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NAIROBI, Kenya 1st June, 2023- Over 300 young people from Taveta sub-county have benefited from the Global Youth Mobilization (GYM) COVID-19 Response and Recovery Project under The President’s Award-Kenya (PA-K). (GYM) COVID-19 Recovery Project was inspired by the need to tackle a global crisis in education, rising unemployment, mental health crisis, and increased domestic and gender-based violence among young women and girls, and under-represented and marginalized communities; which escalated during the pandemic. Worldwide, 132 million girls are out of school and girls face many barriers to accessing the education they need to take the lead in their lives. Young people and future generations continue to shoulder much of the long-term socio-economic consequences of the crisis. However, the disruption in their access to education and employment opportunities as a result of the economic downturn put the young generation on a much more volatile trajectory in finding and maintaining quality lives. According to PA-K CEO Ms. Munala, the GYM Covid-19 Recovery Project targeted 47 countries including Kenya. Taveta sub-county in Kenya became a recipient of this global initiative because of the high incidence rates of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) during the 2019-2020 global pandemic and surge in the number of teenage pregnancies in Taita Taveta. Beneficiaries

The Covid-19 Response and Recovery Project opened its doors to young people from Timbila location in Taveta sub-county in September 2021, with the help of Volunteer Trainers and Community Leaders. A total of 377 participants have graduated having been equipped with the relevant skills, resources, and linkages to help them improve their lives and that of their communities. 75% of the trainees are teen mothers who were unable to continue with their education. ‘The young people are drawn from diverse backgrounds particularly the marginalized and those who were negatively affected by the pandemic. A number of participants engaged in the project, have started generating income,’ said Ms. Munala. The GYM initiative aims to shine a spotlight on young people whose lives were disrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

About GYM Global Youth Mobilization (GYM) is an initiative of young people and voluntary organizations in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) that improves the lives of young people in the post-COVID-19 world. COVID-19 Response and Recovery Project was enabled courtesy of the GYM in collaboration with the Big 6 Youth Organizations namely: (The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation

The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM)

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)

World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations (YMCA)

Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 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 forty (140) countries. The project is designed to not only mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on young people but also empower them to support their communities to overcome the challenges caused by the disruption. The Centre tailors courses relevant to the needs of the trainees. Skills transferred include tailoring, baking, and traditional food making. Others are hairdressing beauty and Barbering; soap, and bead-making. Ms. Munala observed that access to diverse and accessible learning opportunities is critical for young people to thrive in a fast-changing world. ‘Non-formal education, best suited to help young people acquire life skills, values, and resilience to social changes, is often underestimated. We need to recognize the benefits of non-formal education to enable young people and communities to reach their full potential,’ she said. Project implementation team PA-K would like to thank Mr. Cornelius Mnene, a retired Principal and an Award Holder for leading the implementation of the Covid-19 Recovery Project in Kenya. Ms. Munala also applauds the Uwezo Fund, State Department for Social Protection – Community Capacity, Support and Development Division, Youth Department – ICT, and County Commission Sub-county office for playing a part in the project implementation. ENDS…

For more information, please contact: Name: Neddy Mbori- Senior Public Communications Officer Cell phone: 0710121110 Email: neddy.mbori@presidentsaward.or.ke About The President’s Award- Kenya PA-K The President’s Award- Kenya 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 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. PA-K is an Agency established by an Act of Parliament, President’s Award Act No. 30 of 2017. It is an exciting self-development program available to all young people countrywide, equipping them with positive life skills to make a difference for themselves, their communities, their 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.

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