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About us

Our history

The Award Programme grew out of the efforts of three men, who were responding to a common anxiety about how best to engage young people. After the world wars, there was a growing concern about the development of boys, due to the gap between leaving school at 15 and entering National Service at 18.

Against this backdrop, Award was set up in 1956, by HRH the late Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, Kurt Hahn a German educationalist, and Lord Hunt, leader of the first successful ascent of Everest.

Based on the philosophy of Hahn, founder and headmaster of Gordonstoun School in Scotland, the Programme was designed around four sections: Rescue & Public Service Training, the Expedition, Pursuits & Projects, and Fitness.

Although initially only available to boys aged between 14 and 18, there was great demand for a similar scheme for girls, and this was launched in September 1958. The Programme continued to evolve over subsequent decades, until 1980. At this point, the upper age limit was extended to 25, and the Programme took on its current four Section format of: Service, Adventurous Journey, Skills and Physical Recreation.

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. The Award has over the years extended its reach impacting the lives of nearly half a million people to date.

Currently there are over 120,000 young people participating in the Award in over 750 schools, Universities, Middle level Colleges, Youth groups, rehabilitation centres and open Award Centres across the country.

Globally, more than one million young people are striving to achieve their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Awards in more than 130 countries and territories.

Who we are.

The President’s Award- Kenya (PA-K) is an Agency established by an Act of Parliament, President’s Award Act No. 30 of 2017. PA-K is an exciting self-development programme available to all young people countrywide equipping them with positive life skills to make a difference for themselves, their communities, country and the world.

PA-K is a non-formal education and learning framework through which young people’s achievements outside of academia are recognized and celebrated. The young people engaged are between the ages of fourteen (14) to twenty-four (24) years. The main aim is to equip young people for life by encouraging them to acquire universal skills to help them thrive. The universal skills are achieved through engagement in activities that include getting physically active, volunteering within their communities, and discovering a sense of adventure outside the classroom.

PA-K, which was launched in Kenya in 1966, is a member of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award which oversees the Award Programme in over one hundred and fourty (140) countries. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award was founded by His Royal Highness (HRH), The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT in 1956, in conjunction with Kurt Hahn, a German educationalist and Sir John Hunt.

Strategic themes

Access: Improve access for new and diverse groups of young people, overcoming barriers to the Award.

Reach: Increase the reach and depth of the Award by taking the Award to the target audiences

Impact: Improve impact and quality of delivery of the Award to the stake holders

Strengthen Strategic Operations: Attract and retain qualified, competent and well-motivated staff and volunteers for efficiency and effectiveness

Special projects

This project is currently running in 10 Correctional institutions across the Country with an objective of rehabilitating young offenders and helping them to re-integrate into the society and reducing recidivism.

These institutions are divided into three categories namely: –

  • a) 7 Rehabilitation schools
  • b) 1 main Prison
  • c) 2 Borstal institutions


  • a) Build self confidence in the young offenders
  • b) Enhance their existing skills and knowledge and learn new ones
  • c) To help them earn the trust of the wider community, helping to rehabilitate and reintegrate
  • d) Help Improve relationships with other young offenders and staff
  • e) Learn life skills-persistence, team work, communication and problem solving.

With your help, we can enable even more young people to be able to experience the powerful benefits of non-formal education.

1. Special projects
Whilst this style of learning can positively impact all young people, non-formal education can be particularly powerful for those who may not be able to access a full formal education – such as refugees, those living in poverty, young parents, inmates, those with physical or learning disabilities and those with marginalised background.

The Special Projects grant giving programme is striving to ensure all young people have access to the Award – and seeks to achieve notable growth in the numbers and diversity of young people participating in, and achieving, the Award worldwide. There are three key strands to the programme:

2. Adults in the Award
To ensure an increase in Award participation, we need to substantially increase the number of adult volunteers worldwide, making sure we have the right people in the right place, with the right skills to deliver the Award.
The majority of the Award’s volunteers are made up of adult Leaders – those who mentor young people as they take part in the Award – and the people who support them. They are often teachers and youth workers who are running the Award in addition to their job.

3. Events
With your help, many more people can hear about the Award. Help us to grow our support network and raise greater awareness of the importance of non-formal education by partnering with us during our stakeholder engagements.

If you are interested in finding out how you can support Special Projects and adults in the award, please contact us.


The Award Holders Alumni-Kenya (AHA-K) is a networking forum for individuals who have
undergone the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Kenya courtesy of the President’s
Award-Kenya (PA-K). As an association, its main aim is to support PA-K and youths who are undergoing the Award program. The association engages in activities synonymous with those that form the fundamentals and strategic plan of PA-K including adventurous journeys, physical recreations, and services supporting alumni skills.

AHA-K has worked with the PA-K office to provide volunteers and assessors, in raising funds
for record books, and in engaging alumni in outdoor activities such as hikes and camping. They also have an Annual General Meeting that allows members to engage and air their views while working on ways of strengthening the alumni body as well as supporting PA-K strategic activities.

The association gives members a platform to:
– Connect: Members are able to keep in touch with other Award holders and the
PA-K community.

– Explore: Members are able to discover local and global networking opportunities and
membership benefits that they can venture into based on their Award experience

– Learn: The platform provides a networking stage allowing members to stay informed
about local and global employment, internship, and volunteering opportunities. Moreover, it helps award holders to give back to the Award program.

Goals and Objectives
The Association aims to:

– Support PA-K strategic plan, program and activities

– Organize and run annual networking events and programs for members

– Conduct mentorship programs for young alumni members
Partner with Alumni bodies from all over the world

– Impart positive values and national community service
Create career and entrepreneurship opportunities networks for the members

Eligibility to join AHA-Kenya
All Award Holders, i.e PA-K alumni, regardless of level (Bronze,
Silver, Gold, or any combination!)

– Current or past staff members of PA-K.

– Current or past members PA-K Board of Trustees.

– Long-serving and dedicated coordinators of the Award program with a consistency of at
least five years and who is proposed and approved by The Executive Committee.

Other honorary members who may be nominated by the AHA-Kenya Executive

Joining the AHA- Kenya enables members to connect their experience to thousands of others
around the country and world at large.

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