Press release

Johannesburg, 23 March 2017

Young inmates to cycle 240 km in the Western Cape to Break the Cycle of Crime

Crime is a reality in South Africa and affects us all. Every night over fifty thousand young people in South Africa, between the ages of 14 and 25, are sleeping in a prison or secure care centre. The Western Cape is key crime area for youth, with gangs having turned their attention to schools. Gang violence and robbery are rife and drug merchants can be found in many schools. The Western Cape Province has the highest rate of alcohol and drug related crime in South Africa.

IK Swart President's Award Leader heads-up the 2015 BCC cycle tourBreak the Cycle of Crime (BCC) Cycle Tour 2017

Under the auspices of The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA), four youth offender Gold Award participants and others will be completing a 240 km cycle tour on mountain bikes through the Breede River Valley area in the Western Cape from the 4th to 7th April 2017.

There will be approximately 30 cyclists who will participate in the upcoming Break the Cycle of Crime (BCC) cycle tour including the four youth offenders, four correctional service officials, four SAPS officials and other current Gold Award youth participants and Award leaders.

The BCC cycle tour is an extraordinary project, envisioned by IK Swart, a committed and dedicated President’s Award Leader at Robertson Correctional Centre.  The group will cycle the 240 kilometres through the Langeberg region stopping at schools and communities en route to take a positive stand against crime and play their unique role in Breaking the Cycle of Crime in South Africa.

The BCC journey will begin and end at the Langeberg Secondary School in Robertson each day, with the finish on the last day happening at the Robertson Correctional Centre. The group will pass through McGregor and Ashton.

The first BCC event was held in 2015 and based on the success and impact of the initiative, this is the second BCC event and the vision is for this event to become an annual occurrence. This is the only cycle trip in the world where incarcerated youth cycle alongside free citizen youth and adults.

“TPA is working hard towards Breaking the Cycle of Crime in South Africa, by encouraging youth at risk to participate in the Award Programme.  The Award is a life-changing experience, helping young people to discover their purpose, develop their character and realise their true potential,” said Janine Hansen, Head of Operations at The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment.

Reaching out to youth offenders

The Award Programme was first introduced to correctional centres in 1994 by President Nelson Mandela.  Since then over 40 000 inmates have enrolled on the Award, over 30 correctional centres actively implement the Award.

Monwabisi Nteyiya, one of the TPA Gold Award recipients from Robertson Correctional Centre who participated in and completed the first BCC in 2015 said, “In prison there are many negative forces. Outside there are many challenges too.  When I was in the community, I used to be a negative leader who led many young people the wrong way, but … I now want to be a positive leader that can direct the youth to follow their dreams and make the most of their lives.  One cannot control your circumstances, but you can control yourself and your choices that ultimately determine your future.’

“I would like to see change in our society.  We need to transform our communities and to have less crime. The President’s Award can break the cycle of crime in communities by creating opportunities for youth to be engaged in positive activities like sport, service, adventure and skills development which can change their lives. If it changed me, in prison, I know it can change young people in the community as well. Give this Programme a chance in your centre, school or community.  And please help the President’s Award reach more young people who can benefit from doing the Award, as I did.”

Engaging with the community

En route the youth offender Award participants will stop at schools and youth centres with the aim of talking to young people about the choices they made that landed them in prison. They will talk about the choices they are now making that will allow them to leave prison better prepared to lead purposeful, productive lives and become active, responsible citizens.

“It was one of my dreams to offer our offenders the opportunity to interact with young people in the surrounding towns on their journey and share their circumstances that caused them to get involved in crime and at the same time to motivate these young people not to get involved in drug abuse or any activity that might link them to crime. They should ‘Beak the Cycle of Crime’ in the community before ending up in a Correctional Centre,” said IK Swart.

“The impact that TPA has had on Department of Correctional Services (DCS) participants is huge, they market themselves to the community outside and these offenders need to ‘practice what they preach’. This commitment has to be executed when they are released in the community. They put themselves in the spotlight,” he continued.

