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Published on: April 26 2014


Ever since its launch in 1956, the International Award for Young People (IAYP) has appealed to schools with its concept of individual challenge that encourages young people to take responsibility for their own development.

The Award Programme currently operates in around 9000schools worldwide within national programmes or as individual units(Independent Operators).

The Award is an exciting self-development programme available to all young people worldwide, equipping them with life skills to make a difference to themselves, their communities and the world. Anyone aged between 14 and 25 can experience challenge and adventure, acquire new skills and make new friends. The Award has a presence in more than 143 countries and over 8 million young people worldwide have taken up the Award challenge so far.

The great strength of the Award is that it can be used by anyone working with young people. Its flexible programme ensures that it is of relevance to all young people, regardless of their background and circumstances.    

The Award is a life changing experience that enables students to:

·        Gain recognition for extra/co-curricular activities

·        Improve their personal development by learning new skills such as time management, team work and problem solving

·        Build their confidence by trying something new

·        Make a positive impact on their community through volunteering

·        Undertake activities that support applications for college, university or employment

The Award also offers direct benefits to schools, which include:

·        Participation in an internationally recognised programme

·        A framework for the delivery of extra/co-curricular activities

·        Improved relations between pupils and teachers

·        Better team work amongst classmates

·        Better interaction and improved relations with the local community

The Award began in 1956 and has spread across the world,because the philosophy and the four-Section format have proved resilient,attractive and adaptable to many cultures, languages and climates. The Award remains as relevant as ever with record levels of interest from participants and partner organisations.

The Award is not a membership organisation and works in partnership with others to offer the Award to young people worldwide. Any young person over the age of 14 and under 25 can participate in the Award.

The Award Programme was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1956 as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The aim was to motivate young people aged between 14 and 25 years to become involved in a balanced programme of voluntary self-development activities to take them through the potentially difficult period between adolescence and adulthood.

The Award’s concept is one of individual challenge,giving young people a balanced, non-competitive programme of voluntary activities which encourage personal discovery and growth, self-reliance,perseverance, responsibility to themselves and service to their community.Those who participate in the Award are expected to follow its requirements in anon-competitive manner with a determination to succeed, either individually or as part of a team. The Award therefore is challenging, and can be undertaken at your own pace.

The Participation Age is between 14 and 25 years. The basic structure of the Award consists of 4 mandatory sections Service, Adventurous Journey, Skills and Physical Recreation. There are 3 levels of the Award – Bronze, Silver & Gold. Participants must complete the four mandatory sections of Service, Adventurous Journey, Skill& Physical Recreation.

Participants can undertake all three categories of the Award programme or enter directly at any of the three levels in the following age group; Bronze Award (for those over 14), Silver Award (for those over 15)and Gold Award (for those over 16 years).

The minimum period of participation is 6 months for Bronze, 12 months for Silver and 18 months for Gold. For each of these levels a participant is required to undertake activities under each of the four sections. At Gold level, participants undertake a Residential Project in addition.

The Award

·        Is available to all.

·        Participation is voluntary and offers a wide choice of activities.

·        An individual challenge as it is non-competitive.

·        Achievement focused – only positive remarks are recorded.

·        A marathon, not a sprint. Successful completion calls for persistence and commitment.

·        An enjoyable experience for both participants and adult volunteers.

·        All about teamwork and the building of interpersonal skills.

·        Non-political; no considerations of religion,caste or creed are relevant.

IAYP in India

The Award Programme was first introduced in India in 1962 with a view to encouraging young people in the country to achieve their full growth potential within the framework of Indian society, to improve their moral, social and intellectual well-being.

In 1966 it was taken up by the Indian Public Schools Conference, when a number of well-known residential schools made a start with the Programme. Most of these continue with the Award to the present day.Several other schools adopted the Award Programme soon thereafter.

The focus of the Award was renewed with the establishment of The Award Programme Foundation, a Public Charitable Trust registered in Bombay, in 1989 to function as the cradle organization for the Programme.

A National Constitution was adopted on 1st March 1994.This led to the formation of a single National Award Authority (NAA) of India and the appointment of the first National Director, Vice Admiral Suren P Govil(Retd.) A year later, a 15 member Governing Council of the NAA was formed and Vikram Mehta (India’s first Gold Award Holder) elected as its first Chairman.The present National Director is Kapil Bhalla.

The Current Situation

Having made a modest beginning in 1962 with only 500 participants per year, today this number has grown to over 19,000. Almost 70%of the delivery of the Award is through the schools in urban India. The IndianAward, now known as the International Award for Young People, India (IAYP) is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) with support from the corporate sector. It is a full member of the International Award Association.

Reaching a Larger Audience

The Award in India is implemented through Open Award Centres (OAC), which are referred to as Youth Engaging in Society (‘YES’)Centres. These are educational and other Institutions who are licensed under an Agreement to implement the Award. As of now IAYP, India have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with 154 institutions, which include schools, colleges,universities, corporate entities, NGO’s & state governments.

There is a dichotomy in the Indian educational system with privately funded Institutions (which have been the focus of the Award)catering to a marginal section of the population, and the majority of the youngIndians (between the age of 14-25) studying in State owned/sponsored schools& colleges. Going forward, exponential growth of the Award will be determined by the success in reaching out to:

·        State Governments to implement the Award in educational institutions run by them

·        Not for Profits that are dealing with young people who may not be in the formal education sector; youth organisations (State sponsored or otherwise) which foster personal growth and social development and inspire young people to engage actively in service to the community

·        Corporate entities, specifically those engaged in service support with a significant employee base of young Indians

IAYP India has signed MOUs and licensed:

·        Punjab Government (will commence with 200 students for a pilot in 12 rural schools in 2 districts of the state)

·        HSBC

Initiatives underactive engagement are:

·        The Uttarakhand Government to run a pilot project to enrol 5,000 participants in the state with a focus on skill enhancement to improve employment opportunities

·        The State Government of Nagaland, to run the programme to empower the youth of the state.

·        Schools, making the Award Programme an active set of the co-curricular activities required to be undertaken by the students under Comprehensive Curriculum Evaluation (CCE for CBSE); Community Activity& Service (CAS for IB); Socially Useful & Productive Work (SUPW forISC)

·        IAYP, India is taking the initiative to create an awareness of the Award in Corporate organisations that hiring a successful participant will give them an employee who has an edge over other potential candidates.

Source: Internet