I've come a long way
Born in Israel, I moved back from Canada two years ago. To tell you the truth, before hearing about the Award I was not very keen on volunteer work or community service whatsoever.
Once in school here, I was immediately aware that such options existed. Volunteering in the shelter for battered women, in Haifa, has enabled me to help others while enriching myself. We’d come up with new, exciting and creative ideas for activities every single week. I loved it! Our goal was to give the kids some time to just be kids and enjoy, without having to worry about their mother or sister. Most of those kids were forced to grow up too fast.
"The beauty of the Award programme is that it encourages new experiences. Through the Award I was part of a delegation to Finland, with participants from nine countries. I met a girl from Jordan, previously a country I thought to be different, but after meeting her, and talking to her, I realised how very alike we are, how much we have in common. I got to learn about different cultures, to respect our differences and find things in common with people everywhere. And mainly, I’ve learned to take risks, to be open-minded, to give and to create opportunities.
Growing in confidence
I have come a long way these past few years, I used to be quiet, and shy... Now I constantly volunteer to organise activities in my class, and moreover, voice my opinion. I’ve started caring about the world outside, I’ve found new hobbies, and most important, I’ve gained the confidence that my doing helps. The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award creates a network of the same types of people. This is the reason why I’m volunteering: I know there are many more like me all over the world and together we could actually make a difference.
"The Award programme has allowed me to grow as a person, to realise what’s important to me, to get to know people from other countries and with different backgrounds. I am very proud to say I am part of the Award.