In addition to changing young lives through the BCC education programme and raising awareness, the young offenders wish to raise financial support to make this life changing programme available to 100 young people in the Western Cape.

Background to The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment

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 creates opportunities for 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 centres, tertiary institutions, etc. The Award provides a framework for non-formal education and has set guiding principles, with proven outcomes for young people who complete the Award.

Participants progress at their own pace through three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. There are four Sections to the Programme that must be done for a specified minimum period of time, for each level: Skills; Physical Recreation; Service and; an Adventurous Journey. In addition, a Residential Project is required for the Gold level. With guidance from volunteer adult Award Leaders, each young person reflects upon their interests, abilities and ambitions as they set themselves challenges throughout the Sections. On achieving an Award, participants would have developed many skills, behaviours and attitudes that equip them to succeed in life and work.

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 (046) 622 7273 or info@presidentsaward.co.za.

www.presidentsaward.co.za

 

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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 creates opportunities for 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 centres, tertiary institutions, etc. The Award provides a framework for non-formal education and has set guiding principles, with proven outcomes for young people who complete the Award.

Participants progress at their own pace through three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. There are four Sections to the Programme that must be done for a specified minimum period of time, for each level: Skills; Physical Recreation; Service and; an Adventurous Journey. In addition, a Residential Project is required for the Gold level. With guidance from volunteer adult Award Leaders, each young person reflects upon their interests, abilities and ambitions as they set themselves challenges throughout the Sections. On achieving an Award, participants would have developed many skills, behaviours and attitudes that equip them to succeed in life and work. 

www.presidentsaward.co.za

 

Issued on behalf of The President’s Award by Stone Soup Public Relations

For further information, please contact Daya Coetzee

daya@stonesoup.co.za, (011) 447 7241

 

Press release

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.

www.presidentsaward.co.za

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Captions:

Photograph 1

1. Dr. Cyprian Mkhabela, Mrs. Dineo Matsheka, Ms. Ntando Kunene, Mr. Nkagare Makhudu, Mrs. Palesa Matuludi and Mr. Chris Erasmus

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

Photograph 2

2. Dineo Matsheka, Trevor Shakwane, Ntando Kunene, Nkagare Makhudu, Palesa Matuludi, Regina Masango, Nicola Stevenson

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)

Photograph 3:

3. All The President's Award Mpumalanga Youth Participant awardees, Government representatives, TPA employees, Award Leaders and educators

All The President’s Award Mpumalanga Youth Participant awardees, Government representatives, TPA employees, Award Leaders and educators

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ThePresidentsAwardSA  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThePresAward?lang=en

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.

www.presidentsaward.co.za

Issued on behalf of The President’s Award by Stone Soup Public Relations

For further information, please contact Daya Coetzee

daya@stonesoup.co.za, (011) 447 7241

 

 

Front from left - Lara Kruiskamp, CEO of The President's Award with the late June Loff and DCS WC Award Leaders - see press release for other names

Press release

Johannesburg, 24 February 2017

Honouring “Mamma Loff” – for giving so many youth offenders hope and skills to build a new life

Most of us are born with ordinary means. Few turn the ordinary into the extra-ordinary. There is greatness in that. Using the simple, ordinary abilities you have to change what seems unlikely or impossible, into reality. June Loff did exactly that in her work as a correctional official and in her personal life as mentor to youth as a President’s Award Leader. Sadly, June passed away on 27 January 2017. She will be missed by all those whose lives she had affected in a profoundly positive way.

“June was a volunteer mentor working with young offenders as an Award Leader in The President’s Award (TPA). A programme, affiliated to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, which empowers young people between the ages of 14 and 25 by providing a balanced, non-competitive framework for self-development that will increase their self-esteem and enhance their capacity to achieve in whatever context they find themselves: enabling them to become responsible, active citizens within their communities. June was the most dedicated, passionate, incredible Award Leader. She guided many youth offenders through all three levels of The Award Programme and significantly impacted many young people’s lives. She treated those boys like her very own sons. We always loved our site visits with June and her boys at Brandvlei Maximum Correction Centre. Our hearts are heavy as we remember this very special lady with fond love and happy memories.” said Lara Kruiskamp, CEO of The President’s Award.

