Joram Otieno


My journey with the life transforming Programme started in January 1990 when I was a high school student at Starehe Boys’ Centre and School. The school, which is still to date one of the Award Centres in Kenya, had housed The President’s Award-Kenya (PA-K) Secretariat for close to 3 decades.

Starehe Boys’ Centre was a place of opportunities to grow beyond the classroom. My first choice of out of class activities was the Award Programme. I was curious and thrilled when our seniors in the Programme would come back to school after an excursion, looking “dirty, exhausted but cheerful” and feed us with “lots of bush stories”. That was is it and I have never looked back to date. I am currently a staff member at PA-K, propagating the ideals of the Award Programme.

Through his noble initiative in establishing the Award Programme HRH wired within me lots of priceless lifelong gains. I would like to salute and celebrate the Global Champion of youth development by highlighting the following in memory of his legacy:

I learnt endurance and resilience; that life can never be a straight line for anyone. It is the ability to navigate through the challenges that makes the difference. The seed of endurance and resilience was sown and nurtured at my early years when I joined the Award Programme. While undertaking our Bronze Adventurous Journey in forested countryside, our group encountered a herd of elephants that blocked our path, we had to retreat fast and this disoriented us. I almost called it quits at Bronze level. However, the inspiration of overcoming the elephant challenge propelled me to proceed, I finally received my Gold in 1991.

Leadership development; Service above self; Acts of kindness and humility are part of the fruits whose seeds the HRH continues to propagate past his time globally. The candle of goodness he lit several decades ago continues to shine brighter, lighting hundreds of thousands other candl