Published: 06.02.2024

Today, the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award (DofE) was presented to 173 students from 37 cooperating educational institutions in the region.

"It makes me happy to see so many young people who, thanks to the DofE programme, have got into interesting activities, overcoming, for example, their comfort and shyness and proving not only to themselves that they are capable of starting something and seeing it through, helping others and experiencing success. Thanks to their projects, they have opened new horizons, made new friendships and gained a lot of experiences that no one can take away from them. I congratulate them on their certificates and hope that their work will become an inspiration to others." said the Governor Petra Pecková.

"I am glad that young people in the Central Bohemian Region are very interested in the DofE because it is a very interesting opportunity to develop themselves and spend their free time in a meaningful way. Last year, 520 new applicants were added, and nearly eight hundred young people are now actively participating in the programme. The Central Bohemian Region committed to supporting the DofE by signing a memorandum in 2021, which stipulates, among other things, that regional organisations from the education sector can apply for a financial contribution for DofE-related activities. Since 2021, we have already provided CZK 960,000 from the regional budget to applicants." said Councillor Milan Vácha.

In the Czech Republic, the programme has been inspiring young people between the ages of 14 and 24 since 1995, with 5,300 new students joining in 2023. Each participant chooses a skill, sporting activity and volunteer help according to their interest, and then pursues these for a period of time, which is linked to the completion of Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Completion of the programme is followed by a team expedition.

"I have been volunteering for the second year at the Laguna Psáry Home, which is a social facility for children, youth and adults with mental disabilities. Two years ago, my friend from kindergarten was placed there and now he lives there permanently. At first I just went there to visit him and his parents. Then I found out about the DofE programme at my school and realised that the two could be combined. I got in touch with the coordinator from Laguna, Eva Unger, and together we found a group of clients who I now go out with at the weekend to play ball games." says Jindřich Planeta, who is among the awardees.

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award programme was founded by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1956 to encourage the self-development of boys and girls regardless of their background, physical ability or skill. In 1988 an international association was established to promote the operation outside the UK.

The certificate ceremony in Kutná Hora was co-organized by the Educational Institute of the Central Bohemia Region.


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