So you are interested in being a volunteer and running the Award Programme with a group of young people?


We have over 600 Award Leaders nationally who run the Award Programme – they are – like you – teachers, prison warders, community youth workers, social workers, who have a PASSION for youth empowerment in South Africa.

You might like to check out the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS below to get an idea of what it is all about.

If you still have some more queries or would like to be invovled, contact your nearest Regional Office, which are situated in Gauteng, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.


Where do I get information from regarding how to implement the Award Programme with young people I work with?

The basic framework of the Award components, levels and what is required is on this webpage (see the link here). If you need further information contact the relevant regional office.

What is the minimum number of young people I can work with?

There is not a minimum number and it depends on the circumstances that you are in. It is good to have a group of at least 8 or 10, as this motivates members of the group to stay focussed and to complete the Award journey.


What is the value of the Award Programme for young people in my care?

The value is experienced on a number of levels: increased self-confidence, ability to plan, decision making, leadership opportunities, recognising the need to serve others. It is a great, flexible framework for young people to set personal goal within. We find that when young people start at Bronze, move on to Silver and ultimately go for and achieve Gold, the Award becomes a way of life.


Is it recognised? And by whom?

The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment is a full member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, which operates in over 140 countries around the world (see www.intaward.org for the list of countries). It is therfore recognised internationally. In South Africa, the Award is endorsed by the Presidency and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) as part of the National Youth Service (NYS).

Young people use their Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates in job applications, tertiary education applications and gap year placements. The current registration form for the WITS University Health Sciences Faculty lists The President’s Award Bronze, Silver and Gold for the applicant to “tick off”.

Some tertiary institutions provide fee discounts for applicants who submit their certificates as part of their application.


Will I get to link up with other volunteers who run the Award Programme in my region?

In some regions there are good networks with other volunteers.  Group Meetings are convened in a region for volunteers to share the best practice, share resources and ideas and to overcome challenges in their Award Units. Contact your Regional Office for more details.


Do volunteers get paid a stipend?

No. There are over 600 volunteers nationally. They are a critical component of what is achieved through the Award Programme and not one of them receives a stipend. They remain committed to seeing young people through the Award Programme because of the impact they see on young people.


Does The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment pay for activities that my participants are involved in?

No, not normally. We encourage Award Leaders to source local resources to achieve the Award objectives. This approach is much more sustainable and is underpinned by the ABCD of development … Asset Based Community Development. There are local resources, even in commonly termed “under-resourced areas”. We just need to unearth them! Discuss ways of finding those resources locally with your Regional Office.


I see there is an enrolment fee. What if the youth in my group, can’t afford the fee?

The enrolment fee is a nominal fee which assists with the basic administration of the Award Programme. The reality is that the real cost per participants involved in South Africa, is more than double the enrolment fee – so all young people on the Award Programme are subsidised! The enrolment fee is … click here.

We don’t turn young people away if they can’t afford the enrolment fee, but we do encourage a contribution as this engenders commitment to the Award. Please speak to the regional office to look at options.


If I choose to run the Award Programme with my youth, is there a formal agreement that is signed?

Yes. Our Regional Programme Manager will share with you a concise Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which lists the responsibilities of both The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment and your Award Unit.  This document is signed by the Head of the Institution you work within and the CEO of the Award in South Africa.  Once signed, you are deemed to be an Award Unit and are entitled to operate the Award in your centre.  On signing of the MOU, you will be presented with a framed certificate indicating that you are entitled to operate the Award Programme.


Can young people enrol at different times in the year?

Yes, they can.


What is the average length of time that a young person spends on each level?

If a young person was 100% committed to achieving their Bronze, Silver and Gold Levels in the minimum time, it could take 2 years. However, the reality is that it can take between 3 to 5 years to achieve all 3 levels. Recent research conducted by the Award in South Africa suggests that on average Bronze takes 10 months, Silver takes 11 months, and Gold takes 16 months.

Are there opportunities for joint projects (service, hikes, skills, adventurous journey) with other groups in my area?

Yes there are. These are usually publicised by our Regional Programme Managers to Award Units within a region. If you would like to find out more, please contact your closest Regional Office.

If a young person completes their Bronze Level, are they deemed to be instantly enrolled on the Silver Level?

No. They must complete and enrolment form, and pay the additional enrolment fee. They should inform you of their intention to continue so that activities that they are currently involved in can count towards their next level.


What happens at Award Ceremonies?

If you are at a school, it is great to be able hand out Bronze and Silver Awards at your school assembly, so that the profile of the young people achieving their Awards is seen by their peers. For youngsters in community youth groups and residential youth facilities, regional Award Ceremonies are arranged, annually. Contact your Regional Office for more information.

Gold Award Ceremonies are held every two years and in recent years have been officiated by senior Government Ministers as well as HRH Prince Edward from the United Kingdom, who is chairman of the International Council of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.