Published: 03.06.2024

Gabriela Drastichová is the new DofE Director in the Czech Republic

Gabriela Drastichová

Prague, 3 June 2024 - The National Centre of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award (DofE) in the Czech Republic will have new management from June. The new Executive Director of the Centre is Gabriela Drastichová, who in recent years has been the Director of the Czech Radio Foundation.

Jiří Zrůst, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the organisation, says of the change in leadership: "I am glad that we can welcome Gabriela as the head of our Czech team. The ambition of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award is to become the most important driver of non-formal education in the Czech Republic in the coming years, as well as in the other 130 countries where our organisation operates. We are heading towards new challenges and I am convinced that Gabriela, with her many years of experience working in the non-profit sector and her undeniable track record, is perfectly equipped to guide our organisation through these challenges. I wish her every success in her new role."

The team of the Czech DofE centre is leaving after almost nine years, with its current director Tomáš Vokáč. "I would like to thank Tomáš for his many years of work for the DofE, which has brought about a significant shift in the field of non-formal education in the Czech Republic. Thanks to him and his team, we have managed to involve more participants and schools in the programme each year, set up cooperation with regions and cities and concluded 17 Memoranda of Cooperation between the founder and the organisation. Under Tomáš's leadership, many successful projects have been carried out, which have strengthened our position among Czech non-profit organisations in this area and from which we will draw long into the future," adds Jiří Zrůst.

Gabriela Drastichová has more than twenty years of experience in various areas of educational development in the private, public and non-profit sectors. For the last six years she has been the director of the Czech Radio Foundation and its extremely successful fundraising projects Světluška and Ježíškova vnoučata. Her original professional focus was adult education with a focus on educators and public administration staff, and later also education in the corporate environment. She subsequently used the experience gained in the academic and corporate world in the non-profit sector, where she focused on education and employment of disadvantaged groups, supporting social and technological start-ups and introducing sustainable business principles into corporate strategies.

"We can help young people discover their talent, their passion, their purpose, their dreams, and find their unique place in the world by letting them create an image of their own future. By giving them the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities in a purposeful way, by setting their everyday lives in motion, by showing them the path to volunteering and adventure expeditions. And all this in a safe environment, where a mistake is just information about where I can work harder, an environment where I am accompanied by mentors and teachers who believe in me, where I can share my experiences with my peers, where time becomes more meaningful," says Gabriela Drastichová about her plans to head the DofE.

"I would like to sincerely thank all those who have given us their trust over the past few years on our unique journey and reinforced their belief that experiential pedagogy belongs in schools and can teach young people essential skills useful for their future lives: diligence, perseverance, determination, the power of friendship, collaboration and building responsibility and character," Tomáš Vokáč looks back on nine years of building a stable and respected organisation.

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award is an informal educational programme for pupils and students aged 14-24. In the Czech Republic, it has seen significant growth over the last nine years, both in the number of participants and the schools and other educational institutions involved. There are now 350 centres across the country and the number of participants reaches almost ten thousand pupils and students each year, accompanied by over two thousand teachers and youth workers.


Silvie Rieger

PR & Communications Lead

+ 420 771 295 100|

The Duke of Edinburgh International Award programme was founded in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and was brought to the Czech Republic almost 30 years ago by Lady Louisa Abrahams. Today, Prince Edward is the Chairman of the organisation. The International Association was founded in 1988 to support the operation outside the UK and to continue the mission of self-development for young people regardless of their background, physical ability or skills.

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