Royal Bank of Canada announces $1m to support The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

Published: 3 Nov 2013

As part of the Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) “Believe in Kids Pledge”, RBC has announced a donation of $1 million to help improve the lives of young people from diverse communities across Canada, the US and the UK through participation in The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

Reaching diverse young people

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (referred to as ‘the Award’) is open to all 14-24 year olds, regardless of their background or ability. It enables young people to learn practical and social skills valuable to their self-development and encourages them to get involved with their local communities, providing a service to and learning from people with different cultures and backgrounds.

Every day, 1,200 young people across the globe take up their Award, setting out on a journey to a better future, but donations like RBC’s can help us to reach more, says Secretary General of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.

Reaching isolated young people

“Over eight million young people have participated in the Award and many millions more have felt its impact in their communities. However, we need to reach a more diverse range of young people and it’s our ambition that every young person has the opportunity to take part in the Award. RBC’s generous donation will help us to realise this and we thank them for their continued support.”

For Silver Award holder, Ludo, taking part in the Award opened up his world. Having lived in residential care in Romania, Ludo felt excluded from society and was afraid to talk to anyone outside of the home.

“While participating in my chosen Award activities, I started changing because I interacted with people around me, but this step was very difficult for me because I felt marginalised,” explains Ludo.

“The major change took place mostly during the Adventurous Journey within a group of six people from different families; I was the only one coming from a placement centre. I started talking to each of them and I realised that we are not that different. One of the boys was very talented in telling jokes, which got me closer to him first. There were also three girls in our group and one of them had health issues. I sat next to her and when she started talking about her life I was surprised about how open she was towards me and how much faith she had in me.

If I had not been part of this programme, I probably would not have changed at all. After this journey I feel transformed, I am more self-confident and open to the people around me."

Investing in youth development

"The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award aligns perfectly with our support of programs that help youth become well-rounded, happy and healthy in mind, body and spirit," said Mark Standish, Co-Group Head, Capital Markets and Investor & Treasury Services, RBC. "We're privileged to support a programme that helps provide youth with an opportunity for a lifetime of success by increasing their motivation, broadening their horizons and boosting their self-esteem."

The big 5 0

The Award in Canada is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, having adopted the Award from the UK back in 1963. Since then more than 500,000 Canadians have taken part in the Award and thousands more have benefitted from the wider impact young people's involvement in community service brings.

More about RBC’s Believe in Kids Initiative

RBC announced its five-year, $100 million “Believe in Kids” pledge on October 3 2013 to support a wide range of programs dedicated to the well-being of kids and youth. Since that date, RBC has donated $7.4 million to after-school and children’s mental health programs, announced Career Launch, a program to provide young people with community experiences and core workplace skills, and became the title sponsor of Sports Day in Canada.

About RBC's Commitment to Community and Sustainability

RBC (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We employ approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 44 other countries. RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2013-2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations and among the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. 

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