In 1986 June Loff joined the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and started her 30 year career at Polsmoor correctional centre. June became a President’s Award Leader whilst working at Polsmoor Medium Correction Centre. In 2007, she was transferred to Brandvlei Maximum Correction Centre.

Her memorial service was held at Brandvlei on the 2nd of February 2017. Reginald Volminck, Supervisor: Education at Brandvlei, paid a moving tribute to June saying, “The name June Loff is synonymous with The President’s Award. Her connection with TPA started in Polsmoor and when she was transferred to Brandvlei, it was a huge loss to Polsmoor, but Brandvlei gained much. TPA was her calling and passion in a male dominated environment.”

June was bold in the way she led the President’s Award Programme in the centre, acting not only as a mentor to all participants, but also a mother to all those she worked with, guiding offenders to learn from their mistakes. She was determined to carry on and make a difference, fully committed to their rehabilitation.

“June meant a lot to the inmates. She really cared about them and always had an ear to listen and encourage them. She was dedicated to her work to making sure that inmates were better people when they stepped out of the prison doors. She ensured that they were well equipped to make better life choices and she did not focus on their crimes, but on their potential. The rehabilitation process was very important for her and she turned the lives of many around. She was their other mother,” said Volminck.

Jason Coldicott, an inmate who participated in the President’s Award Programme under June’s guidance at Brandvlei, wrote the following reflection on the impact she had on his life, “I am so different from who I was and when I look back, that transformation is incredible. But, this is not something I could have done alone. It took one person’s unwavering belief that I was a better person to unlock that potential in me. Ms June Loff was that person. Her commitment to the people that society cast aside, her ability to look beyond our flaws and fears made her a force for change that we should all aspire to. I would not be where I am today without her strength and belief that there is good in all people. She may not have saved my life in the traditional sense of the word, but there is no doubt that I owe her my life.”

Gail Brecht, Programme Manager at The President’s Award, worked at the DCS Western Cape Regional Office when June first became an Award leader. At the memorial service, she reflected how, when June had her first group of Gold recipients, there was a TPA event where these inmates would be in the presence of their Royal Highnesses, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and the late Madiba. June wanted her Youth Participants to be dressed for the occasion and approached the DCS WC Regional Office, but was told that there was no budget available. June used her personal funds to hire suits and gold ties so that these young people would look their best.

“Most of us would have settled on the fact that there was no money, but good enough wasn’t good enough if June knew it could be better. It wasn’t about the suits and ties, but about their dignity and self-worth as young people who chose to change their lives around. She did not see them as “tsotsies” or “bandiete”, but as her own sons,” said Brecht.

When June was transferred to Brandvlei in 2007 and was placed at the maximum centre, she introduced the President’s Award Programme there. For most of the past decade it has been the only maximum correctional facility in South Africa implementing the President’s Award Programme. During this time June enrolled 249 inmates into the programme with 102 Awards being issued. Youth Participants are required to fulfil a number of set criteria that are aligned with the standards of this international Programme to receive Bronze, then Silver and finally Gold Awards. Not all Participants make it all the way through, even to receive a Bronze Award. June’s completion rate of 41% is higher than the average completions nationally and internationally, not just in correctional centres, but schools and community groups as well. It is particularly impressive that she achieved this within a very limiting structure and challenging environment.

“June changed our own perception of what can and should be done for all young people in correctional centres. She inspired international visitors and played a key role in motivating the roll out of The President’s Award in correctional centres in many other countries,” said Brecht, “We will not just remember June for her outstanding results on paper, but also how she embodied everything one can dream of in an Award Leader. She had unparalleled commitment and unequalled passion for youth development. What seemed impossible became a reality when June put her mind to it. Her deep love and concern for those young people was the driving force in her life.”

June did not just implement the Programme in Brandvlei maximum, but took The President’s Award into her community and started working with a small group of young people where she lived. In December last year, less than two months before passing away, June was actively involved in guiding and supporting the roll out of The President’s Award at Wakkerstroom maximum correctional centre.

