Published: 06.03.2023

On Thursday 2 March, the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award (DofE) Bronze and Silver Ceremony took place in the Knights' Hall at the New Town Hall in Brno. The number of awardees was a record, with a total of 118 young people being rewarded for their efforts during the programme, 106 of whom won bronze and 12 silver. 

"I am glad that the City of Brno has been supporting this programme since 2017. We are really proud to have signed a memorandum of cooperation with the DofE," comments Brno City Councillor Irena Matonohová on the ceremony. Besides her, the ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Mayor Mr. Jaroslav Suchý and the Head of the Education Department Mr. Petr Hruška. In her speech to the dofaks, Mrs. Matonohová emphasized the importance of volunteering: "I am convinced that we need to help everyone who needs it, so I am glad that this program focuses on volunteering." The Councillor also mentioned the importance of expeditions: "Expeditions teach you to react creatively, immediately and in unusual ways, and that's the best preparation for life. It's preparation for your future profession, and that's why the program is so valuable, it teaches you things you won't take away from school."

You don't try, you don't know
This is the motto of her life and also the title of the song composed by silver-awarded dofačka Amélie Šimůnková. "I got the inspiration to write this song on the silver expedition itself, when we were unexpectedly hit by a storm on the ridge. By the end of the expedition I had the song finished." During the program, Amélie worked as a volunteer in the scouts, where she led a troop of young children, improved her skills in playing musical instruments and, last but not least, ran. "I'm already planning gold at the moment. I will continue to do scouting. In music, I am going to compose more of my own songs. I write songs in English and sometimes in French. It's going to be a little harder with the running because I have problems with my knees." Amélie's lifelong dream is to become a singer and sing in front of large audiences.

DofE through the eyes of a manager

One of the speakers at the Brno ceremony was also Mr. Jaroslav Srejma, head of the Gymnasium Moravský Krumlov, who said of the DofE: "There is something magical in DofE, how else can I explain that I don't mind waking up in the morning in -2°C, nor do I growl when the biggest backpack with the worst packed tent of all is swinging on my back during a training expedition. The situation when you are standing at the meeting point with our expedition group and when parents call me to ask if their children have arrived safely. This situation can be summed up in three magic words: don't know, don't know, know. I don't know where my boys are, they don't know either, but I know they are two hours late and I certainly won't tell their parents." Exploring the unknown and learning to rely on your sense of direction is simply an integral part of expeditions.


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