Nearly 1,000 schools entered the ‘Dear Barack Obama – Dear John McCain’ competition run by the Mbegu Trust in 2008 in which some 15,000 students from across Kenya expressed what they hoped for from the new President of the United States. The prize money received by schools as a result of their students’ winning the competition helped to buy books, computers and science laboratory equipment, to build dormitories and install a hot water system.
For 2009, the Mbegu Trust, a charity established to support the development of education in Kenya and East Africa, is running the ‘Lead On!’ competition open to all secondary school students in Kenya. The theme of the competition is ‘leadership’. Students will be asked to write an article of up to 600 words on the subject of ‘The leadership we need to build the Kenya and Africa we want’ and a further 200 words (maximum) on the subject of ‘How I can play a leading role’.
The aim of the project is to interest, inspire and guide students to investigate the concept of ‘leadership’ in all its forms, define ‘leadership’ in the context of their daily lives, express their views as to the type of leadership required to achieve the Kenya/Africa they want to see in the future, and to consider their own potential as leaders and they role the could play.
The format for the competition’s delivery is a four-page newspaper-style publication – The Young Kenyan Leader (of which 30 copies are enclosed for your use) which together with the accompanying material provides guidance for teachers and students.
The competition has been specifically designed to be a valuable tool for schools to teach core subjects in line with the national curriculum, including the English, History and Government, and Life Skills elements of the syllabus whilst giving students the opportunity to learn about feature writing.
Principals and teachers may like to ask students to take part in the ‘Lead On!’ competition before the end of the second term, as a project over the August holiday, or to take part in the third term before the national exams in October, provided entries are delivered by the closing date for the competition, Monday 16th, November.
The ‘Lead On!’ competition will be judged on the originality, depth of argument and composition style of the entries. Eight winning students will each receive Ksh 20,000 and their respective schools Ksh 100,000 each. Eight runners-up will each receive Ksh 5,000. Two winning students will also be offered internships by The Nation Media Group.
The project also includes a separatecartoon competition in which students may submit a cartoon on the subject of ‘leadership’, or the Kenya/Africa they live in, or want to see for the future (see Page 3 of the Young Kenyan Leader for details and advice from ‘Gado’, The Nation newspaper’s leading cartoonist, on what makes a good cartoon). Students may use any medium they like – pencil, pen or paint, for example. Entries will be judged on originality and ability to deliver a clear message rather than on drawing skills.
Students entering the cartoon competition should clearly write their name, school and school contact details (address and telephone number) on the back of the entry and send it to the Mbegu Trust in the same way as the ‘Lead On!’ competition. The eight winning entrants to the cartoon competition will each win Ksh 5,000.
Please note that students may enter either competition, or both, but that only one entry per student, per competition, will be accepted and that the two competitions will be judged separately.
Entries to the ‘Lead On!’ and/or the cartoon competition may be delivered by the competition’s closing date/time of 5pm on Monday 16th November, 2009 (please mark all envelopes containing entries ‘Mbegu Trust, Lead-On Competition’ and up-to-date contact details for your school included on the returns) by any of the following methods:
· Directly to the Mbegu Trust, Argwings Kodhek Grove, Nairobi;
· To any Kenol Kobil, Fargo Courier, or Air Kenya outlet (list enclosed);
Please note, entries to the ‘Lead On!’ competition do not have to be submitted on the form provided on the back page of The Young Kenyan Leader but all entries to the ‘Lead On!’ and/or the cartoon competition must carry the name of the student and his/her school or college.
We do hope that you will encourage participation in what the Mbegu Trust believes is an exciting, interesting and fun project for your students, an excellent educational tool for your staff and a great opportunity to win substantial funds for your school.
The Mbegu Trust would like to express its sincere thanks and deep gratitude for the support and assistance provided by the Minister of Education, Hon. Professor Sam Ongeri, the Permanent Secretary Professor Karega Mutahi, CBS, the District Education Officers and the ministry’s staff at all levels, and the financial and logistical assistance given by the project’s sponsors – Kenol Kobil, The Nation Media Group, Fargo Couriers and Air Kenya - without whose support this project would not have been possible.