One of the young men June mentored in her community, Bonga Ntunta, said in his tribute that he struggled, “finding the right words to describe Aunty June, because how do you describe an angel. … She was a mother not only to her own blood, but to any young child she crossed paths with. She changed not only hearts, but lives. Aunty June made me a better person. It’s because of her that I could find the passion for living and confidence to do things. … She believed in me, she believed in my crazy dreams and encouraged me to reach them.”

Volmick ended his tribute fittingly in saying, “Ma Loff’s life here has been one of service, kindness, unselfishly wanting to create a better environment for everyone she encountered. … We have lost a gem, a workaholic, a team player, a gumboot dancer, a loving person, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a colleague and a beautiful heart. She had unique character. We will miss her and may her soul rest in peace.”

For more information comment call:
Lara Kruiskamp 082 829 5853 Lk@presidentsaward.co.za
www.presidentsaward.co.za

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Caption:
Standing from left: Marcel Potts, Cyril Daniels, Maurice Da Silva, Jacobus Van Wyk, Andile Nelani, Correctional Services Department Western Cape Award Leader, Riaan Nonney, Conwe Flink ,Xolile Baba, Gail Brecht
Kneeling in front: Lara Kruiskamp, late June Loff, Sidwell Jonas, Pieter Verhoog

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThePresAward?lang=en

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.
www.presidentsaward.co.za

Issued on behalf of The President’s Award by Stone Soup Public Relations
For further information, please contact Daya Coetzee
daya@stonesoup.co.za, (011) 447 7241

Press release

Johannesburg, 28 February 2017

Awarding Mpumalanga youth for perseverance

Our youth are our future and encouraging young people to be the best version of themselves, regardless of where they come from, their race, gender or economic situation – is vital to building a better South Africa. This is exactly what the President’s Award for Youth Empowerment aims to do. Their vision is to reach as many young people as possible, between the ages of 14 – 24, from diverse backgrounds and equip them as individuals to succeed in life.

Youth Participants are guided by volunteer adult Award Leaders through three Award levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. 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. At the Gold level a residential project is also required. Enrolment is open to anyone between the ages of 14 and 24. Bronze and Silver levels take about six months to complete and Gold at least a year.

The Mpumalanga President’s Award ceremony is coming up soon on 4 March 2017 at Penryn College in Nelspruit  from 11h00-12h00. There will be about 70 young people attending. The groups getting awarded will be from Penryn College, Uplands College, Lowveld High, Fundinjobo High, Sabane Secondary, Mthombo Secondary, Sitintile High and Mamkhulu.org. The MEC for Education in Mpumalanga has also been invited to attend. There will be motivational talks, music and moving testimonials from Award holders and the actual awards ceremony.

The Award Programme is promoted through three broad target areas in South Africa:

  • Learning for Life: with the focus being on schools, tertiary institutions as well as youth organisations, such as the Scouts, Girl Guides and Sea Cadets
  • Phakama: caters for the specialised needs of community youth groups and residential child care centres, including children’s homes, shelters and secure care centres
  • Ready: targets young offenders within correctional centres

The President’s Award (TPA) is a non-profit organisation that 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.

This global framework for non-formal education is based on a number of guiding principles: each individual designs their own programme; this is a non-competitive personal challenge; the Award is voluntary; it fosters personal and social development; it provides a balanced framework to develop the individual’s mind, body and community spirit; it’s progressive; inspires people to exceed their expectations; it requires persistence; and it is enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding. There are clearly defined outcomes that include building confidence, resilience and determination, leadership, fostering relationships, planning and creativity. There are defined impact measures to ensure the long-term value of the Award to the individuals and society.

“Our long term ambition is that every eligible young person will have the opportunity to participate in the Award. As important as it is to reflect on our past achievements, it is vital for young people to consider their futures – the future of our country and their own individual futures. It is also important for youth to consider how their individual future will play a part in our country’s future. The President’s Award is a journey – to experiment and find out what one’s purpose and passion are in this world. It is about finding out who you are as an individual, what makes you unique and special and how you can contribute to making South Africa a better place,” said Lara Kruiskamp, CEO of the President’s Award South Africa.

