About the Award
The Award is a leading structured (non-formal education)youth development program, empowering all young people who live in mainland China aged 14-24 to explore their full potential and find their purpose, passion and place in the world, regardless of their location or circumstance. The Award is a fully inclusive program and has no social, political, or religious affiliations.
How is an Award Achieved?
To achieve an Award, each young person must learn a skill, improve their physical well being, volunteer in their community and experience a team adventure in a new environment. All participants are supported by a network of adult Award Leaders, Assessors, and Supervisors.
The key elements of our program are:
* Bronze – minimum 6 months
* Silver – minimum 6 months if completed Bronze otherwise 12 months for direct entrants
* Gold – minimum 12 months if completed Silver otherwise 18 months for direct entrants
What impact does the Award have on a young person?
Through this challenging journey of self-discovery, our Participants:
* Are equipped and empowered to achieve their personal best
* Learn to take responsibility for their goals and choices
* Become connected to and actively engaged within their immediate community
* Make a real difference to society through their positive contributions and involvement
* Learn to persevere and overcome barriers to success
* Learn important life skills
* Increase their career opportunities.
A longstanding global network
Today more than 130 countries and territories have adopted The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program with over 8 million young people having participated worldwide.
The Fundamentals of the Award
* Regular participation in activities is required to meet the time requirements of each Award Section and Level.
* Focuses on capacity building by encouraging all young people who live in China to make independent decisions and to negotiate priorities through participation.
Provides a framework that works with all young people in any conceivable situation. This includes youth with disabilities.
Understanding the Award
The Founders of the Award designed a program that would challenge young people and keep them gainfully engaged in their teenage years and early adult years.
The Award was very much designed as something a person does. In itself it is not an organization, simply put, you don't join the Award but you do the Award.
The Award has proven to be a very powerful youth development tool in the hands of an adult keen to work with young people.
Key design features of The Award
Universal access via a licensing arrangement. Youth organizations, schools, sports organizations, clubs and institutions become licensed Award Centres or Open Award Centre and run the Award in their organization. The Award is used by organizations to complement the activities that they currently provide (educational, recreational or community services) and/or it designed to extend on and recognize activities being undertaken.
2. Non competitive.
Non competitive. Young people under the guidance of their Award Leaders and Activity assessors select their activities and then set their own goal for each activity. An Award Participant cannot be “failed”. Showing continuous effort and meeting the key requirements such as duration and recording their activity will see them achieve their Award.
Balanced program of either 4 Sections (Bronze and Silver levels) or 5 sections (Gold level). This aspect of the Award’s design was strongly influenced by one of the Award’s founders Dr Kurt Hahn. An educational leader that had first-hand experience in the benefits in blending non formal education with the educational school rigours. The Award requires each Participant to undertake an activity that qualifies as:
* Voluntary Service: Volunteering time to assist others or your community
* Physical Recreation: Improving fitness and discovering new sports or active recreational activity
* Skills: Undertaken a new interest or hobby or extending on a current one
* Adventurous Journey: This is the only section of The Award required to be undertaken in a group. Undertaking a journey in an unfamiliar environment is about creating opportunities for team building through shared planning, role allocation, problem solving and accommodating physical and personality differences.
Progressively more demanding levels. The 3 levels are progressively more demanding due to the longer duration required for each activity. The Award requires youth to acquire the discipline of planning their time, perseverance and communication (their colleagues and their activity assessor). The minimum age ranges recognize that the minimum time demands of the Award are more likely to be met as young people mature and gain resilience. Although most participants commence with the Bronze Award at 14, there is no obstacle in commencing the Silver Award directly if over 15 or the Gold if over 16.
5. Voluntary participation:
Voluntary participation. The founders recognized that there are immediate and overall greater personal development benefits if a young person chooses to undertake an Award. In addition, the substantial portion of the time required undertaking the selected activities must be done so in the participant’s own discretionary time, i.e. not part of a required school activity.
Duration is used to set the main challenge of the Award. There is not the option of completing any of the sections in a shorter duration despite how many hours above the minimum are actually achieved. As previously mentioned, time management and perseverance are key life skills acquired by Award Participants.
7. Recognition of achievement.
Recognition of achievement. Recording one’s activity, communicating with Award Leaders and activity assessors provide a very important source of ongoing feedback (positive and corrective) that is an essential fuel for personal development. In addition,the Award deliberately sought to have a high profile through adopting its identity with the co-founder, The Duke of Edinburgh. Today the Award’s brand is one of a highly respected and valued youth programs. Employers, academics, youth works and community leaders all consistently sing the praises of the positive impact the Award makes with the most diverse groups of youth.