Stakeholders working in the youth sector have a huge responsibility vis-à-vis the young citizens of the Republic of Mauritius. It is therefore imperative to work together as well as ensure the collaboration of the Civil Society to coach the youth to meet challenges, underscored the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, today at the Queen Elizabeth College in Rose Hill.
The Minister was addressing Award Leaders and Adventurous Journey Assessors who received their Certificates and Badges in the context of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - Mauritius. The International Award is a challenging self-development programme which is offered by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to young Mauritians aged between 14 to 24 years for 50 years now.
In his speech, Mr Toussaint pointed out that the society in general across the world is going through difficult times and Mauritius must be ready to face those challenges, with young people needing proper guidance and role models. Thus, Award Leaders and Adventurous Journey Assessors have to put into practice the knowledge and the necessary competencies acquired so as to help the younger generation to progress, he emphasised.
Speaking about main achievements in the youth sector, the Minister recalled that over the last 11 months several projects have been completed including the decentralisation of the service of Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - Mauritius. Additionally, some 60 000 young Mauritians have benefitted from activities organised during the year while 25 000 youth have participated in the Spécial Vacances programme.
The 226 Award Leaders and 124 Adventurous Journey Assessors have undergone a two-day residential training. Topics covered comprised health and first-aid, map reading, campcraft, as well as aspects of adventurous journey (which is a section forming part of the International Award programme).
The Award concept - with three levels bronze award, silver award and gold award - is one of individual challenge. It presents to young people a balanced, non-competitive programme of voluntary activities which encourages personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility towards themselves and service to their community.
At Gold level, participants also complete a Residential Project. The aim is to broaden participants' horizons through involvement with others in a residential setting.