Save the Children Wins 2017 Fleet Forum Driving Champions Final in East Africa

12 top drivers who work for humanitarian organisations in East Africa were celebrated over the weekend of May 19 – 20, while assessing skills in their area of work during the 2017 Driver Recognition Programme.

The Driving Champions Final, which took place at Lukenya Getaway in Kenya over the weekend, attracted more than 110 delegates in an effort to test the driving abilities and recognise the critical role drivers play in the last mile of programme delivery.

Johnson Tumwebaze from Save the Children scored the highest points and was titled 2017 Driving Champion Final. A delighted Tumwebaze won a prize of $500 USD for the school fees of his children was extremely proud of this accomplishment. Johnson will return to the 2018 Driver Recognition Programme as the Defending Champion. This win is not only for Johnson, but also for his manager, Aeneas Mutumba, his colleagues in Uganda and Save the Children

The 1st runners up and 2nd runners up were James Sikenyi from World Food Programme and Douglas Mujidu from World Vision. This year, Fleet Forum also introduced a new award: Best Teamwork for the driver and manager who worked well together to tackle the challenges presented. UNICEF Ethiopia were the proud winners of this award.

“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, Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings, Globaltrack and Terramar Networks. It is through their unwavering support that Fleet Forum is able to facilitate such an event.

Humanitarian organisations like WFP, World Vision, UNICEF, Mercy Corps, Marie Stopes, Catholic Relief Services and several more participated. At the start of the programme in February, over 620 drivers from 12 organisations in 11 East African countries registered. Between February and May, Fleet Forum worked with the country and senior management of each organisation to identify their best driver, who then participated in the final event.

Each driver was accompanied by a senior representative of the same organisation, who served  as a ‘co-driver’, encouraging and cheering on for their drivers. Through a range of challenges, drivers were assessed on the their road safety, health and driving knowledge as well as their ability to operate a vehicle in strenuous conditions.

Fleet Forum launched this programme in 2015 with tremendous support from the UPS Foundation and FIA Foundation. The event was also covered by multiple media stations, notably national television broadcaster NTV and is available on their website.