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Royal Couple, Prince Edward and Countess Sophie Attend the GGYA Gold Award Ceremony

Royal Couple, Prince Edward and Countess Sophie Attend the GGYA Gold Award Ceremony

NASSAU, Bahamas — HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex and Forfar, and HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Forfar, attended the Gold Award Ceremony for the Governor General’s Youth Award (GGYA) programme at Breezes Resort Bahamas, Thursday, February 23, 2023.

Prince Edward serves as Chair of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards Foundation.   

GGYA was initially known as the ‘Bahamas Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme,’ but in 1996 was re-named the ‘Governor General’s Youth Award.’ 

Patron of GGYA, Governor General HE the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith extolled the benefits of the programme.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards Foundation has funded five special projects in The Bahamas, and is available to all young people throughout the country.

It aims to equip the youth with life skills to make a difference to themselves, their communities and their country.  The Gold level starts at age 16 and takes at least 12 months for Silver level participants working in Service, Skills and Physical Recreation to climb to that pinnacle — ‘Gold.’

The Prince congratulated the Gold Award recipients for completing the program.

He said, “You can sit here and look at that certificate and look back on all your achievements.  I am guessing there were times when you were wondering why you were doing it before you got halfway through the adventurous journey, but it is a fantastic thing when you get to the end.”

The Prince also thanked the Governor General for his continued patronage of the Awards.  “It is fantastic that your office continues to support the Governor General’s Award here in The Bahamas. It makes a huge difference to the young people here to know that it has that level, support, and recognition.”

He also recognized all who supported the awardees including parents, other government ministries and program volunteers.

The Governor General said for him the opportunity to recognize the work and efforts of the young people is simply unparalleled. 

He said, “I am encouraged to learn that more than 30,000 young Bahamians have through this program engaged in community service, in physical recreation, they acquired new skills, they attended adventurous journeys, and they achieved Bronze, Silver and tonight, Gold.”

The Governor General noted that in 2019, he added a volunteer component to the program, which exists to encompass, encourage and to celebrate those individuals in civic and religious organizations who contribute to a better Bahamas through volunteering and giving of their time, talents, resources and efforts without expectation of any reward.

“Simply put, the purpose is to inculcate, to inspire and sustain a culture of volunteerism through The Bahamas.”

Proud parents, guardians, government ministers and officials, staff involved with the GGYA were all on hand to celebrate the 13 awardees.

The Prince also made a special presentation to Alicia Owens for the work she has done on behalf of the program.

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