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President Zuma pays tribute to young pioneers

Written by Albert Pule

Youth matters

Young people should play a leading role in the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) as the future of the country lies with them.

Photo caption: The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward with Lusanda Mhlungulwana, an inmate who received a President's Award from President Jacob Zuma recently.This was said by President Jacob Zuma at the President's Awards for Youth Empowerment ceremony in Cape Town recently. “We want the youth to own the NDP and to be part of its implementation, as it is designed to make this country a better place for them.”

Now in its 30th year, the President’s Award for Youth Empowerment is an international initiative to recognise young people between the ages of 14 and 25 who have made a positive contribution in their communities.

Some 119 young people received their Gold Award from President Zuma and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward and Princess Sophie. The recipients included 13 inmates, 39 from community youth groups and 68 from schools in the Western Cape.

The programme is based on four pillars: skills development, physical recreation, com- munity service and the adventurous journey. President Jacob Zuma said it was encouraging that there were projects involving young people that were initiated through the President’s Award Programme.

“I am encouraged to hear about the joint collaborative projects that these young people are involved in through the President’s Award Programme.

“I was encouraged to learn that, as part of the President’s Award for Youth Empowerment’s 30th anniversary year, three regional Youth Dialogue and Action workshops were held with the support of the National Youth Development Agency, the Department of Arts and Culture and Brand South Africa.” The workshops involved discussions about the NDP which was launched last year and how young people could help realise the Plan’s Vision 2030. In addition to the discussions, participants from across the country were involved in different projects.

Participants from the Eastern Cape were involved in a pre-school literacy project, Western Cape participants in a clothing project, while participants from Gauteng and Mpumalanga refurbished a school for the needy. President Jacob Zuma applauded the participants saying their participation showed active citizenship.