About the Award
The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award (or the Award) is the world’s leading youth achievement award, equipping young people for life and work. It enables young people aged 14 to 24 to actively use their free time and equipping them with life skills to make a difference to themselves, their communities and the world. We believe that every young person has the potential to succeed and that opportunities for good education can help him or her fulfill their own potential.
The programme was founded in 1956 by Prince Philip, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh together with Kurt Hahn, a German educationalist and renowned promoter of experience learning, and Lord Hunt, leader of the first successful ascent of Everest.
In the Award, young people set their individual goals and challenges in several activities. On the road of completing them they develop their responsibility and grit, they discover themselves and overcome the challenges, gain new skills useful for their academic and professional life.
Around the world, milions young people participated in the Award. The Award was introduced in Slovakia by the British International School in Bratislava in 2007 and from the end of 2014 team of educators with strong support from business leaders is working on the opening of the National Office of the Award in Slovakia. The main goal of the National Office will be to spread the Award nation-wide in Slovakia.
The National Office of the Award in Slovakia, with the support of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation in London, is piloting the Award at 10 organisations in Bratislava from June 2015 to June 2016. With 2 already existing organisations, the Award is offered at 12 organisations for 177 participants in total. The National Office has signed an Acredited Licence on the March 30th 2016 and from April we are working on growing the Award in other regions in Slovakia from September 2016.
We want to motivate all groups of young people aged 14-24 to start working holistically on themselves. By offering verified development program we want to have a lasting impact on young people’s practical skills, social responsibility and chances to succeed in life.
A generation of confident young people responsible for themselves and their surroundings. A better young person is a success not only for themselves but also for entire Slovakia.
Participants in the Award set their own goals that are a challenge for their personal development. It was proven that the Award supports young people on their way, because it is:
- Complex – programme is directed toward four main development sections of young people: from Physical recreation through Skills, Adventurous Journey to Service where you help people in need from your community.
- Longterm – programme lasts from 6 to 24 months depending on the level and intensity of the programme.
- Motivational – young people st their own challenges and goals, which they accomplish with our help.
- Developing – contributes to the independence, development of skills, empathy or social responsibility. Young people develop teamwork and gain new experiences.
- Personalised – every participant identifies his/her own development goals which he/she will need to achieve during the programme.
- Prestigious – the Award enjoys international recognition by the British royal family. For achieving the goals the young people receive recognition from the hands of important personalities. The Award is recognized at international schools, universities and employers worldwide as a sign of quality of a candidate.
Young people are participate in the programme voluntarily at licensed Independent Award Centres in Slovakia. These centres can be found most often in secondary schools, non-profit organisations, leisure centers and other organizations. Participants receive a mentor to help them in setting goals and providing them with the necessary support.
So that every participant in the Award can set goals corresponding to their age, abilities and preferences, the programme has three levels of difficulty – Bronze, Silver and Gold. You can start with the easiest level, Bronze, or go directly to the Silver or Gold level.
The Bronze level is for young people from 14 years of age. The level has 4 sections in which the participant completes their goals: skills, physical recreation, service and adventurous journey. In the first three sections the participant must do a minimum of 3 months activity. The participant also chooses a section in which they will set a more demanding goal and which they pursue for at least 6 months. The adventurous expedition lasts at least 2 days and 1 night. It will therefore take at least 6 months to complete the Bronze level.
You need to be at least 15 years old to start doing your Silver programme. The level has 4 sections: skills, physical recreation, service and adventurous journey. The adventurous expedition lasts at least 3 days and 2 nights. The activities in the other three sections are pursued for at least 6 months. If the participant starts doing Silver without doing Bronze first he or she will have to spend six extra months on one of the following sections: skills, physical recreation, service. It will therefore take at least 6 months to achieve the Silver for the Bronze Award Holders or 12 months for those who have jumped straight into Silver.
For starting the Gold level, the participants need to be at least 16 years old. Unlike in the two lower levels of the programme, the participant of the Gold is setting and completing goals in 5 sections: skills, physical recreation, service and adventurous journey and a residential project. The activities in the first three sections are pursued for at least 12 months; if the participant did not complete the Silver level, they choose one of the first three sections and pursue it for extra 6 months. The adventurous expedition is planned for at least 4 days and 3 nights, the residential project for at least 5 days and 4 nights. Therefore, the Gold level takes at least 12 months for Silver Award Holders or 18 months for those who start at Gold level without doing Silver before.