The President's Award receives ongoing support from Mutual & Federal

29 August 2012 Mutual & Federal Insurance Company

As The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment approaches its 30th anniversary, it attributes much of its success to the long-term commitment from sponsors such as Mutual & Federal, an Old Mutual Group company, which has just renewed its sponsorship for a

Predictability of cashflow is what makes for successful programmes, and Mutual & Federal has been a continuous sponsor since 1994.

Martin Scholtz, the organisation’s CEO, says: “Such support is much appreciated and enables us to appropriately budget our activities.”

The President’s Award initiative (in association with the Duke of Edinburgh International Award which oversees the Award in 130 countries) is now in 60 correctional facilities in a programme to rehabilitate offenders. It also works outside the Department of Correction Facilities with vulnerable youth in communities to deter them from ever entering into the justice system.

“The programme offers the young person a goal-orientated personal development framework that increases their ‘employability’ and turns them into better citizens. It looks at four areas of life – learning new skills, fitness-orientated adventure activities, connecting to others through community volunteering and a number of adventurous journeys or outward-bound activities,” says Scholtz.

Laurien Comyn, Head: Business Responsibility at Mutual & Federal says this programme fits in with the company’s CSI objective of crime prevention and youth rehabilitation . “It returns, to people, their self-esteem and dignity. Those who complete the programme come out with hope and statistics show that few return to crime.

“We are proud that our involvement helps correctional facilities and more than 1,000 inmates,” she says.

For the individual, it is a minimum three-year programme that consecutively awards bronze, silver and gold awards as enrollees complete each progressive level.

Scholtz adds: “It is a programme that brings structure into the lives of enrollees and gives them something to then build upon.”

It was extended outside the correctional facilities network after research in 2003 revealed that most people enrolled said they wished they had had access to the programme before getting into conflict with the law. “So we’ve spread the access to vulnerable communities as a preventative measure”, Scholtz continues.

One of the objectives of the programme is to replace negative peers and role models with positive ones over an extended period of time. The mid to long term outcome for the individual is the development of a sense of self-esteem - an understanding that their actions, coupled with a positive attitude, can effect beneficial change in themselves, their friends and the community.

The four strategic CSI areas chosen by Mutual & Federal – selected for their impact on the short-term insurance industry - are education, crime prevention and youth rehabilitation, as well as agricultural socio-economic development. The short-term insurer also addresses social welfare as well as poverty relief, through staff volunteerism and donations.
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