Speeches

State House

Remarks By President James A Michel On The Occasion Of The Gold Award Ceremony President’s Award Tuesday 14th August 2012

Thu, 16 August 2012

Ministers,
Members of the National Assembly,
Your Excellency, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom
Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles National Youth Council,
Parents,
Distinguished Guests,
Gold Award recipients of 2012,

Nothing is impossible when you set your mind and your heart to it. Nothing is impossible when you set yourself objectives. No task is too daunting if you have the will, faith and courage.

Today, yours is the award. It is the reward for your determination, perseverance and sacrifice. It is your hard work, discipline and resilience that have brought you this far. So today, we are all happy to join you in celebrating your success. As patron of the President’s Awards Scheme in Seychelles  I am proud and delighted to extend to you my congratulations on your achievements.

Every year, more and more Seychellois youth aged between 14 and 25, are joining this programme of volunteering, physical, skills, expedition and residential activities. Hundreds of our youths have taken up the opportunities to grow personally. They have developed additional abilities for work and for life. They have challenged themselves both physically and mentally, made positive differences in other people’s lives, and sharpened their skills. Indeed, the President’s Award scheme brings out the best in the younger generation.

Each time I meet the latest group of Gold Award recipients, what strikes me the most is their level of confidence, vitality) and sense of accomplishment. Today I see another group of young men and women in their prime, with exceptional qualities. You have shown your courage during the physical challenges; you have shown compassion during community activities. You have not been deterred by the high benchmark of the Gold Level. In the face of difficulties, none of you opted for the easy way out, which was to quit. Instead, you have kept at it. You all persisted, refusing to give up on your desire to succeed.

As you have gone through the requirements of your award, you have also cultivated a strong sense of responsibility, of belonging, of patriotism, of respect… You have learned more about yourselves -- about your strengths and potentials, your limits … You have taken your place in society.

The Gold Award you have earned is the beginning of a new chapter in your lives. The qualities that you have developed, the skills you have acquired are now gifts to our country. I urge you to always remember to give back.  As Gold Award recipients, you have proven yourselves to be true leaders. A leader is someone who inspires others to follow in their footsteps. Always find time to help the ones in need, just like you have been helped. Reach out and encourage a family member or a friend to join the programme too. Motivate those who have yet to reach the gold level. Be an inspiration. Be a role model. Never underestimate the power of your example.

There are so many people who are proud of you -- your parents, family, friends, and colleagues -- all who share in this achievement. It is because of their unconditional belief in you that they encouraged you to go beyond your limits. They continuously pushed you. And we can here see how proud they are of your achievements.

However, there would be no Award without the unfailing partnership and unwavering support of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. I also salute the Seychelles National Youth Council, the coordinators, leaders and volunteers. You all give so much of yourselves and of your time to ensure the success of these Awards year after year. On behalf of all Award recipients – both past and present - I would like to thank you all for your constant support and dedication.

Rest assured that my government will continue to provide support to this programme. We believe in the holistic development of our young people. We will keep on encouraging initiatives that allow the leaders of tomorrow to develop their skills and talents to their full potential.

Again, I congratulate you on reaching this great milestone.   
Thank you


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