Subscribe to our Newsletter

click to dowload our latest edition



Philanthropist extraordinaire Gina Dave gets princely award

Avatar photo



When Gina Dave started Grade 8 at King David Linksfield in 2020, she decided to follow in her older sister’s footsteps by participating in the Duke of Edinburgh President’s Award. Never in her wildest dreams did she think it would lead to her meeting and chatting to the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward, in the beginning of her matric year.

In recognition of her amazing work, she was chosen to be one of 30 gold-level recipients to attend the Duke of Edinburgh/President’s Award Reception for Gold Awards (2023) at The British High Commission in Pretoria on 22 January.

“I was convinced I would be nervous on the night,” she said. “My hands were a bit sweaty, but he approached the table and especially me in such a calming manner. [Prince Edward] wanted us to feel comfortable to speak about the President’s Award and our journey through it.”

Dave was given the honour of being asked to present the residential project section of the gold level of her award to the prince; South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations Candith Mashego-Dlamini; and South Africa’s chairperson of the President’s Award, Modise Makhene. She explained her residential project at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to Prince Edward and the rest of the guests at the ceremony.

The President’s Award is part of an international youth development programme that empowers youth aged 14 to 24 to explore their full potential and find their purpose and place in the world. The award demonstrates a young person’s willingness to be challenged and to persevere.

It’s a personal challenge, not a competition against others, pushing young people to their limit and to reach their full potential. The award consists of three levels: bronze, silver, and gold, with increasing increments of skills training with each level and each comprising four sections – physical recreation; special skill; voluntary service; adventurous journey; and in the case of the gold level, a residential project.

Dave spent most of her time on the President’s Award contributing to the community through various acts of service. She raised funds and donated clothes to Kids Haven and Arcadia; ran a sock drive at her school; as well as a Crocs Jibbitz drive for her volunteering section. “It shows you how the Duke of Edinburgh President’s Award isn’t just one thing, you’re doing so much, not just for yourself, but to help so many people around you,” said Dave.

The highlight of her journey was when she took part in a residential project at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Limpopo as part of her gold-level award. “We had to clean animal cages and de-yolk chicks and feed them to owls. There were also cheetahs and lions. It was an amazing experience.

“As I got there, I thought, ‘I can’t do this. I don’t know how I’m going to survive five days here.’ The conditions weren’t what I was used to. I wasn’t familiar with that way of life,” said Dave. “Even though it was so disgusting at times and really out of my comfort zone, I would 100% do it all again. The people who were there with me started basically as strangers, but by the end, we were friends, always supporting each other.”

On the night she met the prince, she said, “Prince Edward asked everyone questions. I made a scrapbook explaining the residential project, and he took such an interest in it. It felt like he wanted us to speak to him in a more friendly way and not be scared of him because there’s nothing to be scared about just because he’s a prince.”

“I was proud. I wasn’t scared to show that I went to King David. People were interested in the fact that I was Jewish, and no-one there was Jewish besides me,” Dave told the SA Jewish Report.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *