Categorized | National News

GGYA goes international: Locals showcased in Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards global anniversary films

Four Bahamians have been selected to help celebrate 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – the world’s leading youth achievement award attracting over 1.1 million people annually in 141 countries and territories.

The Award, known locally as the Governor General’s Youth Award, has brought its International Award family together to share the stories of their participants and volunteers from around the world.

In commemoration of its diamond anniversary, the Award launched its new microsite dedicated to 60 films of 60 seconds duration for the 60 years of its existence.

Gold Award holders Arvis Mortimer and Devin Ferguson are featured alongside New Providence field officer Lakisha Rolle-Ingraham and Abaco’s unit leader, James Richard, the principal of Forest Heights Academy.

Videographer Jackson Petit-Homme produced the four clips the GGYA submitted.

The International Award will promote all 60 films for the remainder of the year.

“The Award has transformed the lives of millions of young people over the past 60 years,” said Emma Fisher, the London-based communications manager for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation which drives and supports the Award’s global growth, so more young people can take part.

“We hope these films inspire many more to get involved whether that’s by doing the Award themselves or by becoming an adult volunteer.”

In her video, Mortimer shares how her involvement in GGYA impacted her life.

“By having been involved in community service programmes I’ve actually find my life calling. For the future I hope to pursue a Ph.D. and then I would also like to increase my work towards social justice and improved health outcomes within the Bahamian community,” said Mortimer, a representative for the Americas Region, who obtained her Gold Award in 2009.

Ferguson, who obtained his Gold Award in 2013, linked his participation in the youth programme to his development of team working skills which he puts to good use as a College of The Bahamas student.

Rolle-Ingraham, a Gold Award holder, echoed similar sentiments. She credits the GGYA with helping her develop networking and multi-tasking skills in addition to team work, which helped her to secure her current job as the GGYA’s New Providence field officer.

The Award programme is open to persons age 14 to 24. It helps youths and young adults develop vital skills for life and for work, including confidence, commitment and resilience.

To achieve a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award participants must complete requirements in community service, physical recreation, developing a skill and adventurous journey (hiking and camping outdoors).

“I’ve tried to make the Award programme a priority in my school,” said Principal Richard, a GGYA volunteer since 1997. “It works really well with the other clubs that the children are already involved in. It’s been beneficial for the young people here. I think that they’re learning to become volunteers. They’re learning to become leaders and that’s going to have a positive long-term effect in this country.”

GGYA national director, Denise Mortimer appealed to the media to broadcast the four video clips. She also encouraged the public to not only watch them online but share them via social media using the hash tag #awardat60.

“We hope the videos garner a lot of attention. The aim is for them to create a spark which ultimately attracts more youths to the programme and positively impact their lives,” she said. “We are honoured that our four submissions were chosen to be a part of this prestigious initiative.”

In 2015, the GGYA attracted 1,828 participants through its 60-unit network spread across nine islands.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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