New Donor Report tells story of Award growth

Published: 21 Jan 2015

Building the foundations for Award growth

“…from the time they introduced the Award I think there is a change in my life… I’m no longer hopeless. I have a hope.”

Harriet, 19, a Silver Award participant from Uganda, speaks with a quiet conviction about the way her life and outlook has changed in the last few years. As the only daughter in a family of five, Harriet found herself fetching wood and preparing food, not going to school as other girls her age were doing. “I thought my life was to be in the village only,” she says. “I never thought of any big occupation.”

A few years later and life is very different for Harriet. She makes money by baking and selling cakes, is a public speaker, and aspires to being a psychiatrist. It’s quite a journey for the self-confessed “shy and reserved person”.

Years of investment

Harriet GwokyalyaHarriet’s story of personal growth is at the heart of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation’s new Donor Report. The report, which is published today, focuses on the growth of the Award, and what it takes to get our non-formal education framework to more young people like Harriet. It’s a challenge which takes years of investment in people, governance and systems, as Melek de Wint, one of the Foundation’s regional directors, explains: “You first have to have the infrastructure, you have to have the trainers, you have to have the Award Leaders, and in parallel to that be promoting the Award.”

Once these foundations are laid, though, the Award can reach new groups of young people, including those like Harriet who aren’t in formal education. The Foundation aims to have 20% of Award participants coming from marginalised and at risk backgrounds by 2020. As the report explains, the Foundation’s growth strategy has enabled Uganda, which was reaching only 2000 young people in 2010, to have an achievable target of 100,000 participants per year by 2016.

To read more about Harriet, and about how the Award equips her and other young people for life, download our Donor Report.


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