Kenyan elected to International Council of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award Association

Rose Poka, 25, is a Gold Award Holder at the President’s Award-Kenya (PA-K). [Courtesy: Rose Poka]

A Kenyan girl is among eight elected emerging leaders representatives to sit on the International Council (IC) of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award Association.

Rose Poka, 25, is a Gold Award Holder at the President’s Award-Kenya (PA-K). She was until this moment a volunteer with PA-K. Launched in 1966, PA-K is a member of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award which oversees the award in over 140 countries. It is a self-development programme available to all young people countrywide.

“I appreciate the endorsements, the Prayers, the encouragement, the votes and the belief in me,” said Poka, a graduate of Egerton University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Education.

Countries that participate in the IC nominate five electors, to make a total of 80. Out of 80 votes, it is not clear how Poka beat her competitors. What’s clear though is that she beat a field with both men and women.

The other seven colleagues elected are Potter Ka Kai Fong and Emily Milton Smith (Asia Pacific), Aybuke Caliskan and Eliska Krizova (EMAS), Brianna Simmons and Chauntae Martine (Americas), and Peniel Boye (Africa). They will serve for a period of three years.

PA-K Chief Executive Officer Ms Nellie Munala congratulated Poka on her election as an Emerging Leader Representative.

“I have seen Rose grow through her engagement with the Award and in turn, it has given her the opportunity to support her community and beyond. Having a representative to the council from Kenya means that her exemplary contribution to the work of the Award will come to the fore,” she said.

Poka has vowed to use the opportunity to bring the youth perspective to the International Council deliberations and be the voice of the young people in Africa and the World.

The IC is chaired by the Chairman of the International Award, His Royal Highness (HRH) The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward. The IC meets to discuss issues that help Trustees make decisions that influence the course of the Award globally.

They also supervise the operational functions of the International Award Foundation (IAF), and discuss and approve the agenda and arrangements for the global forum of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Association. Additionally, they act on behalf of the International Award Association (IAA) between forum meetings, ensure that decisions made at the forum are put into action and accept qualified National Award Operators (NAOs) into provisional membership of the IAA.

The Award, founded by HRH the late Prince Phillip in 1956, to equip young people for life, is available for all young people aged between 14 to 24, regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills and interests.

In Kenya, the Award was introduced in 1966 with Kenya's first president the Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta becoming its first Patron and chief trustee.