Volunteering for the Award: Precious’s story

For decades, the Award has been creating lasting impact for millions of young people around the world as they develop their individual interests, universal skills and life ambitions. But none of this would be possible without the thousands of adult volunteers who encourage them on this journey, who often experience their own life changes, as a result of their role in the Award.

Alongside ‘the ability to make a change’, many cite personal growth and self-discovery as things they value most about being involved in the Award.

For Precious, an Award Coordinator in South Africa, it has given her an unexpected change in perspective and confidence boost.

For me, I became a better leader. I understand the world around me, I understand the power of giving, and of not undermining the person next to you. I understand the power of resilience and self-worth.” 

Precious, who works as a Programme Manager for youth organisation Afrika Tikkun, became involved when the Award was introduced into her centre in 2022.  And it wasn’t long before the participants inspired her to get involved and learn more about herself while supporting the participants.

It was very important for her to learn alongside the young people, choosing to get more involved and push herself, in order to experience and understand  what they were going through.

But the real challenge came when she joined an Adventurous Journey. Having recovered from an injury a few years ago, Precious was not at her peak fitness. The prospect of a 20km hike proved her biggest obstacle yet. She admits wanting to give up after just a few kilometers, nearly turning back.

“I asked myself a question – Precious, if you go back what does that mean for you? You told yourself you were going on the Adventurous Journey, and you want to experience the same experiences as the young people, so that you’re able to understand how they feel. Precious you need to stand up and pump up the energy, you need to push yourself, you need to use everything that you have. 

Then guess what? I did. I actually walked. I experienced every experience those young people went through. I walked the walk.”


Precious volunteers for the Award through youth organisation, Afrika Tikkun

In her role, Precious works alongside young people living in challenging circumstances. But she has been overwhelmed with the difference she’s seen in those young people also, since starting the Award; and specifically the role that adult volunteers can play in young people’s development.

When you volunteer you are giving your time, you are giving yourself, you are learning at the same time. When you give willingly you will get back. Working with young peopledifferent energies, different gifts, different talents you are also absorbing the great energy for yourself.

You become successful without even knowing it, because whatever you are giving you are getting back a hundred times. It might not show up today, but it will show up tomorrow.

When those young people become successful and experience those changes you get that fulfillment to say I was part of the upbringing of this young person.


Precious with Bronze Award holders

Precious continues to work with the Award in South Africa, encouraging more Bronze and Silver Award participants during their journey. And she even has plans to pick up a new skill of her own, just as the young people will do – this time, learning Portuguese. 

I love the programme. It has changed me. It has changed everyone who has been in touch with what we do.

Watch Precious, and other Adults in the Award in the video below, to find out more about their role:


Want to get involved in the Award? Get in touch with your local Operator here or email [email protected] to find out how you can make a difference.