Duke of Edinburgh Award presented to over sixty young people at Czech Senate
In the last six decades, over five million young people in over 100 countries have participated in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, and have happy memories of helping the elderly across roads and trudging up steep hills with heavy rucksacks. Since 1993, this experience has been available to young people in the Czech Republic. The scheme, which encourages young people to become active citizens in their home countries, was introduced to this country by a Czech friend of the British Royal Family, and has the full backing of the Czech senate, where an award ceremony on Tuesday recognised the achievements of young Czechs from all over the country.
Tomas Fajkus is the Czech program's Executive Director:
"Since 1993, more than 30 organisations, that means school youth clubs and other organisations working with young people, have joined the scheme. Each participant of the program chooses one activity in four sections - that means he or she does some practical recreational sport, some practical skills, then they do voluntary service, then they do at least a common expedition which can be in the Czech Republic or abroad. And what does it bring to them? I think that they develop their life skills which they need for their future professions, for their family life, and for their public life."
"In my opinion, it's a great opportunity to encounter and come to know these historic buildings. In every case, participants in the scheme reach a new horizon in terms of their skills and knowledge. The young people will come to realize that being young isn't just going to discos or listening to music or generally beings idle, but that it also includes doing some real work. For those who go on to study, this award improves their chances of getting into universities."