HRH The Prince Edward leads a call to ensure the world ‘invests in our most precious resource – our young people’

The call marks the launch of a new campaign to celebrate and grow the legacy of his father, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, through The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

Today, on what would have been the 100th birthday of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, his son, Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex and Forfar, is celebrating his father’s legacy and highlighting why his work championing the potential of young people through The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is more important now, than ever.

“For many young people, the effect of the pandemic has been profound; indeed the true impact is unknown and the repercussions may last for years. Now, more than ever, young people need the skills and aptitude to be able to navigate a new normal and find their place in an exceptionally challenging and changeable world,” says The Earl.

The anniversary of The Duke’s birthday will instigate a global 3-year initiative, ’Founder’s 100’ to celebrate the impact of the Award, with the ambition of raising £25m to sustain Prince Philip’s vision. This will enable an additional two million young people across the world to access the Award programme, with a particular focus on supporting those from at-risk and marginalised backgrounds.

“My father’s championing of young people shines through as one of his biggest legacies. His Duke of Edinburgh’s Award encapsulates his vision for inspiring and empowering young people and adults through participation in activities beyond the classroom.   Although Prince Philip might have used different words when he created the Award, we’d describe those activities now as providing access to great non-formal education and learning, and we are proud to recognise young people’s achievements. There are millions of people, the world over, who’ve had their lives changed through the Award and it has been immensely affecting to see the outpouring of Award memories and inspiration that people have shared following his passing.”

“Now, more than ever, we need to invest in the world’s most precious resource – our young people – to ensure they have everything they need to tackle the current challenges they face and create a brighter future for themselves and their communities. My father was a pioneer in non-formal education and learning and even 65 years ago, he recognised that young people needed to be resilient, confident and adaptable. He recognised that these were attributes that you didn’t necessarily learn in a classroom – but rather, were developed through persistence, challenge and commitment in areas like voluntary service, sport, hobbies and adventurous pursuits. He founded the Award to help young people discover that they are capable of so much more than they ever realised.”

The Award is calling on educators, parents, community and business leaders – and ultimately young people – around the world to discover the potential impact of non-formal education and learning on themselves and their communities.

Prince Edward continues: “This sort of learning is not just a ‘nice to have’; it is positively advantageous in helping develop the vital skills needed to tackle the world’s current challenges and thrive in the years to come. The Award is working around the world to help translate that vision into a reality.”

To mark the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Award holders around the world shared their memories of what the Award means to them. Here are a few of those excerpts:


“[The] Award allowed me to find my spark, it allowed me to strengthen my voice, use my platform to advocate for mental health and directed me on the career path that I am passionate about.”

Bibi Saleema Hakim, Gold Award holder, Canada


“The Award has helped my physical, mental, emotional, and social life. It has made me stretch, [and] reached some horizons I couldn’t have reached on my own, it has made me enlarge my coast, and this, I am really grateful and happy for. I don’t take it for granted.”

Abdulsalam Toheeb Olabisi, Gold Award holder, Nigeria


“Through the Bronze, Silver and Gold Award, my life changed. I gained self confidence and I discovered my true passions. I learned that I was actually better than I thought: the Award programme made me realise this and I told myself to never settle for anything less.”

Sophie Kerstens, Gold Award holder, The Netherlands


“I can say my life completely changed after going through the Award and I am World Ready. Whenever any task is presented before me I instantly remember the Golden Rule we were taught, ‘Defeat is just a state of mind’ and it helps me find a solution.”

Tanvir Sabharwal, Kenya


Every year, more than a million young people start their Award, supported by almost 200,000 volunteers across 130 countries and territories.

To find out more about the Award, visit


HRH The Earl of Wessex


For more information, case studies or Award content:

Emma Brown

Director of Brand and Communications, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation

[email protected]

Notes to Editors:

  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global, non-formal education and learning framework which challenges young people to develop new skills, get physically active, learn about teamwork and leadership through Adventurous Journey and volunteer within their community.
  • It was founded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, in conjunction with German educationalist Kurt Hahn.
  • It is known by a range of different names around the world – including the DofE in the UK, The President’s Award in South Africa, The International Award for Young People in India and Mednarodno priznanje za mlade (MEPI) in Slovenia.
  • There are currently more than a million young people completing their own unique Award programme, via hundreds of thousands of youth-focused partners and operators, including schools, youth organisations, examination boards and youth offenders institutions.
  • The Award is delivered around the world by schools, colleges, universities, employers, social clubs, uniformed and non-uniformed youth organisations, young offenders’ institutions, religious organisations, sports clubs, and a whole host of other civic organisations.
  • From running as an established programme in a blind boys’ academy in India, to the introduction into youth organisations in Israel; the Award’s framework can support and thrive in a multitude of different environments.
  • Since its launch over 60 years ago, millions of young people have participated and received Awards, with millions more benefitting from its impact in communities around the
  • The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar is Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.
  • National and international case studies, imagery and additional video content are available on request.