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The British Deputy Ambassador to Bulgaria, Lynn Charles, and Mr. Hristo Hristov, Chief Executive Officer of Darik Radio and a member of the Foundation's Honorary Trust,

awarded 108 young people who have achieved a Bronze level at Тhe Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award - Bulgaria at an official ceremony on April 29 at St. George's Private High School in Sofia.

The event aims to recognize and encourage the efforts and the time that young people invest in their personal development, their strength, inspiration and dedication to use the challenges to create new opportunities! The ceremony honored the initiative of 108 young people who have proven that the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention and demonstrated perseverance and commitment in the process to achieve their personal goals over the past 2 challenging years.

"The pandemic was a very boring period, especially for young people. The Аward brought relief, routine and security. The Award definitely helped me organize my time better and distribute tasks more efficiently. Also, it taught me perseverance. I think that the Award is extremely useful for young people because it develops a lot of personal skills, helps them build attitudes and curiosity to acquire new knowledge." - shared Joana Dimitrova, who had been one of the awarded young people and successfully achieved Bronze level participants in the program.

For the eighth year, the "Тhe Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award - Bulgaria" honored the personal achievements of the graduates of 14 educational institutions, their teams and youth workers who are part of the network of the program. At this year's ceremony, young people from Varna, Gorna Oryahovitsa, Zlatitsa, Kozloduy, Svishtov, Sliven, Stara Zagora and Sofia received their Bronze badges and certificates.

"I am glad to be here today and to take part in this ceremony. The Award started in the United Kingdom 66years ago and today it is a global organization with a presence in more than 140 countries. Unfortunately, Prince Philip passed away last year. This Award is part of his legacy and we will continue to remember him. Itis great that in Bulgaria it attracts more and more young and aspiring people like you. Congratulations to all of you who receive the Award today - it is a real achievement. You should be proud of yourself - you are the future because it is in your hands. I believe that you will be socially responsible and will work actively for the good future of Bulgaria." - shared in Bulgarian in her address to the awarded young people the Deputy Ambassador of the United Kingdom Mrs. Lynn Charles.

Mr. Hristo Hristov - member of the Honorary Trust and Chief Executive Officer of Darik Radio also addressed his message to the awarded participants: "No matter what difficulties and adversities you encounter along the way, never forget that everything is up to you. The change we want to see is the place we want to live, the world we want to see is always up to one person. A person has the strength and imagination to both create something very good and something very bad. In the same way that we can build, so we can destroy. Never underestimate that."

With more than 60 years of international experience in discovering the personal potential of young people, the Award supports the development of individual interests of students through a structured program for non-formal education. To this end, the Award engages young people in high school in goal-oriented activities and gaining knowledge through experience, which encourages resocialization and active involvement in civil society. The Award builds sustainable learning and perseverance skills in young people, supporting their academic development and results, as well as increasing opportunities for future social, professional and personal realization. Inspired by their personal interests, young people set challenging goals in four main areas: skills development, active physical activity, volunteering and adventure in nature. With the help of an experienced adult in the role of their mentor, they achieve their goals, discovering their passion and place in the world.

To achieve the Bronze level in the program, young people have spent 2184 hours studying biology, foreign languages, developing their photographic skills, inspiring lyrics, practicing various musical instruments, decorating cakes or testing their culinary skills. In the field of Physical Recreation, young people spent 1711 hours to increase their physical endurance and speed, through running, basketball, fitness, martial arts, yoga, surfing, ice hockey and more. Participants actively took part for 1565 hours in various volunteer initiatives by supporting the work process in national hospitals, caring for children, initiating charitable activities at school, supporting the work of their teachers, contributing for the landscape and inter-block spaces, assisting the elderly with daily purchases, recorded book readings to help blind people, etc.

With the Award ceremony for the young people who have achieved the Bronze level in the program, we celebrated all the lessons learned, with which these young people will face the next challenging and amazing situations that the world has prepared for them. And when that moment comes, they will be the ones to set new values and role models.

The event honored students from Britannica Park School, British School of Sofia, First Private Mathematical High School, Romain Rolland High School, 90 High School "Gen. Jose de San Martin", "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" High school, St. George International School and Preschool, 54 Highschool "St. Ivan Rilski", 157 Language High School "Cesar Vallejo", High School 125 "Prof. Boyan Penev", "Dimitar Blagoev" High school, M. V. Lomonosov School of Electrotechnics and Electronics and participants from the Association "Youth Tolerance" and the association "No Impossible Things".

The material was provided by Тhe Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Bulgaria - www.intaward-bg.org.

The photo: St. George International School and Preschool