ENDS

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.

www.presidentsaward.co.za

Issued on behalf of The President’s Award by Stone Soup Public Relations

For further information, please contact Daya Coetzee

daya@stonesoup.co.za, (011) 447 7241

 

Lara

It’s been an exciting and rewarding year for me personally, but also in my new position as the head of The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment. I’m so incredibly fortunate to witness the growth, development and blossoming of South African youth through the vehicle of The President’s Award. Everyday I’m once again reminded of the prosperous future of our great country simply by interacting and sharing with young people.

The opportunity, though overwhelming at times, comes with great responsibility. The onus rests on me, as the leader of this great organisation, to play an active role in ensuring that we deliver the very best in South African youth, and that’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly.

The President’s Award is part of a monumental movement in the history of our great nation and I’m so blessed to be a part of it. It is my wish that every young person who enrols on the Award Programme will succeed in more ways than they could ever have imagined. We look forward to an exciting 2016 through the Award Programme!

Lara Kruiskamp

CEO

The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment

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The United Nations Association of South Africa (UNASA) Living Spirit Project’s President’s Award candidates from Cloetesville and Kayamandi were recently treated to a great adventure in the Stellenbosch mountains during an adventure camp at the Christian Brothers Centre in Paradyskloof.

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The group enjoyed an adventurous hike in Paradyskloof.

The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA) is an international programme that helps young people aged 14-25, develop through skills, sport, community service and adventure. Karin Alexandersson, a Swedish intern with UNASA, joined the group with a session on the United Nations’ global goals, which were rigorously debated by the participants.

Eight volunteers of Ubuntu Hiking provided a jam-packed hike full of adventure, teaching valuable skills such as hiking, the proper way to pack a hiking bag, navigation, reading a map, using a compass and abseiling, among many other helpful activities.

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Scenarios of emergencies were created to provide the participants with practical ways in which to apply their basic first aid knowledge. The challenge was to find materials on the route so that the “injured” could be assisted. Participants could also look forward to learning about the fynbos found on the mountain, and how their ecosystems work.

Clyde Lamberts provided valuable knowledge about the fynbos found on the mountain and how the ecosystems there work. For many of the participants this hike was their first time, making this experience all the more remarkable and special.

For Chaz Dudley (17) it was the best camp ever. “We also discussed issues that concern the youth and came up with solutions. I will definitely recommend other youth to join the Living Spirit Project’s President’s Award.” Dudley said that it was his first hike. “This was a new experience for me. I am looking forward to do it again.”

Other skills acquired during the adventurous hike was survival, leadership, knowledge of endemic plants/fynbos on the route, pitching of tent and how to make a fire using flint. Through this activity participants learned to rely on each other, stretched their personal limits, discovered the beauty of the mountain on their doorstep, improved their team-building skills, as well as gaining a practical understanding of global goals 6, 7, 13, 14 and 15 that relate to sustainable use of the environment.

Saturday’s activities were completed with a lesson on the importance and awareness of the human rights and responsibilities of all people. The enthusiastic hikers tackled Stellenbosch mountain on the side of Paradyskloof. The group enjoyed an adventurous hike in Paradyskloof.

PHOTO: RAYMOND WILLEMSE

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The Grahamstown Youth Committee held its final Annual General Meeting for the year at Kingswood College, on 04 November 2015. Newly-elected Chairman, Julian Gardner thanked the committee for their support and congratulated the newly-elected board.

“My vision for next year is that each of us in the Committee grow as individuals and as a unit and through this we can accomplish our goals. We want to help more individuals not only to join the Award Programme but to learn from it and complete it,” Julian said.

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Members of the newly-elected Grahamstown Youth Committee with The President’s Award Project Coordinator, Phakama Nyakaza (far right).

 

 

Monwabisi Nteyiya

The Gold Award Ceremony was held at Bishops Diocesan College on Saturday, 17 October 2015. This year’s ceremony brought together youth from different cultures, races and backgrounds. However, these young people shared a common goal; they have endured the challenging requirements of The President’s Award to reach the Gold Standard. Amongst the recipients were the 12 participants from the Robertson Correctional Centre who recently completed the gruelling 240 kilometre, four-day cycle tour through the Langeberg region of the Western Cape.

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“When you get involved in positive things, it creates the opportunity to change.” Gold Award recipient, Monwabisi Nteyiya (pictured above).

Monwabisi Nteyiya, one of the Gold Award recipients from Robertson Correctional Centre, addressed the audience at the Ceremony and spoke of his time in prison and the impact of the Programme. This is his testimony:

“I was 19 when I went to prison for the first time. I have been sentenced twice for various offences. I heard about the President’s Award Programme and read information posted on the walls. I asked about it because I wanted to change. I completed my Silver in 2014 and enrolled on Gold after that.

Before doing the Award, I took people for granted and did not care about others. I have since learned to communicate and listen to others and hear their point of view. I have become more humble in my approach to people. Before doing the Award, I was not honest – not to myself or to others.

In prison it is easy to get bored, but when you do the Award activities you get to explore new things that stimulate your mind.  It helps you to change and develop some wisdom.  I learnt patience and leadership skills. When you get involved in positive things, it creates the opportunity to change.  I got involved with the newspaper in prison called New Beginnings and was editor for the President’s Award page and sport page.  My writing skills improved a lot as well as my ability to speak. I have even learnt to speak some Afrikaans.  We did various service activities:  gardening activities, painting and renovation, installation of irrigation system at an old age home, etc.  I have learnt that you can do something good for others without getting something in return.

I really enjoyed the 4 day cycle trip.  Going up and down those mountains taught me many lessons. We trained, but it was still very tough. Now I want to cycle more and do it again.  I was involved in sharing my testimony at a school and shared the reality and hardships of being incarcerated. I now have a strong need to warn young people about the dangers of crime and want them to learn from my mistakes. I really hope to continue with this work when I am released.

In prison there are many negative forces. Outside there are many challenges too.  When I was in the community, I use to be a negative leader who led many young people the wrong way, but when I am out, I now want to be a positive leader that can direct the youth to follow their dreams and make the most of their lives.  One cannot control your circumstances, but you can control yourself and your choices that ultimately determine your future.

I would like to see change in our society.  We need to transform our communities and to have less crime. The President’s Award can break the cycle of crime in communities by creating opportunities for youth to be engaged in positive activities like sport, service, adventure and skills development which can change their lives. If it changed me, in prison, I know it can change young people in the community as well. Give this Programme a chance in your centre, school or community.  And please help the President’s Award reach more young people who can benefit from doing the Award, as I did,” Monwabisi concluded.

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“You’ve been handed the tools to achieve greatness. You don’t have an excuse anymore. …Through perseverance and courage, you can achieve anything”. These were the words with which Mr Delekile Klaas, guest speaker at the Gold Award Ceremony of The President’s Award, congratulated the 60 youths who received their Gold Award at a special Ceremony recently held at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town on 17 October 2015. The Ceremony honoured the achievements of the Gold recipients who completed the challenging requirements of The President’s Award Gold Level.

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First Gold for Michael Oak Waldorf School: Well done Azhar Booley! Seen with Azhar (second from right), is Award Leader, Nick Chadwick (far left), CEO of the President’s Award, Lara Kruiskamp and Mr DJ Klaas, Regional Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services.

What makes the Gold Standard special?

The Gold Standard it is the highest level of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award for Young People. It requires commitment, perseverance and dedication to complete and participants are voluntarily involved in various activities over a minimum period of 12 months. A Gold Award Holder reflects a well-rounded individual who is equipped with skills, physically active, socially responsible, has a spirit of adventure and the determination to overcome challenges.

A Gold Certificate adds significant value to a CV and strengthens any job or student application. Gold Award Holders are invited to join the Alumni Association of The President’s Award, called SAGAHA, enabling them to stay involved with the Award, be exposed to national/ international youth events and continue to lead a life of significance, through the Award.

