Johannesburg, 6 March 2017
Celebration of youth achievement in Mpumalanga
In order to create a positive future for South Africa it is vital to equip young people for life and work. The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA) aims to foster well-rounded individuals who are equipped with skills, physically active, socially responsible and have a spirit of adventure and determination to overcome challenges. TPA is affiliated to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for Young People and is a full member of the International Award Foundation which oversees the Award Programme in over 140 countries globally, with 25 of these being in Africa, and a total of over one million active participants internationally.
At an inspiring ceremony, held at Penryn College in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga on Saturday 4 March 2017, the achievement of 61 young people from eight Award Units in Mpumalanga received Bronze and Silver Awards from The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment Programme (TPA). There were 49 Bronze and 12 Silver Awards handed out, both take a minimum of six months to complete.
In order to obtain these internationally recognised Awards, they are required to complete various sections of activity: developing skills; participating in regular physical recreation; offering service in the community; and completing an adventurous journey – for Bronze and Silver levels.
Youth Participants are guided by volunteer adult Award Leaders through three Award levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. At the Gold level a residential project is also required. Enrolment is open to anyone between the ages of 14 and 24.
The Bronze Awardees came from Penryn College (1), Sitintile Secondary (19), Sabane Secondary (10), Mthombo Secondary (7), Lowveld High (2), Mamkhulu.org (5) and Fundinjobo(5). The Silver Awardees came from Penryn College (1), Mamkhulu.org (9) and Uplands College (2).
These young people who achieved Bronze and Silver Award status received a badge and a certificate signed by President Jacob Zuma, who is Patron-in-Chief, and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is founder of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. The Awards were handed out by Chris Erasmus – Penryn College Headmaster, Miss South Africa – Ntandoyenkosi (Nthando) Kunene, Nkagare Makhudu – TPA Head of Programme and Dineo Matsheka – TPA Programme Manager for Mpumalanga.
Chris Erasmus opened the proceedings and welcomed the 100 attendees. Nkagare Makhudu then followed with some opening remarks, “The President’s Award is a badge of honour, a token of appreciation for one’s selflessness. The Award programme seeks to challenge you as a young person to discover your purpose, develop your character and determine your future in building a better South Africa. No one but you has power to bring change in your own community,’
“As we celebrate our Bronze and Silver awardees, I would like to urge private and public partners that we join forces in creating a network of 10 million young active citizens between the ages of 14 – 24, who will bring about social change and accountable leadership in our country. We can only achieve social return-on-investment if we create shared value.”
Dineo Matsheka, TPA Programme Manager for Mpumalanga, quoted the late Nelson Mandela saying, “The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. The President’s Award strives to build future leaders who will lead by example and understand the concept of Ubuntu.”
This was followed by moving testimonies by three Award Participants. Nicola Stevenson, a grade 11 at Penryn College, who received her Bronze Award and has started with her Gold, said, “The most challenging part of the President’s Award for me was to put myself out of my comfort zone. … Basically I just saw the world a little differently, from a new perspective, one I was glad about and I will try to keep. I would say that what I learnt about myself doing the Bronze Award is that I needed to change my perspective a little in life. … Sometimes we just need to take a step back and appreciate everything that is going right and not everything that is going wrong, to be a little optimistic.”
Trevor Shakwane, a grade 12 learner at Lowveld High School who received a Bronze Award said, “My advice to other young people not on The President’s Award programme is that they are missing out. … To avoid living your youth in vain, join the President’s Award and live a fruitful life. Values I obtained through The President’s Award are perseverance and patience, and during the period of facing challenges, empathy and compassion for others. The importance of team work and the idea that one has to be as strong as the weakest link in a chain. For one to be successful in life, there must be a sense of commitment, willingness, dedication, determination and most importantly, discipline. Together we stand, divided we fall.”
Reginah Masango, a grade 10 learner from Mthombo Secondary School, said, “I learnt to give, to have Ubuntu and make a difference in other people `s lives. I learnt that as participants we are one big family and we have a role to play in the community. What I learnt about myself is that I can persevere and I am resilient. I do not crack and break down when I am under pressure. The only advice that I want to give to other participants is that they must never give up. They must push themselves and achieve their dreams. The President`s Awards had a positive impact in my life. It has improved my confidence, self-knowledge and self-esteem.”
