First Gold Award ceremony in the UAE, attended by HRH The Earl of Wessex

Published: 25 Mar 2019

MEDIA RELEASE

Young people in the Emirates celebrated for outstanding achievement with visit from His Royal Highness The Prince Edward Earl of Wessex KG GCVO

Leading non-formal education framework celebrates first UAE Gold Award Ceremony with British Royal visit in support of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

 

Today, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award held its first ever UAE Gold Award Ceremony. Hosted by GEMS Wellington International School, 29 young people from eight schools were recognised and presented with the top international honour, receiving their Gold Award from His Royal Highness The Prince Edward Earl of Wessex; Chair of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global, non-formal education framework which challenges young people to develop new skills, get physically active, volunteer within their community and break out of their comfort zone to experience adventure. The Award operates in more than 130 countries and territories around the world, helping to inspire over 1.3 million young people every year.

During the past few years, there has been growing interest worldwide in exploring the benefits of non-formal education and the role it can play in developing skills such as resilience, confidence, communication and problem solving – skills which many deem essential for young people, as the world changes at a rate and in ways never seen before.

The ceremony is part of a British Royal visit to coincide with the Global Education and Skills Forum, hosted by the Varkey Foundation, of which the Award is a proud partner for the first time.

HRH The Prince Edward Earl of Wessex says: “Today's young people are growing up in a dynamic, fast-paced world and the development of skills like resilience, confidence and adaptability is important.  Non-formal education - such as that offered by organisations that run The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - is a tried and tested way of enabling young people to challenge themselves, step outside their comfort zone and become positive agents of change, both for themselves and their wider communities.  It allows them to develop the skills they need to step confidently into the world of today and tomorrow. It is a great honour to meet such inspiring young people, hear about their Award journeys and celebrate their achievements at the Award in UAE’s first ever Gold Award Ceremony.” 

Dino Varkey, CEO at Global Education Management Systems (GEMS) Education, said: “We are celebrating young students for their outstanding achievements in a leading non-formal education framework, where we are joined by HRH The Prince Edward Earl of Wessex in the first UAE Gold Award Ceremony. We are overjoyed to welcome one of England’s most notable royal family members in recognition by The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, and to see him inspire our students to succeed in extra-curricular activities which are so important for young development of life skills.”

Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody said: “I am delighted that The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award has held its first ever Gold Award Ceremony in the UAE and that the momentous occasion could be marked by a visit from His Royal Highness The Prince Edward Earl of Wessex. Links between the UK and UAE are broad and deep, and this is particularly true in the education sector where British schools, teachers and institutions have an impact on so many people’s lives. As the leading youth achievement award in the world, today’s ceremony is a landmark in the Award’s development in the UAE where it is another powerful and positive British influence on the lives of young people in this country. My congratulations to everyone involved.”

In UAE, almost 3000 young people are currently participating in the Award, with this week’s presentations celebrating some of the top participants in the country. The Award has been operating in UAE since 2000. 

 

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For further information, please contact:

Marianna Davis, Senior Brand and Communications Manager, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation: marianna.davis@intaward.org / +44 (0) 20 7222 4242/ +44 (0) 7720 392 528 

 

Notes for Editors

  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global, non-formal education framework which challenges young people to develop new skills, get physically active, learn about teamwork and leadership through adventurous journey and volunteer within their community.
  • It is known by a range of different names around the world – including, to name a few, the DofE in the UK, the President’s Award in South Africa, The International Award for Young People in India and Mednarodno priznanje za mlade (MEPI) in Slovenia.
  • The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex is Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation
  • There are currently 1.3 million young people completing their own unique programme, via hundreds of thousands of youth-focused partners and operators, including schools, youth organisations, examination boards and youth offender institutions.
  • From running as an established programme in a blind boys’ academy in India, to the introduction into youth organisations in Israel and projects working with teenage mothers in New Zealand; the Award’s framework can support and thrive in a multitude of different environments.
  • Since its launch over 60 years ago, millions of young people have participated and received Awards, with millions more benefitting from its impact in communities around the world.
  • Both national and international case studies, imagery and additional video content are available on request.
  • For more information, please visit www.intaward.org or www.worldready.org.

 

The Award in UAE

  • The Award has been operating in UAE since 2000.
  • From April 2018-present almost 3000 young people between the ages of 14 – 24 are taking part in the Award across the UAE.