Reflections on the impact of the Award Programme, by two Gold Award recipients:

“In completing the President’s Award I have learnt vital life skills, the most important being independence, perseverance, social responsibility and leadership. Through the challenges of the Award, I discovered what I truly believed in and what it is that I want to stand for. As Joshua Marine said, ‘Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful’. It is by being pushed out of our comfort zone that we truly realise how much we are capable of achieving.”Robin Keet, Parel Vallei

 “The President’s Award has made me realise how unbelievably fortunate and privileged I am and has opened my eyes to the problems facing our country today. It sparked a desire for me to help make a change. … Not only has The President’s Award boosted my CV, but it has developed my passion for outreach which has led to me to start my own charity event. It has given me the opportunity to meet and build relationships with the most incredible people …”Luc Janssens, Bishops Diocesan College

Recipients from the following schools received Gold Awards at the Cape Town Ceremony:

Bishop’s Diocesan School
Bridge House College
Camps Bay High School
Herschel Girls High School
Herzlia High School
Michael Oak Waldorf School
Langeberg Secondary School
Parel Vallei High School
Rondebosch Boys’ High School
Somerset College
Springfield Convent School
St Cyprian’s School
St George’s Grammar School
St Joseph’s Marist

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 “A few years ago I was a drug addict with no direction and little ambition; I had no hope for the future. I began as a lost cause and I stand here today as a man with clarity and purpose. This is one choice I will not regret. The Award transformed me, and I will take what I’ve learnt and use it to build a brighter future for others around me.” 

Jason Caldicott – former inmate of the Robertson Correctional Centre.

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From 21 to 24 September 2015, 13 young offenders and beneficiaries of the Award will complete a 240 km cycle tour on mountain bikes throughout the Cape Winelands. The journey will begin and end at the Robertson Correctional Centre, in the Western Cape and will pass through Worcester, McGregor and Bonnievale. Enroute they will stop at four schools with the aim of talking to young people about the choices they’ve made that landed them in prison and the choices they are now making, that’ll allow them to leave prison better prepared to lead purposeful and productive lives.

The young offenders are well aware that too many South African children are not given the opportunity to realize their potential because they grow up surrounded by gangsterism, poverty, violence, and alcohol and drug abuse. Their aim is to raise awareness about the risk factors that contribute to the cycle of crime and propose that the Award Programme’s activities can be utilized to develop the interests, skills and resilience of young people who face the daily challenges of these negative influences. In addition to changing young lives through the education programme and raising awareness, the young offenders wish to raise support for the Award in order to enable 650 young lives to be influenced by enrolling and participating in the Award programme.

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The 13 young offenders, with the support of their Award Leader, IK Swart, and with the approval and blessing of the Department of Correctional Services will put Jason’s words into action. Their aim is to draw attention to the benefits of the Award Programme as a youth development tool and to influence young people to choose to enrol in the Award.

According to the Western Cape Department of Social Development, 1 in 4 children have had, or continue to have a parent or sibling in prison or abusing drugs and alcohol in the home. These are major risk factors which continue to threaten the development of children and young adults. The young offenders believe, as we do, that the Award can inspire a young person to believe in themselves, to develop resilience, to make positive choices and to envision a brighter future for them.

The national campaign has been inspired by the determined actions and civic responsibility of the young offenders and their Award Leader who believe that the Award can change lives and diverting young people away from a life of crime.

The project activity will focus on educating the young people at schools in the Langeberg and Breede River Municipal areas of the Western Cape, but the reach of the Crime Prevention and Awareness education will be national through our database and supporters of the Award which number over 10 000.

Each inmate would like to assist 50 young people to complete the Award programme. The cost for one young person to complete the programme is R1000. In total, 13 inmates would like to raise funds and awareness to assist 650 young South Africans complete the programme, and in the process to help prevent them from getting involved in crime.

You can be a part of a better, crime-free South Africa. Please donate by clicking on our GivenGain page.

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