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About Us

The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA) is one of South Africa’s leading youth achievement awards offering young people aged 14-24 across the socio-economic spectrum the opportunity to develop character, discover their purpose and determine their future to contribute towards building a great South Africa. 

History of TPA

The Award was founded by HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956.  The Programme was introduced in South Africa in 1983 under the banner of the Gold Shield Award, with Dr Ian Player as the first Chairman, and in 1994 it was re-launched as The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment, with Mr Nelson Mandela as the first Patron-in-Chief.

International Affiliation

The President’s Award (TPA) is affiliated to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for Young People and is a full member of the International Award Foundation which oversees the Award Programme in over 130 countries globally, with 18 of these being in Africa. Globally there are more than 1.3 million active participants, approximately 300 000 are in the African continent and over 55 000 in South Africa. 

Local registration

The President’s Award (TPA) is a registered non-profit organisation (004-920NPO) with Public Benefit Organisation status, registered with SARS (PBO#930001329).

Aim of TPA

TPA provides a framework of non-formal education and provides experiential learning opportunities to help young people discover talents that do not necessarily show up in the classroom context.  The Programme brings together practical experiences and life skills, building confidence, encouraging physical health and recreation, and motivating young people to engage with their communities.

Long term ambition

Every eligible young person in South Africa will have the opportunity to participate in the Award.












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