Meet two of our exceptional young leaders in the St John Brigade South Africa: Ms. Jade Cameron, the current Cadet of The Year, and Sgt. Wardah Isaacs, our Youth Leader of the Year. These inspiring young ladies exemplify dedication, skill, and leadership, making significant contributions to their communities and setting a high standard for their peers. We are proud to celebrate their successes and ongoing commitment to service.

What an honour it is to not just be a part of St John, but to be the Youth Leader of The Year. Being a woman and working your way up to achieve your goals in today’s society can be extremely difficult. I am currently a Sergeant in Central Cadet Division in Cape Town where I assist in the running and training of divisional members.

I’ve was fortunate to have many great officers when I was a cadet who inspired me to want to be better person, a great first aider and an officer within the Brigade in South Africa. In particular the current Commissioner for the Western Cape, Sandy Williams MStJ was a particularly fierce and encouraging Divisional Officer at the time, who drove me and lead by great example. Joining St John at a very young age, I felt challenged as I was introverted and scared of not being good enough – a fear many youths have. I had to face being surrounded by people who were more experienced and had more expertise than I did. However, after being a part of St John for 10 years I’ve become someone who’s extremely confident in my beliefs, skills and in my ability to practice first aid – something I now try and instil in others around me.

St John has given me the opportunities to grow myself. It has made me believe that I can make a change within my community, within St John and the people in my Division and importantly within myself. I believe if more youth, and especially shy young girls like myself, join St John it can only help build their confidence, make them believe in themselves, make them become advocates for positive change in our communities and perhaps offer them the opportunities, like me, to showcase their skills in leadership and promote the next generation to be better than us.

Sgt Wardah Isaacs

It is imperative that in South Africa that as many women as possible are able to learn the skills required to prevent injury and promote recovery. Fortunately, at St John, people of all ages and backgrounds are taught lifesaving skills that they can bring back to their community and make a difference.

I joined St John in 2022 when I was 14, interested in pursuing a career in medicine and helping others, and I immediately noticed that a large amount of my peers were female. This inspired me, as it stands as a testament to the growth and improvement of our society. However, things such as Gender Based Violence are still prevalent issues in Cape Town and South Africa as a whole, and sound knowledge in first aid can often still mean the difference between life and death of a loved one or neighbour. Together, our training offers all sorts of skills and methods that we can use help others that are injured or protect ourselves, especially those more vulnerable in our communities.

I hope to encourage other young girls to join St John, to improve their knowledge of both first aid and home-based care, but also make new friends and build their self-confidence.

I’m in Grade 11 now and I can safely say that St John has made a large impact on my life and the way I help my community for the better.

Cdt Jade Cameron