Published: 01.03.2023

On Thursday 16 February, two DofE ceremonies were held at the Jirásek Sady Primary School in Příbram. More than 80 young people from four different regions of the Czech Republic who achieved bronze and silver levels received their awards from the hands of DofE Executive Director Tomáš Vokáč.

Learning Korean, mastering the ukulele or volunteering to help on a farm were also goals set by the young people who received bronze and silver certificates. For the very first time, the dofacs were presented with a new badge pack. The new design is directly related to the Heroes of Every Day campaign with Karel "Kovy" Kovář. The packaging is unique not only in its design, but also in the fact that it is created with the so-called growing paper. "The aim was to create packaging that catches the eye of young people at first sight, is eco-friendly and makes sense. Dofans can plant the paper at home and later share their plants with others on the network. We want to awaken people's interest in ecology and sustainability," says event manager Veronika Pantůčková, who is behind the whole idea. 

The main thing is not to be afraid 

Thanks to the challenges, the Dofacs learned to step out of their comfort zone and overcome themselves. Sometimes, meeting DofE challenges takes them to interesting places. Karla Smejkalová, a bronze-certified student at the Business Academy, found herself volunteering on a farm: "I learned how to work with large animals and not be afraid of them, how to process milk or drive a tractor", she describes her experience very positively and says that thanks to DofE she discovered her calling.  

From the Czech Republic to the Azores 

Expeditions are an integral part of the DofE programme and you can go anywhere. Silver level graduates from Tábor Grammar School chose the exotic Azores Islands for their adventure expedition, where they went with their teachers. "Completing the silver level was really fun." But completing the expedition was not always a walk in the park: "The biggest setback was probably when we turned up outside a campsite where the owner refused to accommodate us. It was eight in the evening, it was getting dark, we were hungry and we were almost out of water. The ban on camping outside campsites made it very complicated. After a moment of slight panic and deliberation, fortune smiled on us and a sweet young family put us up at their place." 

An experience you won't forget 

Unlike her classmates who learn Spanish or German as a second language, Kristýna decided to start with the unconventional and challenging Korean. "I enjoyed doing the DofE. It was a new experience that I am glad I had and one that I will never forget. I had Korean as a skill, which I intend to continue with at university," recalls Kristýna Hajníková from Český Krumlov.  

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