The Award in Romania will host The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Associations’ 14th Forum from 11 October to 14 October 2022. Taking place in Cluj-Napoca during the month of education, the triennial conference event will bring together international leaders to discuss and plan the future growth of the Award worldwide. His Royal Highness Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, will attend and contribute in his role as Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.
The Award’s global ambition is that every 14-24 year old has the opportunity to participate in the Award and to challenge themselves and build on the universal skills that will serve them and their communities for years to come.
The theme of the event, “supporting the infinite potential of young people”, will look at the challenges and opportunities facing young people today and examine how the Award can work with and alongside its participants, so ensure they are fully equipped to face the world and their futures head on.
The global Forum 2022 officially begins with the Welcoming Ceremony on October 11, where delegates and special guests will be addressed by The Earl of Wessex in his capacity as Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation; Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of Romanian Crown and HRH Prince Radu of Romania; HRH The Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, in his capacity as Chair of The Mérite Jeunesse Luxembourg; The Rt. Hon. Lord Boateng, International Trustee and Chair of the Award’s International Council and Vice-mayor, Dan Tarcea, of Cluj Napoca.
During the four-day event, HRH The Earl of Wessex will meet young Gold Award holders from across Europe to hear first-hand about the positive impact the Award has had on their lives. His Royal Highness will also visit local sports clubs and other Award centres to experience the activities undertaken by the over 10,000 young people across Romania who are working towards completing their DofE Award.
The Earl will join international delegates from the Award Association in visiting these five Award Centres across Cluj Napoca, where they will speak to Award participants and dedicated adult volunteers about their varied and diverse experiences.
Finally, formal and non-formal education will come together in an International Gold Award Ceremony, hosted by Babes Bolyai University at Auditorium Maximum, where 600 people will celebrate the accomplishments of 70 Gold Award holders, from across seven countries in Europe, in the presence of HRH The Earl of Wessex, Crown Margareta, Custodian of Romanian Crown, Prince Radu of Romania and Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg.
Mr. Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj Napoca, is happy to have such a global event hosted in Cluj. “We welcome to our city the entire community of young people and educators of the worldwide network of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Courage, resilience, openness for learning and testing the limits to allow growth are all values that are so important for the future of humankind. Cluj community relies on these values that are at the core of everything that The Award stands for. It is a great celebration of youth and hope, of friendship and collaboration and we are so proud to host it in Cluj-Napoca, the Heart of Transylvania,” he said.
John May, Secretary General of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, outlined the importance of the event: “Today’s young people face a complex array of challenges; many unchartered by former generations. This year’s theme: “supporting the infinite potential of young people” summarises our unwavering belief in the tremendous opportunities that young people around the globe can offer society, as well as the tireless dedication of our volunteers who work towards championing them to achieve this.”
May added: “Forum 2022 brings together the Award Association from around the world in person, for the first time in four years and I’m particularly delighted that our Chairman, HRH The Earl is Wessex, will be joining us in the beautiful city of Cluj for this historic event. We are very much looking forward to visiting young Romanian Award participants and seeing first-hand the inspirational activities they are undertaking.”
Shajjad Hadier Rizvi MBE, Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Romania said: “I am hugely proud that Cluj was chosen to host the Global Award Youth Forum, with delegates from every corner of the globe in attendance. I have been president of the Award program in Romania for 10 years now, in that time the program has grown and is available to young people from every walk of life and across the country. Cluj has hosted numerous youth related events in the past, these have been mainly European focused, I believe this is the first truly global youth event to be hosted in Cluj and adds to the belief that Cluj is a world class city. We will be taking the Royal, VIP and forum delegates to a selection of high schools in Cluj and the youth Football academy for them to meet young people from Cluj, talk and learn what is important for today’s youth living in this part of the world.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global framework for non-formal education and learning, which challenges young people to dream big, celebrate their achievements and make a difference in their world. Through developing transferable skills, increasing their fitness levels, cultivating a sense of adventure and volunteering in their community, the Award helps young people to grow and excel.
In Romania, the Award was first introduced in 1991 by Sister Agnes in Roman-Catholic Parish of Motru, being carried on locally until 2011. Since June 2013 The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Romania is patronized by Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown.
Today, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Romania can be found right across the country, engaging over 10.000 young people and 2.500 adult volunteers.