He Award was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1956 as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The aim was to motivate the young to become involved in a balanced programme of voluntary self-development activities to take them through the potentially difficult period between adolescence and adulthood. Since 1956, the Programme has developed and grown and now reaches young people in over 100 countries under several different titles. The programme in South Africa was initiated by Nelson Mandela and is called The President’s Award.
The Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. The aim is to realise their potential and to conquer their challenges. The challenge is for young people to make things happen rather than waiting for things to happen for them.
The award is balanced. The four sections provide a framework to encourage physical activity, mental challenges, individual perseverance, teamwork and interaction with other people. The young person is required to challenge themselves for their own personal growth and development and they are also required to appreciate the needs of other people and help them. After doing the Award, participants should be aware of the role they can play in helping their community.
To achieve a Gold Award requires a lot of dedication and hard work. To achieve this prestigious award, recognised throughout the world the participant would had to complete the following.
Participants are required to undertake a purposeful activity, with people who are not friends, in an unfamiliar residential setting like going to stay in an orphanage. The activity takes place over a period of at least 4 nights and five consecutive days.
Participants may choose a physical activity they do on their own or as part of a team. They must do it for a year and show improvement. In the case of a team sport, it is the individual participants personal effort and commitment that counts.
This section should stimulate new interests or improve existing ones. For a year or more participants must show dedication and improvement in this skill. Skills can include hobbies, vocational or job-related skills, social and individual activities, cultural activities of life skills.
Participants are encouraged to interact with people who are experienced in the activity and so can share their enthusiasm and knowledge.
This is the most challenging of the sections as it takes a lot of dedication. Over a period of a year or more participants are required to do 72 hours of community service. A log is kept and signed off by an adult to prove that it was completed. To be able to complete the service in a year participant must do more than an hour of community service every week.
After completion of the award. The portfolio of all the activities is compiled and assessed by the Award leader before it is sent to TPA for approval. If approved the participant receives a certificate and badge. Gold Award recipients join the Alumni association.
Aliwal North High School have had a few students who have been successful in completing this prestigious award.
Daniel Bezuidenhout 2011
Herman Du Randt 2011
Ryno Swart 2012
Zanie Freidberg 2014
Altus Geldenhuys 2016
Benn Rens 2017
Talia Oosthuizen 2017