Motivating young people to continually improve and reach their potential. This is the main aim of the international DofE (Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards) programme, in which Progresus is now involved. Our support goes into a social fund that ensures that everyone, without distinction, can develop their talents to the full. The DofE has already motivated more than 7,000 young people in the Czech Republic to develop their abilities comprehensively. A total of 304 institutions are involved. One of them is the Solenice Children’s Home, where we went together and spent a beautiful pre-Christmas day full of emotions.
“I am glad that DofE facilitated this beautiful day and that our cooperation has a wider dimension. Of course, it is important that the children are involved in a programme where they develop comprehensively and humble their goals, but equally important for them is the time that someone gives them and fulfils their wishes just at Christmas,” says Olga Vernerová, Director of the Solenice Children’s Home.
Her words are complemented by the relationship manager of the DofE programme, Martina Machová: “We are extremely pleased that children’s homes are participating in our programme alongside primary and secondary schools. Most of them have limited capacity to allow children to pursue their hobbies. The DofE programme helps them to do this. Thanks to support from the Social Fund, we are also able to grant many children their wish to pursue something they want to achieve. Completing the programme can also help prepare young people to cope with the obstacles they may face when they leave Children Homes.”
Participants in the DofE programme regularly undertake activities of their choice in 3 areas. These are a skill (this could be learning a foreign language, playing a musical instrument or perhaps programming), movement and volunteering. Then all you have to do is set goals that motivate the participant sufficiently and choose the length of the programme (the minimum is 6 months). Participants track their progress in an app where they regularly record their activities. The end of the programme is an expedition with a group of classmates, friends and an adult leader. The icing on the cake is the certificate, which is appreciated not only by universities but also by future employers.
Children in the Solenice Children’s Home most often choose from cooking and baking skills, running, hiking or dance choreography as part of the DofE programme and volunteer to look after animals on a nearby farm. 12 participants have already joined the programme in this way.
“At Progresus, we believe that every talent should be given the opportunity to develop. The DofE programme allows even the hidden ones to be discovered. Completing the programme gives young people a unique impetus to start realising their full potential and pursuing their goals before they start their first job or study univerzity,” says Lukas Zrůst, co-owner of Progresus.
We are extremely happy that we were able to visit the children’s home, which is directly involved in the DofE project, to spend a beautiful day full of emotions in Solenice, and most importantly to make the children happy.
May your Christmas be full of smiles and happy moments together!
DofE: The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a programme aimed at young people aged 14-24 years old, which aims to develop the personality and character of participants regardless of social background or physical condition. The mission of the programme is to awaken and strengthen young people’s creativity, resilience and ultimately their confidence through four interlinked areas of talent development, sport, volunteering and adventure expedition. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, or DofE for short, is a programme with a rich history that began helping young people in 1956 when it was founded by Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip. Over the course of its lifetime, the DofE has grown to include over 145 countries worldwide, with over one million young people taking part each year. In the Czech Republic, over 7,000 students are currently completing the programme through local centres, of which there are now over 300 in the Czech Republic. In addition to primary, secondary and tertiary schools, institutions such as orphanages, children’s and youth homes, educational institutes and sports clubs also act as local centres.