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  • Writer's pictureRuth First Trust

Lydia gets Her Gold!






We are thrilled to share a remarkable achievement within our community that fills us with immense pride and inspiration. Lydia Nsenda Chrispin has emerged as the trailblazer, becoming the first Ruthie and the first Jeppe Girl to be honoured with the esteemed Gold Award of the President's Award for Youth Empowerment, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.


The President's Award, a beacon of youth empowerment, seeks to instil skills, confidence, and resilience in young individuals through a balanced programme of activities. Its core mission revolves around fostering personal growth, teamwork, skills acquisition, community engagement, and a sense of achievement, creating well-rounded individuals prepared to contribute positively to society. The award comprises three levels: Bronze, Silver, and the pinnacle of achievement, the Gold Award.


To attain this prestigious accolade, participants must engage in activities across four key sections: Service, Physical Recreation, Skills, and Adventurous Journey. The Gold Award additionally demands the completion of a Residential Project.


Lydia embarked on her journey by accomplishing the Bronze Award during her Grade 9 year in 2017. Through learning a new skill, participating in sports, and dedicating six months to community service at the Joseph Project, a homework centre for underprivileged children, Lydia discovered her passion and aptitude for working with children. Remarkably, her commitment to the Joseph Project extended beyond the mandatory hours, demonstrating her genuine dedication.


Skipping the Silver Award, Lydia embraced the challenge of participating for a minimum of 18 months in Gold Award activities. For her Physical Recreation, Lydia joined the Netball First Team, contributed to her community by teaching children at her church for Service, and mastered Graphic Design for the Skills component, showcasing her talents by winning the back page for The Star Newspaper's Design an Ad Competition.


The Gold Award journey brought transformative experiences, with the Residential Project requiring Lydia to collaborate on a project with strangers for five consecutive days and four nights where Lydia worked at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Limpopo, stepping far beyond her comfort zone. The Adventurous Journey featured a four-day hike at Suikerbosrand, where she slept in tents for the first time and learned to cook over an open fire.


Lydia's reflections on these experiences highlight her newfound ability to form effective working relationships with people from diverse backgrounds. Her encouragement echoes loudly: anyone considering the President's Award should seize the opportunity, as it offers exposure to unique activities and tasks that can redefine one's life.


In Lydia's words, the personal growth she experienced was immense – a journey that taught her commitment, responsibility, and social integration with people from vastly different walks of life. Lydia expresses her deep gratitude to the Ruth First Jeppe Memorial Trust for making her participation in the President's Award possible, deeming it a blessing in her life.


Lydia Nsenda Chrispin's journey is not just an individual triumph; it resonates as an inspiration for our entire community. Let us celebrate Lydia's extraordinary accomplishment and encourage others to embark on their own transformative journeys with the President's Award.


Thank you for your ongoing support, we are so grateful for our Ruth First Jeppe Memorial Trust community!


Robyn Hill

Manager: Ruth First Jeppe Memorial Trust




Should you wish to make a donation, payment is accepted by SnapScan or eft to Absa, Eastgate, Branch code 632005, Account number 4076706321. Many thanks.







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