During the ceremony to celebrate Kenya Scouts Association's Patrons Day on November 24th, Uhuru Kenyatta, president of Kenya, presented an award to AVSI for its significant contribution to peace building in Garissa County, in North East Kenya. AVSI Kenya has been working with the association for 4 years, as part of a larger project “Integrated Education Response in Dadaab and Host Communities”.
With funding from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), the project delivers interventions that will increase the quality of education for refugees and host communities aligned to the education reforms in Kenya.
“The contribution made by the Scouting fraternity in this country cannot be overemphasized,” said Kenyatta, who is also the Patron of Kenya Scouts Association. “It is with pride that we award and honor several scouts, leaders and partners today. They have all made positive contributions to the impact and growth of the Kenya Scouts Association.”
In his speech, the president mentioned AVSI’s scouts good work and announced his plan to double the financial contribution towards scouting in the coming year. Currently, Kenya’s government invests almost $1.1m each year in the scouting association and has seen a sheer increase in the number of people who have joined from 125,000 to 1.4 million over the past years.
Thanks to PRM’s support, AVSI has been operating in the Dadaab refugee camp for the past 7 years, promoting education not only in the local community, but also supporting refugees fleeing from Somalia. Some of AVSI’s accomplishments have been Scouting for Education which provides a child and youth friendly environment that enrolled 630 children back to school; Scouting for Peace through collaboration with community-based security networks and door-to-door advocacy between refugees and host communities; and Scouting for Environmental Conservation and Prevention by planting trees in all schools and nursery establishment.
The ceremony was attended by AVSI Kenya Country Director Andrea Bianchessi, the head of AVSI Dadaab office Henry Waitindi, and AVSI Project Officer Kaha Salat, alongside the Ministry of Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Amina Mohamed, Public Service, the Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia, and Kenya Scouts Association Chief Commissioner Mr. Victor Radido, who thanked the president on the enhanced financial allocation.