The top 12 humanitarian drivers in East and Southern Africa were celebrated over the weekend of 24-25 May while assessing their skills in their area of work during the 2019 Driver Recognition Programme. The Driving Champions Final, which took place at Lukenya Getaway in Kenya over the weekend, attracted more than 130 delegates in an effort to test the driving abilities and recognise the critical role drivers play in the last mile of programme delivery.
Salim Masete from World Health Organization (WHO) Kenya scored the most points and was therefore titled the 2019 Driver Champion. Salim won a prize of 500 USD and was extremely proud of this accomplishment. This win is not only for Salim, but also for his manager Eric Manas, and his colleagues in WHO.
The 2nd place went to Issa Byamukama from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Uganda. Our female driver Emily Soi from World Vision Kenya, who came in 3rd place, was the first woman to qualify in the top 3 drivers. We recognise Emily’s professional skills and congratulate World Vision for diversifying a profession that is often male- dominated.
Not only did we recognise the top 3 drivers, but also awarded Best Teamwork, for the driver and manager who worked as a true team together to tackle the challenges presented. Numeri Chenere and Thom Chabwera were the proud winners of this award.
“To all drivers - we crafted this programme to ultimately express our gratitude to you. As a professional driver, you have a great deal of responsibility. Not only do you help us reach beneficiaries, but also our well-being and safety is in your hands. The main reason we have all convened here, is to celebrate you and your hard work. ”says Nikita Udhwani, Fleet Forum Delivery Director.
World Vision, Fleet Forum’s long-time partner and Board member organisation, was again the Humanitarian Host for the final event. Aside from the strong commitment of World Vision, several Fleet Forum commercial members stepped in to sponsor the programme, notably Title Sponsor UPS, and sponsors Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings (TGS) and TerraMar Networks. It is through their unwavering support that Fleet Forum is able to facilitate such an event.
TGS and local partner Toyota Kenya teamed up together to design six challenges to assess the professional drivers. These challenges ranged from city driving, mechanical knowledge to off-road driving and recovery skills.
WHO, WFP, World Vision, UNICEF, Mercy Corps, Marie Stopes International, CRS, Save the Children, UNFPA, IOM and new Fleet Forum member Action Against Hunger all participated. At the start of the programme, over 900 drivers from 49 country offices in 14 African countries registered. Between January 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. The final event simulates a typical day in the life of the driver. Through a range of challenges, drivers were assessed on their road safety, health and driving knowledge as well as their ability to operate a vehicle in strenuous conditions.
As Road Safety is one of our core values, for the first time this year a debriefing session was organised in the morning after the event, to give the drivers feedback on their safe driving and technical skills. The feedback session was facilitated by Jean-Philippe Lezeau from TGS and also included safety lessons from the challenges and technical tips to enhance the longevity of the vehicle.