AN 18-year-old cadet from Llanelli is one of just 10 finalists who have been selected to go to South Africa in July as part of the National CVQO Westminster Award.
Mitri Sharaiha, who has been a Cadet at St John Cymru since 2011, was nominated by his Cadet Leader, Heather Davies, to take part in the process.
The CVQO Westminster Award is an annual competition designed to recognise and reward the most deserving of its learners. Hundreds of young people from uniformed cadet groups across the UK are nominated to take part, with over 200 nominated annually.
Just 40 cadets are selected to go head-to-head and are put through their paces by taking part in a four-day challenge in Somerset. Leadership, teamwork, and selflessness, as well as their ability to adapt in adverse situations, are all evaluated. Other key skills assessed include the ability to face adversity and the ability to remain positive in challenging situations.
The climax of their time away saw the group take on a mystery task where the cadet’s endurance and problem skills were put to the test as they planned and delivered a simulated emergency rescue situation. The ability to communicate, plan, and prioritise were key to the success of the challenge.
Mitri said: “In the few days I took part in the challenge, I made some great friends. I’m proud of everyone who competed and it was great to hear each of their stories.
“Without the support of those closest to me including those from St John, I wouldn’t have got this far. I will always be thankful for how much they have helped me,” he added.
The group are then whittled down to just 10 finalists.
County Commissioner for St John Cymru in Dyfed Robert Knapman said:
“We’re so incredibly proud of Mitri. He’s worked so hard to get to this stage and we couldn’t be more excited or happy for him.
“Personally I’d like to thank our county team for all the support they have provided to Mitri and all of our Badgers and Cadets so they can continue to develop both professionally and personally.
“We wish Mitri the best of luck for the future,” he added.
The group of 10 finalists have been invited to a dinner at the House of Lords in June where the winner of the Westminster Award will be announced.
The finalists will then be rewarded with a trip to South Africa where they will work on conservation, environmental and humanitarian projects and learn more about the Zulu culture and history as well as observing wild animals in their natural habitats.