Since 1998, the President Youth Award Republic of Guyana (PYARG) has been impacting on the lives of thousands of Guyanese between the ages of 14 and 25.
The Award has been engaging young Guyanese in activities such as Community Service, Physical Recreation, Skills Training and ‘Adventurous Journeys’.
Executive Officer of the PYARG, Allister Collins, explained the organisation’s Adventurous Journeys. These expeditions would have taken participants of the award programme at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels to Linden, Essequibo, Bartica and Lethem.
Collins said the purpose is much more than just qualifying for an award, it gives participants the opportunity to see the country. Additionally, Collins said this helps them to become well-rounded individuals, as the outdoors offer scenarios that help participants to deal with situations outside of their comfort zone.
Collins disclosed that participants are trained in First Aid, Camp Craft and Disaster Response to better prepare them to respond and deal with situations that may arise.
The Executive Officer noted that this also forges a sense of national unity among participants as they are forced to lean on each other in an effort to “endure to the end”.
Although there were 700-plus participants taking part at this year’s Adventurous Journeys, Collins noted that there was a decrease at the Silver and Gold levels.
The official said his team has been working to raise the standard of the award. He also noted that some persons might not be willing to bend to certain protocols which must be adhered to.
The award programme is currently being improved, with Collins anticipating that not everyone would be happy. However, he insisted that a standard must be upheld.
At the Bronze level, 630 participants embarked on a 15-mile hike in Linden and Essequibo while 160 Silver participants went on a 30-mile hike in the Bartica area.
Some 35 Gold participants hiked a distance of 60 miles through the savannahs of the Rupununi.
Meanwhile, Collins disclosed that the Caribbean Award Sub Regional Council Expedition will be hosted in Guyana next year. It is an annual event hosted by member countries of the Caribbean arm of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award.
The event is themed “Eleven Giants” and will see more than 15 countries being represented.
The flora and fauna, vast biodiversity and terrain are just some of the pull factors for persons slated to attend the event, Collins said.
The award programme is in 170 countries worldwide.
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