About the Award

The history of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Program

Our founder

The Duke of Edinburghʹs International Award programme is the result of three people – His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Kurt Hahn, German educationalist, and Lord John Hunt, the leader of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest – which have realized that the development of young people is poor in some important areas, and they resolved to create a programme that would be a “do-it-yourself kit in the art of civilized living”.

The subsequent spread of the Award across the globe is testament to the universal appeal of the programme, and the vision of its founder. However, even HRH admits that this took him by surprise:

“When the first trial of the Award was launched in 1956, no one had any idea quite what would happen. In the event it was an instant success, and the Award has been growing and expanding worldwide ever since”.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh has remained committed to the Award since its birth over 60 years ago, particularly in recognizing the achievements of Award participants and the adults who support them.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the leader program for personal development and it is addressed to young people aged between 14 and 24 years.

The program is the result of three people – His Royal Highness Prince Philipp, Kurt Hahn, German educationalist and Lord John Hunt, the leader of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest – which have realized that the development of young people is poor in some important areas.

The Award Program has evolved very much since 1956, when it was launched in Great Britain and it has something new to offer to any young person in the world, regardless of where she/he is and regardless of the circumstances she/he is facing.

The worldwide expansion of the Award from the last 50 years has facilitated the access to the program of a larger and larger number of young people – over 8 million youth from more than 140 countries and territories. The impact of the Award program on many of these young people is extraordinary: it has transformed their lives.

In Romania, the program was first introduced in 1991 by Sister Agnes in Roman-Catholic Parish of Motru, being carried on locally until 2011. Since 2011, the program has expanded nationwide, where it was successfully implemented in several cities of Romania.

In April 2013 the license for Award Romania was signed in the presence of Secretary General, John May, thus our country becoming an Award National Authority. This was possible thanks to the support of the Little People Association of Romania.

Since June 2013 The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Romania is patronized by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Margareta of Romania.

The first event as Patron was the Royal Gala for the official launch of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Romania, a unique event which has brought together the Royal Families of Romania and Great Britain, the Ministry of Education and more than 150 representatives from the public and private, sponsors and partners.

The events continued with the signing of the partnership with the Ministry of National Education and the Royal Lunch of Business Woman organized and hosted by the Royal House of Romania.

Since the official launch of the program in 2013, the Award has seen a rapid expansion, forming over 1000 Award Leader volunteers, more than 30 trainers which make possible the expansion of the program to all the communities in the country and over 60 supervisors and evaluators, which ensure the quality of the Adventure section.

Up to now, over 3000 young people have taken part in the program, discovering new skills and developing the existing ones.