National Director of the Governor General’s Youth Award (GGYA) Jacquetta Lightbourne-Maycock traveled to the United Kingdom last month to address a fundraising dinner attended by Prince Edward, chairman of trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.
Lightbourne-Maycock was invited to share how the generosity of donors to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation’s Special Projects Fund has made an impact in The Bahamas.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global framework for non-formal education and learning, which challenges young people to dream big, celebrate their achievements and make a difference in their world. Since 1956, millions of young people from more than 130 countries and territories have participated in the program. The foundation drives and supports the award’s global growth, so more young people can take part and reach their full potential. GGYA is the local award operator.
The Special Projects grant strives to ensure all young people have access to the award by increasing access, reach and impact among at-risk and marginalized young people across the globe. GGYA was one of 13 applicants from around the world that pitched projects to the foundation in 2020. Six were successful and approved for grants that would help improve the reach, access or impact of the award.
GGYA used the money to restart units at Grand Bahama’s Beacon School and at the Willie Mae Pratt Centre for Girls. It’s also earmarked to fund three more centers for disenfranchised youth.
Lightbourne-Maycock’s speech featured videos from both units. The presentation highlighted the difference the award is making in the lives of participants and by extension their families and the wider community.
The intimate, black-tie dinner raised £262,000 to support special projects around the world.
“My presentation would not have been possible without the work of our participants, our unit leaders and our partners at The Beacon School and the Willie Mae Pratt Centre who agreed to share their journey,” said Lightbourne-Maycock.
“Our long-time publicist, Precision Media, ably assisted us in putting together two powerful videos and ensuring the overall quality of the presentation would represent The Bahamas well at such a high-level event.”
Lightbourne-Maycock was one of only two guests who delivered speeches during the invitation-only fundraiser held Thursday, November 17.
At the start of the dinner, Prince Edward gave opening remarks and welcomed guests. He went on to introduce GGYA’s national director. She was followed by Israeli Award participant Mia Golan.
“The combination of your great speech and of the video were certainly a highlight of the event!” wrote Sam Palmer, director of development in his post-event correspondence to the national director.
“Thank you also for bringing the impact of Special Projects to the forefront, and for linking your brilliant work back to the generosity of previous donors – the point hit home very strongly. I am convinced this had a direct impact on the amount pledged by our guests throughout the evening.”
The award offers young people the opportunity to gain Bronze, Silver or Gold through four activities – volunteering, physical exercise, skills and an adventurous journey (an overnight expedition or exploration where participants camp out).
GGYA operates 42 units spread across eight islands.