosts, despite the fun-filled packed activities and wished the period would have been longer! The next GAIN event will be held in 2018 and it is open to three countries; South Korea. Kenya and Ghana for one of them to host.  We do hope that Kenya will make all the arrangements, consultation and plans to bid and host the event which will be a good opportunity and chance to showcase what it can offer the international delegates and as they bring their Programme experience to Kenyan participants and award Holders.

Meanwhile,  Makini Awardees will be receiving their Gold Award Certificate in October. The ceremony will be held on Friday, 28th October, at the State House. Makini School is also preparing a joint entertainment presentation item for this ceremony.

Stay tuned ...

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