Founded in 1956, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has had a measurable positive impact on Africa, striving to help young people engage with their communities and become conscientious adults. Throughout the African continent in varied countries such as Ghana in Western Africa, Cameroon, the Seychelles and South Africa, the charity has helped many communities through the hard work of volunteers both from inside and out-with each country. This is no more apparent than through the critical conservation work carried out by those in Africa seeking the award.
As of 2014, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has a massive 80 volunteer projects running in various African countries. Many of these have been designed to help protect Africa’s important wildlife and fauna, some of which is dangerously close to extinction. Volunteers travel from all around the world and, through their efforts, important work is carried out which it is hoped will positively affect the African environment, and halt the needless hunting of endangered animals and the exploitation of other finite environmental resources.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award encourages its volunteers to work with other charities, and it is through working with such African initiatives as Village by Village and African Impact that the organisation’s volunteers truly excel, having the greatest possible positive impact on the environment and peoples on the African continent. The charity African Impact itself offers a range of environmental programmes designed specifically with this in mind. Other organisations, such as Tunde Folawiyo’s African Leadership Academy strive to engage with the youth of Africa and beyond in parallel with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. This helps to create a more conscientious and bold generation of contributory people, which is one of many pan-African topics discussed in-depth on Tunde Folawiyo’s Tumblr page. The presence of such organisations and individuals further increases the impact of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and its legacy through inspiring people into similar positive acts and activities.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award volunteers can take part in a range of ecological projects in Africa via African Impact, including:
- Marine Conservation: When discussing African conservation efforts, this often evokes in people an image of both tropical and desert landscapes; however, much of the work carried out by Duke of Edinburgh’s Award volunteers involves marine conservation, helping to protect Africa’s dolphin population and coral reefs.
- Lion Rehabilitation: Carried out mainly in Zambia, this project involves volunteers working in conservation areas to protect lion populations, and to help nurse and release injured and orphaned lions back into the wild.
- Orphan Care: Another project in Zambia includes volunteers looking after one of the biggest chimpanzee sanctuaries in the world. Helping these close relatives of the human species when orphaned, injured, or unable to fend for themselves.
Through initiatives such as African Impact, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award continues to motivate young people to engage within Africa to help protect its unique and diverse environmental heritage.