Since its foundation in 1956, over eight million people have participated in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award around the world. The programme enables young people to learn and grow their skills and abilities, offering recognition for their achievements which can in turn help them to gain access to further education or the workplace.
As a result of a partnership between SOS Children and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, over 1,000 young people from Uganda and Tanzania have undertaken the Award. Many of the young people on the programme are from disadvantaged backgrounds, including women who have been unable to access formal education.
One of the young women who have completed the Award is Nakitende Felicity, 16, from Uganda. She has just achieved the Silver Award and wants to become a journalist. With the support she has been given, she has been able to develop her interview and writing skills. She says: “I feel much more confident when interviewing people, which was not easy for me because I was shy and had self-esteem issues. The Award has helped me to identify myself and my internal abilities – abilities that I never knew I had before.”
Secretary General visits SOS Children in Uganda
John May, Secretary General of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, recently visited the SOS Children’s Village in Kakiri in Uganda, to present some of the young people participating in the Award with their Bronze and Silver Awards. He says:
“The first time I heard about SOS Children’s Villages was as a child. We raised money at school to support the work of the charity and I hoped that one day I’d get the opportunity to visit a Children’s Village.
For nearly sixty years, SOS Children has developed an approach based on building a community for children who have nobody to turn to. At Kakiri, the charity provides children with a home, a family and a new mother in the purpose-built Village, where they stay until they are ready for independent life.
The children live in houses of ten mixed-age children, looked after by a house mother. They go to a school on site. As teenagers they move into a youth house, where they begin to learn the skills, behaviours and attitudes they’ll need as adults – and that’s when the Award comes into play. Its simple framework allows the young people to receive recognition for their achievements – and to communicate that achievement to their future universities and employers.”
Find out more about our work in Uganda and Tanzania.