Special Projects donors hear of fund’s transformative impact

Published: 10 Dec 2015

Last month we were privileged to welcome Award speakers from across the globe to London. They came to tell their stories to a group of valued donors who support our Special Projects fund.

At an event hosted by TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex, four young people explained to guests how the Special Projects fund had made a difference to their lives and their communities. All four Award speakers have been positively impacted by the fund which aims to extend the reach of the Award to marginalised young people.

David Mokenye, a Gold Award holder from Kenya, spoke movingly about the transformative impact of the Award on him:

“…the boy I was then would be proud of the man I am now. Indeed, the discipline, focus and leadership skills I gained as well as teamwork, social skills and the effort to keep physically fit are more than invaluable. I may not have much, but I choose to give the little I have, and the result is a sense of fulfilment which I cannot adequately express; some sort of self-actualisation.”

HRH The Earl of Wessex speaks to Award speakers

Sikdam Hasim, a Bronze Award holder and an Award Leader from Indonesia, explained how the Award helped him to accept his disability and move forwards:

“I came to realise that my eyes are not my everything. I believe that I still can continue my life, can still chase my dreams without my eyes. I am totally convinced that I can continue to learn, create and initiate some things, share and also achieve my success in life, although I am now labelled a person with disabilities..”

For Davina Jütten, an Award Leader from Australia, the key benefit of the Award is the fact that the experience and journey is unique to each participant and that through taking ownership of their Award young people ultimately take ownership of their future and how to be the best they can be.

“What makes the Award so unique and powerful is the flexibility that enables individual empowerment, control and self-determination. It gives back what has been taken from so many students in main stream education around the world as well as from the indigenous peoples of Australia.” 

Lukáš Kotlár, who recently completed his Gold Award Adventurous Journey, explained how what started as his Service for his Bronze Award five years ago has become a permanent part of his life:

“I started to write for Zámeček when I was 14 as part of my Bronze Award and now I am an editor in chief. Zámeček is a magazine for children who are growing up in children’s homes. We try to bring them important information for their future life, but also inspire and motivate them, because that is what they are missing the most. I try to do similar things for children as the Award did for me.”

Guests were so moved by what they heard that they committed ongoing support for the Special Projects initiative, which has so far raised over £300,000 this year.