Research shows that globally there are currently 1.8 billion young people aged 10 – 24 years, the largest youth generation in history. In sub-Saharan Africa adolescents make up the greatest proportion of the population, with 23% of the region’s population aged 10–19. https://data.unicef.org/topic/adolescents/demographics/

If this generation of young people are well prepared for the transition to work, the potential for them to overcome previously unseen challenges and complexities that face society is unlimited. There is a noticeable gap in the development and ‘well-rounding’ of ‘soft’ or ‘core’ skills. These ‘core’ skills play a key role in being #worldready and include resilience, adaptability, problem solving, decision making and communication.

Bata South Africa, the leading footwear brand, has recognised this need and has responded with the Toughees campaign, “Bangene”, It’s Your Time!  This is an initiative to encourage youth to reach their full potential through The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA). Bata will facilitate the process of entering 100 individuals between the ages of 12 to 18 from South Africa. In addition, Bata Kenya and Bata Zambia will also take on more young individuals to join their respective programs in their countries.

TPA is a global initiative to develop character, discover purpose and identify passions to enable the youth to become productive contributors to society and secure their futures. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation oversees the Award Programme in over 130 countries and territories globally, with 18 countries in Africa participating. The Programme currently has over 1 million active participants globally with about three hundred thousand of the total participants based on the African Continent.

Prospective entrants are required to upload videos, stories and images of their passions, what they want to do more of and what participating in the award will mean to them. Toughees successful “Bangene” applicants will complete the program at the Bronze Level.

Bronze Level takes an average of 6 months to complete and consists of service to the community, skills development, physical recreation and an adventurous journey. Service, skills and physical recreation require regular time and effort to meet the requirements and occur simultaneously with documented evidence placed into a portfolio. The expedition of an adventurous journey is the concluding highlight.

On successful completion of the Bronze Level, participants will receive an internationally recognised certificate with the signatures of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Bata is committed to growing and developing youth to make a positive impact in their communities therefore The Presidents Award is a perfect alignment for our “Toughees Bangene” programme,” says Alberto Errico, Bata Africa President.

Applications open on 1 December 2020 and will close on 31 January 2021. Successful applicants will complete TPA during the 2021 year starting in March. Applications can be done online through the Toughees website, Bata South Africa website or via WhatsApp on 064 981 9784.


We as parents of Deante Swart would like to thank you for the opportunity that you have afforded us and that we could learn so much. Thank you to each and every one involved for making this a great experience for us. Thank you to Dione from take note for their hard work and the social media information. We appreciate it so much.
Dederick Swart
YBOD Campaign


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