A Kenyan student Gregory Kipchirchir made headlines after he was honored by the UK’s royal family during International Youth Day which was celebrated on Wednesday 12th August.
The 21-year-old who is a farmer earned recognition for his role in agriculture back in his hometown Kitale where he has been able to provide food for his family as well as the community at large.
For this commendable role amid the tough COVID-19 times, Kipchirchir was nominated for a Duke of Edinburg’s International Award along with four other contestants.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a non-formal education and learning framework operating in more than 130 countries and territories around the world, through which young people’s achievements outside of academia are recognized and celebrated.
As explained in the award’s website, the award aims at uplifting the youth worldwide targetting individuals aged between 14 and 24 years.
According to Kipchichir, he committed himself to learn some agricultural tips and he took it as a responsibility to teach people from his community how to make their land productive.
In a video that was shared by the Royal Family online, Kipchichir revealed that he embarked on sharing these agricultural skills with other young people following the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 impact in the country.
“For my award, I have been learning on various agricultural practices and has seen me raise food for my family. I have also taken the initiative of teaching my fellow young people in various agricultural practices.
“Since the government directed the closure of all schools, I took the responsibility of teaching other young people on the skills. Amazingly, they have all embraced this, they no longer stay idle at home,” he stated
In June 2020, Kipchirchir won the Presidential Award in Kenya for his story about ways to change rural livelihoods during the pandemic. He was then selected to represent Kenya at the international award where he is battling it out with citizens from Canada, Czech Republic as well as Indonesia.
Speaking in one of the interviews, his relative, Emily Lagat commended him for his hard work adding that the effort was indeed worth it.
“I am so happy and I have seen he has done a really good job and his work has inspired the world,” she stated.
The Duke of Edinburg’s International Award Foundation Secretary-General John May noted that it was inspiring to see how young people have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by coming up with projects to help the communities.
View this post on Instagram
Today is International Youth Day. To celebrate, we’re handing our Instagram stories over to young people from around the world who’ll be telling us about their lives during the global pandemic as they’ve been working towards The Duke of Edinburgh’s @international_award. To kick off the day, The Earl of Wessex, Chairman of the Awards, has recorded this message thanking young people for work in their communities. Check in on our stories throughout the day to meet: 🇰🇪 Gregory from Kenya 🇨🇿 Tereza from the Czech Republic 🇮🇩 Metta and Jordan from Indonesia 🇨🇦 Rochelle from Canada . . . . . . #internationalyouthday #worldready