The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award


28-March-2016

84 get Gold, 67 awarded Silver and Bronze

 

Over 150 young people have been awarded after successfully completing the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, also known as the President’s Award Programme.

Eighty-four got their Gold award while 50 have been awarded Silver award and 17 Bronze.

The Gold award presentation ceremony took place last Thursday at the International Conference Centre (ICCS) on Mahé while that for the Silver and Bronze award took place on Saturday afternoon at the Deepam Pradiso cinema on Praslin.

The ceremony on Mahé took place in the presence of Vice-President Danny Faure; the secretary general of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation John May; the chairman of the National Award Authority Alain Volcère; government ministers; members of the National Assembly; volunteers of the President’s Award programme; parents and friends of the young award recipients.

(During his visit Mr May also paid a courtesy call on Vice-President Faure at State House).

VP Faure told the recipients that this award represent their perseverance, willpower and sacrifice they have shown during the programme.

“This accomplishment is a tribute to your skills, motivation and drive by which you have fulfilled your assignment over the past several months,” he said.

“The new skills and experiences that you have acquired have assets that will stand you in good stead. The government will continue supporting youth empowerment initiatives, such as the award programme which aims to provide our youths with what it takes to mould them into responsible citizens in the society,” Vice-President Faure added.

Mr Volcère pointed out that the effect the programme has on the youths shows that it enables them to build self-confidence and improve their well-being.

He noted that since the programme started in Seychelles 2700 youths have undergone the programme, 347 of whom have completed their Gold.

Initially the programme was based on membership to the international award association, but today to run the programme the country needs a full license, which was duly presented to the National Award Authority at the end of the ceremony.

The programme will now be operated in all schools and establishments in the country.

The ceremony on Praslin started off with inspiring remarks from the national director of the programme Gerard Pierre, who congratulated the recipients as well as encouraged them to keep striving for greater heights towards the Gold award.

“This programme which aims at equipping young individuals with life skills through informal education also serves to empower them so that they can in turn empower others to make a positive change in their communities. What better place to empower others than through the world’s leading youth achievement award, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award,” stated Mr Pierre.

Regional director Edwine  Kimani encouraged those who took part to know themselves and their strengths and weaknesses so as to build up from there, while the secretary general of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, John May, briefed them on the power of team work, believing in themselves and taking action to be successful in life.

The recipients, who included youths from Praslin and La Digue, also included five young individuals from the International School on Mahé, the first involvement of a private school in the programme since its reactivation in the year 2000.

All recipients received a newly rebranded certificate and pin.

During the ceremony a group of six young recipients also performed an uplifting song – ‘The Greatest Love’.

Denis Antat, award leader responsible for Praslin/La Digue, said: “This is a great achievement for us on Praslin, and demonstrates the dedication and hard work of teachers and award leaders who contribute their time on a voluntary basis to ensure the future of our youth.”

“We take this opportunity to call upon more individuals from our islands to partner with us in volunteering as well as sponsoring this positive programme which has a remarkable impact on the lives of our youth,” he added.

Stephy Barbe, Silver award recipient, said: “The programme is fun and exciting, I am very happy to have joined and today I feel very proud to have received my Silver award. Though the expedition was very tough I managed to pull through and will now target the Gold award.”

Mr May said he is happy with the number of recipients bearing in mind the country’s small population, as well as the enthusiasm shown by the Seychellois participants.

“This shows the amount of time and importance invested in the programme by all partners – schools, the government, parents, teachers and others. Recipients are interested in all components of the programme and that is very good,” Mr May shared.

The ceremony closed with a vote of thanks by Diguoise Lorinda Fanchette who thanked their parents, teachers and leaders for their support and guidance.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award was first introduced in Seychelles in 1976. Although it has changed over the years, the basic principles of the programme remain the same, but the activities and delivery continue to evolve and adapt to suit the changing demands of modern society and the varying needs of young people. The award is now a major international programme recognised and used by organisations working with young people throughout the world. In Seychelles the award programme was re-launched in 2000 as the President’s Award Scheme after being dormant for quite some time.

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