Listen now: Cyprus' historic island-wide Award ceremony
Published: 16 Jul 2018
As 27 young people across Cyprus celebrated their Gold Award recently, they also made history in attending the first-ever island-wide Award ceremony.
Rosie Charalambous chats to the Foundation's Secretary General, John May, about the direction of The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award and the recent, historic Gold Award ceremony in Cyprus.
The Award in Cyprus
The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award has been operating in Cyprus for more than 50 years and currently 13 Independent Award Centres support almost 2,000 participants on their Award journey. Each year, around 70 young people complete the Gold Award.
And on Friday 6th July, history was made when the first ever island-wide Award ceremony took place.
British High Commissioner @StephenLillieUK & The Duke of Edinburgh Secretary General @johnccmay congratulate Gold awardees in the first island-wide ceremony in #Cyprus with awardees from both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities pic.twitter.com/5zj0JLO8Hf
— UK in Cyprus (@UKinCyprus) July 6, 2018
The event saw both Greek and Turkish communities come together to celebrate the achievements of the young Cypriots who have completed the Award.
An honour and a privilege to spend the evening as a guest of @StephenLillieUK and @UKinCyprus at the first island-wide Gold @intaward Ceremony. Awardees from both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, celebrating their achievements together. pic.twitter.com/lELL2kVX9d
— John May (@johnccmay) July 6, 2018
John May said of the event: “It has been a pleasure and privilege to meet such inspiring young people and celebrate their fantastic achievements. Getting your Gold Award takes extensive planning, persistence and drive and all of today’s awardees should be incredibly proud.”
"All young people need to step outside their comfort zone, challenge themselves and find out what they are truly capable of – and these inspiring young Cypriots have done just that.”
Picture credit: Yiannis Kourtoglou
John May on the Award
Ahead of the evening hosted by British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie, John May gave an exclusive interview to The Cyprus News Digest.
In the interview Mr May discusses the current challenges faced by young people in the world today and how the Award helps to counterbalance some of these:
"There is a real danger that we are growing a generation of people who've been wrapped in cotton wool. The worry for me is that young people are growing up in an environment where they haven't had the opportunity to make mistakes.
"Parents should always be reassured that our first priority is about young people's safety. But if they don't have the opportunity to push those boundaries just a little bit, then when they enter the workplace they just won't properly be prepared to make those decisions that they'll have to make for the rest of their lives."
Listen to the full interview below: