- Amb. Obadiah received the Kenya Hero Honor under the category of Philanthropy.
- The award makes his work an enduring legacy and imprints an indelible mark on the nation’s development journey.
- He has been awarded before by many organizations for his humanitarian philanthropy at community, county, and national levels and beyond.
As Kenya celebrates Mashujaa Day today, October 20, 2023, it is a momentous occasion to pay tribute to the unsung heroes and heroines who sacrificed for the nation’s freedom and those who continue to inspire generations and national enthusiasm through their exceptional contributions to change communities.
Also known as Heroes’ Day, it is a time for Kenyans to unite and honor the nation’s past and present champions, showcasing their bravery, resilience, and unwavering commitment to shaping Kenya’s history.
In the spirit of devolution, this year’s celebrations were held in Kericho, one of Kenya’s devolved units. Uplifting the gains of having healthy citizens, the event’s theme was Universal Health Care.
As the nation gathered in unity, with the air filled with the spirit of patriotism, the name of Ambassador Dominic Obadiah, a humanitarian philanthropist, award-winning civility and peace ambassador, and certified life coach, was among the heroes whose remarkable feat instills a profound sense of national pride and unity.
Amb. Obadiah received the Kenya Hero Honor under the category of Philanthropy.
Born in Kisii County, Amb. Obadiah obeyed the calling, as he says, to become a humanitarian and serve humanity at a young age.
How it started
Nearly a decade ago, in 2014, he started acting on the desire he had been nurturing within his heart, immersing himself fully into humanitarian service, determined to improve people’s lives.
In 2014, Amb. Obadiah met Ann Webb, a Life Coach and Trainer from Utah, USA, and the Founder of Global Life Vision.
“She introduced me to service to humanity and nurtured my calling to touch lives. I worked with the organization from June 2014 to 2018.
Ever since, I’ve felt the inner fulfillment, satisfaction, and the peace and joy of serving humanity,” he told Scholar Media Africa in an exclusive interview.
Ms. Webb also owned Ideal LifeVision, a life-coaching and personal development training company, through which Amb. Obadiah was trained and certified as a life coach, becoming the first in Africa to be exclusively trained and certified by the entity.
He became the company’s President for Africa, representing the organization until 2018.
“I was involved in training Africans to identify their goals, write them down and strategize on how to achieve them. I was helping in putting vision, tangibility and reality to their goals,” he explained.
The award makes his work an enduring legacy and imprints an indelible mark on the nation’s development journey.
Making sense of the journey
“I have mentored many young people across Africa, helping them create goals about life, spiritually, health-wise, academically and otherwise, and to be more specific in working towards achieving them,” he says.
He has been doing this for years now, mainly meeting the young people in schools and organized groups.
Amb. Obadiah is the Founder of Nyamuya Community-Based Organization (CBO), through which he has continually partnered with different individuals steering change and like-minded organizations for a wider reach and more powerful impact.
“I have also been teaching youth and women on sustainable development options, especially, in farming, to help them generate income for themselves and also reduce malnutrition,” he says.
Having visited numerous families and conducted training sessions, especially in the Gusii region, Amb. Obadiah has taught families how to start kitchen gardens and grow vegetables in sacks and other easily manageable areas within their homes.
“With my other partners, we’ve reached over 300 women and trained them on growing vegetables in sacks,” he says.
This innovative approach to kitchen gardening has immensely combated hunger and malnutrition in their families and earned them some income, proceeds most of them have plowed back to supporting their children’s education by paying school fees and buying books and pens.
Academically in the same field, Amb. Obadiah is a trained and certified Humanitarian Diplomacy Chaplain with the International Institute of Humanitarian Diplomacy, USA, a training done at the International College of Peace Studies, Kenya.
Into touching more lives
Joining hands with Global LifeVision between 2014 and 2018, he sought the help of the organization’s founders, Ann and Scott Webb.
Together, they sought financial assistance and bought chicken, cows and over 500 goats, which they donated to widows and needy families.
“This was done across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana,” says Amb. Obadiah.
At the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, at Machame in Tanzania, the team also started off women by buying them tailoring tools and starting a tailoring project for them to generate income.
They started a project at Nyacheki, Kisii County, buying sewing machines and other tailoring tools to allow women to come and gain tailoring skills, own the machines, and start tailoring businesses.
The ripple effect was over a thousand lives touched over the years, with the beneficiaries being mandated to also donate the first fruits of the initial donation to their needy neighbors, selected by the community members.
Driven by the burning desire to change even more lives, Amb. Obadiah also lobbied for help from well-wishers, especially outside Kenya, to build nearly ten semi-permanent houses for needy widows, orphans, and other vulnerable community members, especially in the Gusii region.
“In Maasai Mara,” he says, “I was part of the team that steered the starting of a computer hub, where the youth can gain basic computer and related digital skills.”
Collaborating for humanity
In Uganda, the hero partnered with Days for Girls International, an organization making reusable and affordable sanitary pads and training girls and women on menstrual hygiene.
Similar centers have been started in Kenya after more women, even from Kenya, got trained, such as in Kayole, Bomet, Kisii and Eldoret, keeping more girls in school.
Earlier this month, Amb. Obadiah was part of a conversation on mental health and period poverty/justice, hosted by Together for Better Foundation, an organization founded by Aruna Varsani.
For years, Amb. Dominic has been championing mental health and wellness, especially among students.
With Family Humanitarian Experience, an organization from Utah, USA, he championed the successful drilling of water for communities in Mukwerero village, Sameta area in Kisii County, and another one in Nyamuya village, Kisii County.
The water has been to the service of surrounding villagers.
In partnership with different organizations, he has also supported community schools by repainting walls and buying books and sports tools for them.
For communities, they have held community health check-ups and medical camps and supported basic medical check-up machines, such as for measuring blood pressure, to local dispensaries and clinics.
Pre-Covid, with his Soccer Language Africa program, which he uses to win the hearts of young people in schools by donating soccer balls and pumps, engaging them in sports activities, and then sharing pertinent issues of life with them, he played an ambassadorial role of promoting peace.
Doing it at a time when arson was rampant in schools and students were torching schools regularly, Amb. Obadiah reminded them to hold on to character, conscience and courage, be morally upright, and focus on building their lives through education to become the change-makers of tomorrow.
To bring change to more communities, Amb. Obadiah has also partnered with Top Talent Agency, a publishing and personal development agency from the USA, to hold business empowerment sessions for young people in primary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities.
Since the first Kenya Keynote Tour in 2022, over 25,000 learners from tens of institutions have been impacted.
“I believe I have been called to serve humanity. I have never served to be awarded. However, because good has to be celebrated, I accept the awards that come my way,” says Amb. Obadiah.
He has been awarded before by many organizations for his humanitarian philanthropy at community, county, and national levels and beyond.
“I am so grateful that our country now recognizes people who are doing service to humanity. The more as a country we recognize and award needle-movers, the more people will focus on doing good,” he appreciates.
He says the hero award will shoot him to the stars, spurring him to do more from the feeling of the government’s appreciation and the deeper understanding that his impact is being felt far beyond the communities he’s serving.
“I dedicate this award to people who are doing good to serve humanity,” he says.
“My biggest award and honor is seeing more people turn around and become givers, a consciousness which will change countries positively and cement humanitarianism, peace, patriotism and civility,” he says.
To his fellow awardees, he hopes the honor will motivate them, springboard them to higher heights, and inspire them to double their efforts and do more good in all areas of their calling.
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To those who dream of bagging such awards one day, “Continue serving, your time will come and you will shine; continue clapping for others until your time comes, soon we’ll celebrate you,” he urges.