Driver Recognition Programme 2016: WFP Kenya Wins 1st Fleet Forum Driving Champions Final in East Africa
14 top drivers who work for humanitarian organisations in East Africa were celebrated over the weekend of June 10 -11, while assessing skills in their area of work during the 1st Driver Recognition Programme in the region.
The Driving Champions Final, which took place at Lukenya Getaway in Kenya over the weekend, attracted more than 120 delegates in an effort to test the driving abilities and recognise the critical role drivers play in the last mile of programme delivery.
“Drivers have an extremely important role in humanitarian work. They take care of transportation of supplies in emergency areas in order to reach beneficiaries. They also ensure safety of staff members. They can make or break the success of an organisation,” said Executive Director Paul Jansen, Fleet Forum.
WFP and World Vision, Fleet Forum’s long-time partners, co-hosted the final event. Aside from the strong commitment of WFP and World Vision, several organisations stepped in to sponsor the programme, notably UPS, Catholic Relief Services, Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings, Terramar Networks and Globaltrack.
Simon Njaramba from WFP scored the highest points and was titled 2016 Driving. A delighted Njaramba who won a prize of $500 dedicated his prize to his family members, said “I was not sure if I would win but I did my best. Driving has its challenges but I still advice all drivers to be dedicated to their duty”
The 1st runners up and 2nd runners up were Benson Nyundo from World Vision Kenya and Adero Dickson from UNDP Somalia.
“One of the essentials of this competition was that the driver took into consideration safety of his passengers. We were also interested on how the driver would engage his gears when encountering a rough terrain and steep slopes,” said Ngoni Mariga, an assessor during the competition from Globaltrack.
Uzel Tole from World Vision Kenya explained that even if he did not win, he would make an effort to apply what he had learnt and emerge winner during next year’s competition. “The main aim of this event was not only to test their driving skills but also to bring out the importance of a driver’s work and train them on how to overcome the numerous obstacles that they would face while working,” explained Jansen.
This important event was made possible by funding from the FIA Foundation and UPS Foundation; these resources have facilitated the development of the entire programme. Subsequently, giving an opportunity to drivers to be recognized for their professionalism as they tackle challenging terrain while playing their important role in delivering humanitarian aid.
Over 275 drivers from 4 countries signed up to participate in the programme, and underwent a series of challenges to be selected as the best driver of their respective country office. Participating international humanitarian organisations included World Food Programme (WFP), GOAL, Catholic Relief Services, US Peace Corps, Marie Stopes and United Nations.