Kenya hosted the regional IVD event this year, with the first ever Regional Volunteer Awards Festival to recognize and celebrate volunteer champions from across the region. The East and Southern Africa Regional Office of UNV collaborated with UNDP, the Government of Kenya, ONE Campaign, Mt. Kenya University, Kenya Red Cross, VSO Kenya, and various volunteer-involving organizations and several partners in the region to directly unite formal and informal volunteers and partners from across the region.
The event, focused on promoting inclusion and reducing inequalities, in line with SDG 10, was opened by the Hon. Abdul Bahari, Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection in Kenya, representing the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection and Acting Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning, Amb. Ukur Yatani. Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, the Governor of Makueni County Government, also graced the event and presented the awards to the volunteer recipients.
The United Nations was represented at the festival by the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kenya, Mr Walid Badawi, and the Deputy Resident Representative, Ms Mandisa Mashologu. UNDP shared more on the Kenya Accelerator lab and provided an opportunity for participants to pledge to stand against gender-based violence and participate in the 'Orange the World' campaign, as part of the 16 days of activism 2019. Several top artists from the region performed at the Festival, and more than 50 volunteers from across the region received awards.