Positive Psychology Entity in Kenya to Foster Ethical Living in Planned Training: Official

A poster announcing the training organized by members of the Positive Psychology Association of Kenya (PPAK). Credit: Courtesy Photo

The training that members of the Positive Psychology Association of Kenya (PPAK) have organized this month seeks to go beyond the usual focus on “life skills”, an official of the Kenyan entity has said.

In an interview with ACI Africa, the Chairman of PPAK said that the three-day training that is scheduled to start on July 6 in Nairobi will seek to foster ethical living, with participants initiated in character transformation that takes into account both “character strength” and “character values”, which are essential in making ethical decisions.

“What this program means is that life skills alone cannot solve problems, because somebody can have excellent life skills and still be unethical,” Fr. Selvam Sahaya told ACI Africa during the Friday, June 30 interview.

Fr. Selvam shared about the motivation behind the planned training, saying that while many capacity building initiatives have usually focused on imparting life skills, the aspect of character formation has oftentimes been overlooked.

He faulted politicians and Chief executive officers (CEOs) who have gained life skills over the years and keep making unethical decisions. Such leaders, PPAK Chairman said, “are not morally informed; they are not using life skills to make morally right choices for humanity and that is why we need character training.”


The training targets teachers, Catechists, youth ministers, counselors, and Pontifical Missionary Childhood (PMC) animators among others, the member of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) told ACI Africa, adding that the focus on character transformation envisions individuals who flourish and communities that thrive.

Fr. Selvam, chairman of the Positive Psychology Association of Kenya (PPAK). Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Chairman of the Kenyan entity that fosters the approach in psychology that focuses “on well-being and happiness” underscored the value of human progress that goes beyond “money and economy”.

“We actually need a thriving community and flourishing individuals who are not just based on money and economy but on moral lives,” he said hinting to the content of the planned PPAK Character Coach training that is to be realized in partnership with Don Bosco Youth Educational Services (DBYES).

Clarifying about participants in the Character Coach training that is to be held at DBYES in Karen, Nairobi, the holder of a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of London described the program as “accommodative”.

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The July 6-8 training, Fr. Selvam said, is not restricted to “any particular qualifications but anybody who is ready to pass on the skills to any group of people, especially young people, can attend.”

Those to be trained will become “life coaches” who will have the responsibility of training others seeking to achieve character transformation, the Indian-born Professor in Psychology and veteran educationist who previously served in academic administration at Nairobi-based Tangaza University College (TUC) told ACI Africa.

“Character coaches will be exposed to the content of the manual including the practical skills in training other people in character (transformation),” Fr. Selvam said about the three-day training that is part of PPAK’s program dubbed, “character coaches training, beyond life skills”.

Upon participating in the training, the character coaches “will go out and form character clubs for young people aged between 12 and 30 years,” the PPAK Chairman said, adding that the choice of young people is based on the fact that the youth can be molded with relative ease compared to their adult counterparts.

The training has been divided into three units, the Salesian Priest said about the planned workshop that PPAK board members will facilitate and accredit, and added in reference to those to be trained, “We shall give them certificates of participation after they have attended all the three modules and have graduated from three clubs using these three modules; then they will be given an additional certificate as accredited character coaches.”


An accredited character coach can conduct similar trainings in institutions of learning, health facilities, and church contexts among other venues, Fr. Selvam told ACI Africa during the June 30 interview. 

Additional information about the July 6-8 Character Coach training, including contacts and costs, is given here.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.