THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 2019-2020 WITH NEW BEGINNINGS COMES NEW HOPE In 2014, when he fled Syria with his parents and three siblings, Kamal was just 12 years old. He arrived in Germany frightened and confused. Then he discovered the Award... “When I met Kamal, he was 15 years old and hated school. As his form teacher, I tried to help him with academic requirements, and although it was clear that deep down he wanted to achieve, he hid behind the words ‘No, I don’t care, I don’t need that, I can’t do that’. His attitude was understandable; his grandfather had not wanted him to go to school in Syria which meant that Kamal was illiterate. He felt that however hard he tried, he would never be able to catch up with the other students. He started getting into trouble and many teachers had actually given up on him. At the end of the school year, we began delivering the Award in our school. We took our first nine participants on their Adventurous Journey practice training. While on a high ropes course, in an extraordinary moment, the eight other students told Kamal they would lay their lives in his hands despite the fact that he had not been much of a team player up to this point. From this magical moment onwards, things changed. I believe it was the first time he felt he belonged somewhere outside of his family. All the good qualities I knew he had in him began to shine. He was helpful and reliable and the other students saw this in him too. A year later in Norway he showed real leadership qualities on his Adventurous Journey with both teachers and peers following him in heavy weather conditions. For the various sections of his Bronze Award, Kamal chose boxing, planning the school festival and learning sailing theory on an old yawl. For his Adventurous Journey, along with three other boys, he did a biking tour through secluded Uckermark, a region north of Berlin. This tour turned out to be a real game-changer. Kamal found his passion. Since this trip, he has completed an internship at a bike store where he learnt to repair bikes. He found a job he could do in the evenings and was soon able to buy an old bike. He now enjoys regular biking tours using outdoor websites to plan his journeys which has significantly helped improve his German too. This year, Kamal is doing his Silver Award. In March he will travel to Osterburken to join an Award mentoring course for young people. His dream is to be a teacher at his current school helping young people in difficult situations like he was to find their passion and purpose in life. I have never heard the words “I don’t care, I don’t need that, or I can’t do this” from Kamal again.” Vanessa Masing Award Leader, Germany Funded by the Special Projects – Three Funds grant (Strong Teens Project by The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Germany) To find out more about our Special Projects - Three Funds grant giving programme, please visit: intaward.org/support/what/special-projects Read about more young people’s Award experiences here: intaward.org/impact/award-stories intaward.org 9

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