The Countess of Wessex travelled to Prague this week to present 40 young Czechs with the Duke of Edinburgh Award, to recognise their active use of leisure time for their own development and help to others.
The award, which was founded in 1956 by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, gives young people between the ages of 14 – 24 the chance to grow as a person through a series of physical and mental tasks.
The Duke founded the programme 59 years ago and since then, over eight million people have taken part across the world and 900,000 people worldwide are currently participating in the award.
The programme takes place in over 140 countries. In the Czech Republic it has been around for 21 years, being introduced in 1994.
The young people who take part in the award set their objectives in four spheres: talent, sports, volunteering and expeditions. With adult supervision, they then try to fulfil their objectives, whilst developing their own capabilities.
According to the programme’s website, “taking part builds confidence and develops self-esteem. It requires persistence, commitment and has a lasting impact on the attitudes and outlook of all young people who do their DofE.”
Lukas Kotlar, one of the young people the Countess of Wessex met this week, lives in a children’s home and publishes a paper for children in a similar situation to him.
Along with his fellow participants, the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award was presented to the students from Prague and surrounding areas.
Whilst she was in the Czech Republic, the Countess also met Education Minister, Marcel Chladek, who praised the award for providing lifelong learning and a second chance to those who did not use the first.
You can read more about the award by clicking here – Championing the Youth: The Duke of Edinburgh Awards
Photo Credit: UK in France