Three Kenyans honoured by an international institution for humanity work

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 21:22 |
Eldest schools principal in Kenya, Harbhajan Singh Gill (c) is flanked by Kalpana Karia (l) and Fred Akama Okatch (r) after they were conferred with Honorary Doctorate degrees for their work in peace and humanity development. Photo/Philip Kamakya

Three Kenyans have supported a paradigm shift in the education sector in Kenya where future Kenyan scholars use their mind to bring change in the society.

Educationist, Harbhajan Singh Gill, the eldest principal of schools in Kenya; Kalpana Karia, renowned Yoga trainer and; global peace ambassador, Fred Akama Okatch said that future problem solvers should be grounded in practical knowledge.

The trio was echoing sentiments by United Graduate College and Seminary International (UGCSI) global chief chancellor, Prof. Clyde Rivers that the education model in the world needs to be changed.

“We must create leaders who think about climate change; innovative and people who are ready to tackle problems in the society, instantly using their mind,” Rivers said during a graduation ceremony to award the trio for their work around humanity and peace development.

Gill; Karia and Okatch were decorated by UGCSI for their work around peace; humanity, youth development, and philanthropy.

Rivers who was speaking at the Shree Cutchi Leva Patel (SCLP) Samaj School in Nairobi West said African students taking their studies in the US are the brightest, and very well educated.

“Let’s put our work in Academia because we are finding that there are many great achievers; men and women worthy of honour, in Africa as well as the entire world,” he added.

Rivers, who earned a doctorate in biblical counselling and ambassadorship diplomacy with UGCSI said it is the desire the institution to create a new culture, “The Culture of Honour” within every country on the continent of Africa.

And with these remarks, he conferred the honorary doctorate of humanities degree to the trio.

Gill, an experienced principal of Shree Cutchi Leva Patel (SCLP) Samaj School, an international institution based in Nairobi, with 57 years of experience was honoured for his desire to shape many great minds including some of the prominent Kenyans in the country.

“As an outstanding teacher, several political, religious and professional bigwigs have been midwife by him. Some of them include former Vice President, Kalonzo Musyoka; former Chief Justice, Willy Mutunga and former head of the Anglican Church, Arch Bishop, Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi,” a citation about Gill reads in part.

Gill is said to have progressively steered the SCLP Samaj School to be a leading academic centre globally since 1994 in the last 25 years putting it in the global academic map. “Under his careful watch SCLP Samaj School has been representing Kenya and Africa at the Global Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), for a record of five (5) years since 2014 and always emerging as joint top in the world with students from the institution winning gold medals besides cash prizes,” the citation further read.

He transformed Kitui and Jomo Kenyatta High Schools to talent and academic centres where he taught from 1965 to 1978 and 1978 to 1991 respectively as head principal.

He attributed his success as one of the successive senior educationists in the country to fellow teachers. “My doctorate has come from my colleagues in the teaching fraternity and friends since 1978 when I became principal,” he said urging Kenyans to support the new education curriculum, the Competency-Based (CBC) education program, which he said is a good thing to happen to the country.

Karia, a renowned Yoga Trainer was also awarded with the honorary degree for changing the lives of many street children in Kisumu city, some of them have grown to be successful and live decently.

“She conducted many humanitarian workshops like eye camps and medical camps under the Hindu Council of Kenya-Kisumu. And due to her experience with her patients in the hospital who suffered a lot and the compassion she had for them, she started teaching about “alternative therapies” and contributing to charity by feeding the street children,” a the citation about her works reads.

Karia said that she didn’t expect much. “Whatever my success is, ut is through my husband; children and friends who have stood by my work,” she said, bit quick to add that, “Whenever you reach, be humble. Humbleness is the best recipe of living with humanity peacefully, but we should also never stop studying,” she added.

On his part, Okatch, the country president of the International Association of World Peace Advocates in Kenya, the award reflects his commitment to lift suffering from the world through empowering people with spirituality.

The founder of Testimonies International, a church mission under Tishiyah Ministries has had the opportunity to interact and advise Heads of State across Africa. “For example, in February 2019, he had a meeting with the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa and was able to give him Godly counsel,” a citation on him reads.

He is known got his eminence as a peace ambassador, tasked with the mandate of promoting peace and unity in Kenya and the world at large.

“We pledge to serve people,” he said.

He added that peace in the country and the world at large is important for economic development.

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