With a history spanning over fifty years, the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme has affected the lives of countless youths in the UK and around the world. The programme, commonly called DofE, was started by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. To counteract the modern social forces, described by German educator Kurt Hahn, that were making young adults less imaginative, adventurous, and socially minded, the DofE encourages participants to achieve goals in five categories: volunteer work, physical activity, practical skills, adventurous journey, and a residential category that requires participants to live away from home.
One opportunity for service and adventure approved for the Duke of Edinburgh Award criteria is the Village by Village project, which works to improve lives in rural Ghana. Volunteers can travel to villages untouched by tourism and spend two to four weeks engaged in meaningful service within these communities. Opportunities include working to teach English to children, construction jobs, or serving as a coach for a youth football team. Roles as photographers, videographers, business advisors and healthcare workers are also available. The charity was founded by Neil Kerfoot in 2006, with the goal of reaching one hundred villages by 2016.
The non-profit organisation ‘Films Without Borders’ is another group working within Africa that is independently affiliated with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. ‘Films Without Borders’ works in Rwanda, Israel, Palestine and elsewhere with the goal of giving teachers the training required to teach schoolchildren the basics of film, so that students are then able to produce their own short films. ‘Films Without Borders’ then brings this work to a global audience, as one film is selected from each country to go on to an international film festival, along with the student team that produced it. The goal of the organisation is to unite young people from all over the world, and to help them overcome their differences through the medium of storytelling.
The DofE is supported by a global network that gathers at events globally to promote the programme, including at an exclusive World Fellowship Anniversary Dinner, usually held in a London palace. The Duke of Edinburgh’s World Fellowship represents just a few of the award’s many supporters, including Tunde Folawiyo, who admire the efforts of the Foundation to encourage the enrichment of youth worldwide. Readers interested in Tunde Folawiyo’s work can interests can find YouTube videos from Tunde Folawiyo online.