The United Nations (UN) System in Kenya has selected Paralympian Henry Kiprono Kirwa to receive the “UN in Kenya Person of the Year” award for his recent success at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
Kirwa took a total of three gold medals last year in Beijing, winning in the Men’s 10,000m (T12), 5,000m (T13) and 1,500m (T13).
The selection of the “UN in Kenya Person of the Year” is made after an extensive round of consultations and voting by all members of the UN Communications Group, whose decision is endorsed by the heads of UN Agencies. The UN System in Kenya selects an individual or institution each year whose initiative has not attracted a great deal of publicity to them, but is involved in a sector where the UN system of organizations is also a player and who has succeeded in bringing to public notice significant issues related to the Millennium Development Goals. The selection also aims to find an individual whose achievements are sustainable and serve as an inspiration to all Kenyans.
The success of Henry Kiprono Kirwa is a result of hard work and perseverance, which have helped him to become endearing to the youth who are consequently encouraged toward succeeding in the future. Many young Kenyans are already following in Kirwa’s footsteps by working hard with their training and education.
Kirwa was born with a visually impairment in Kapsabet in the Rift Valley Province. He has demonstrated that disability is not inability and that through sport, youth can break away from poverty.
For more information about the United Nations and its Millennium Goals, please visit www.un.org/millenniumgoals.