Miss South Africa, Nthando Kunene said, whilst competing for the title of Miss SA, “I may not have been the most beautiful girl in the room, but I strived to be the most educated woman in the group … so my brains were my ticket to the crown. I knew that once I start speaking you can’t deny me of anything, it was my strongest point. I never took the facial part and said that is what I am going to run with. I always talk to girls and say, don’t ever do that to yourself, you are not just a pretty face, you are not just beautiful, you are strong, you are capable, you are determined and you are so many things on top of that. Even with the boys, you are so much more than just handsome. You have so much to give – you have so much to contribute.’
“This Programme shows young people that they have so much to give to our society. It shows that we are able to give back, we are able to think of other people, we are able to put ourselves in situations that are not currently ours in order to do good. That’s what being young is all about, it’s about exposing yourself to opportunities. Don’t deny yourself of anything and don’t give up easily, don’t quit. If you really want something you stick to it full-force and you say I am going to make it.”
Palesa Matuludi, TPA Programme Manager for Gauteng and North West Provinces, concluded the ceremony with a vote of thanks, “Congratulations to the 61 awardees. I have seen how much you have grown in the past year, your confidence, organisational and people skills. I am proud of the people you have become and the value you added in the lives of others through your community service. Today we particularly celebrate the growth of the Award in rural schools. We look forward to partnering with local businesses and reaching more young people who need this amazing developmental opportunity.”
TPA is a registered non-profit organisation (004-920NPO) with Public Benefit Organisation status, registered with SARS (PBO#930001329). For more information, to enrol, volunteer or to sponsor TPA contact Lara Kruiskamp on 082 829 5853 or Lk@presidentsaward.co.za.
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From left to right in front row: Dr. Cyprian Mkhabela (Dept.of Education: Mpumalanga), Mrs. Dineo Matsheka (TPA Programme Manager for Mpumalanga), Ms. Ntando Kunene (Miss SA 2016), Mr. Nkagare Makhudu (TPA Head of Programme), Mrs. Palesa Matuludi (TPA Programme Manager for Gauteng and NW Province) and Mr. Chris Erasmus (Head of Penryn College)
In the back row: Youth Participant awardees
From left to right: Dineo Matsheka (TPA Programme Manager for Mpumalanga), Trevor Shakwane (grade 12 learner at Lowveld High School), Ntando Kunene(Miss SA 2016) , Nkagare Makhudu (TPA Head of Programme), Palesa Matuludi (TPA Programme Manager for Gauteng and NW Province), Regina Masango (grade 10 learner from Mthombo Secondary School) and Nicola Stevenson (grade 11 learner at Penryn College)
All The President’s Award Mpumalanga Youth Participant awardees, Government representatives, TPA employees, Award Leaders and educators
About The President’s Award
The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA) is affiliated to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for Young People and is a full member of the International Award Foundation which oversees the Award Programme in over 140 countries globally, with 25 of these being in Africa, and a total of over one million active participants internationally. TPA is a registered non-profit organisation (004-920NPO) with Public Benefit Organisation status, registered with SARS (PBO#930001329).
TPA motivates young people to develop character, discover their purpose and determine their future to contribute towards building a great South Africa. The Award Programme targets 14-24 year olds across the socio-economic spectrum, from public and private schools, children’s homes, correctional services centres, universities, etc. A global framework for non-formal education has set guiding principles, outcomes for young people and impact measures.
Youth Participants progress at their own pace through three Award levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. There are four sections to the Programme for each level: 1. Skills Development; 2. Physical Recreation; 3. Service to the Community and; 4. an Adventurous Journey. In addition, a Residential Project is required for the Gold Award level. With guidance from volunteer adult Award Leaders, each young person builds confidence by reflecting upon their interests, abilities and ambitions to set themselves challenges.
Issued on behalf of The President’s Award by Stone Soup Public Relations
For further information, please contact Daya Coetzee
email@example.com, (011) 447 7241