Qhama Dyakula, an Award Holder of The President’s Award is off to Germany.
He was selected with 3 other adults, by the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC).
This young man who has learnt that growing up amidst challenging circumstances in a township with a single, unemployed mother, does not have to limit or prevent one from reaching his/her dreams.
He holds a degree in Human Movement Science from the University of Fort Hare. Qhama is the first from his peers that pursued his studies and completed a tertiary degree.
At the end of July, he embarks on a journey to Hanover, Germany, where he will be involved in various sport development programmes, assisting with sporting facilitation and promoting healthy life styles.
Qhama was born in Port Elizabeth, but resided in Port Alfred since high school. It is there that he was introduced to the Duke of Edinburgh International Award, known in South Africa as The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment.
His aunt, who was employed by the Department of Social Development, encouraged him to participate in the Award. He successfully completed all three Levels: Bronze in 2009, Silver in 201 and Gold in 2013.
When asked why he was so motivated to complete all 3 Levels of the Award?, Qhama replied, “ I did a bit of research myself and got insight of the Programme and how it changed people’s lives. I knew it could play a role in my career and make me more employable”.
Participating in the Award equipped Qhama with countless valuable lessons and inspired him to “stay conscious and keep negative thoughts out of my mind.
The Award Programme opens your perspective. Even though you may find yourself in a negative environment, it helps you to be a positive individual.
Your self-esteem is developed as you network and engage with other people”, he said. According to Qhama, the adventurous journeys or hikes he had to complete as part of the Award, taught him “to not give up and to keep going. When you reach the end of the journey, you know that you can achieve more than you thought”.
Carrying out service proved beneficial to him, considering “you do it voluntarily, choosing to spend your free time with e.g. the elderly and helping them with gardening, renovation, etc. You get more blessings from helping others. One hand helps the other”, he said.
Qhama recognises the challenges facing young adults versus the high unemployment rate of 28% in South Africa. Port Alfred offers a social media platform for unemployed young people where opportunities are shared. His advice to such young people is to “not just sit at home and wait for someone to call you.
Get up and do something. Even if you volunteer. Have a positive attitude and make your mark whatever skill you have. People will see you are serious about working and that you do have something to give”.
It is this attitude that paved the way from sitting at home for a year to starting volunteering in 2017. A few months later he was offered an internship at the DSRAC in Grahamstown where he heard of the exchange opportunity.
“I used the little money I had to pay my transport to work where I volunteered, but it paid off” he added. He is enthusiastic about this opportunity and the new prospect and occasion that awaits his arrival in Germany.
Futhermore more this marks Qhama’s first flight and visiting abroad.
“I am grateful to have the support of family and friends, especially my mother who always encouraged me, and for what I have achieved in spite of the circumstances I grew up with”.
Stories of Hope is a partnership between TYI and TPA
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