Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi Awarded 135 Gauteng youth with their Bronze and Silver President’s Awards for Youth Empowerment at a prestigious ceremony hosted by Castle Kyalami at the weekend. 

These phenomenal young people were offered the opportunity to participate on the Award Programme by their Schools, Residential Youth Care Facilities and a Youth Group. Some of the institutions included, Maphutha Secondary School, Tembisa High School, United Church Schools, Johannesburg Children’s Home, Othandweni Family Care, Strathyre Girls Home, Don Mattera Place of Safety, Kids Haven, Aryan Benevolent Home, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Place of Safety and uBambiswano.

The certificates attained by young people have the signatures of President Cyril Ramaphosa and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip and are globally recognised by universities and employers; increasing the employability of our youth. 

135 young people receive the prestigious President’s Award. Image: Supplied

In a survey recently done with award Alumni, only 2% of them are unemployed proving that the Award increases employability and access to further education.

The Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi had this to say “I have been concerned about the development of our young people in our country; but after hearing about this programme, I know we are okay. I want to congratulate The President’s Award for this initiative; count on my signature, count on my support. 

“Next time it must not only be about these schools but all our schools in the Province so that all our learners will have this kind of opportunity in a lifetime. We must have an education system that enables our children to be creative, innovative and improve their employability. As the Gauteng Province, from 2020, we are building a multi-certificated learner where every learner must have a soft-skill certificate.”

The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA) is proudly the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in South Africa; available to all young people between the ages 14–24 year regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills and interests. 

135 young people receive the prestigious President’s Award. Image: Supplied

The Award is currently implemented in Independent and Government schools, tertiary institutions, residential youth care facilities, correctional centres, secure care centres, community based organizations, faith based organizations and is also available to individuals.

“The award does not only give you a certificate, but also builds you as a person. I have learnt to communicate and not be afraid of the unknown. Receiving my medals for the Spelling Bee and Netball Tournament encouraged me to do more; the Award truly does enhance one’s capacity to achieve,”  said Bronze Award recipient, Don Mattera, Place of Safety.

The award provides a framework of non-formal education and provides experiential learning opportunities to help young people discover talents that do not necessarily show up in the classroom context.  The Programme brings together practical experiences and life skills, building confidence, resilience, encouraging physical health and recreation, and motivating young people to engage with their communities.

“I was first introduced to the Award in 2015 when I did my Bronze, it afforded me an opportunity to bring about the positive social change I would like to see happening,” said Silver Award Holder, Frans Maluleke, WITS University

135 young people receive the prestigious President’s Award. Image: Supplied

“For me, it is quite extraordinary that I used to hate and fear making speeches to an extent that in my early high school days; whenever I was required to make one, I would stay away from school that day. But through President’s Award, I managed to overcome that fear and today, I consider myself to be a professional public speaker in the making.” 

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 President’s Award for Youth Empowerment have been running for 36 years and currently have more than 55 000 young participants for the awards.

135 young people receive the prestigious President’s Award. Image: Supplied