Öykü Altuntaş - Güven Usta / Istanbul, Oct 15 () - United Kingdom Earl of Wessex Prince Edward KG GCVO visited Darüşşafaka Schools in Istanbul and gathered with award leaders, students and participants, to raise awareness in Turkey on the Duke of Edinburgh International Award for youth.
Prince Edward were welcomed by Darüşşafaka Association Chairman Talha Çamaş, Darüşşafaka Highschool and Campus Coordinator Nevzat Kulaberoğlu, Darüşşafaka Schoolmaster Ayşe Görey and Darüşşafaka Association Deputy Chairman Fırat Tekin, Akfen Holding Chairman Hamdi Akın, TİKAV and Akfen Holding Board Member Pelin Akın, along with awardees and students.
Prince Edward at Darüşşafaka school desks
Having been hosted at an English class in the Education Center, Prince Edward looked at posters prepared for him by students, where they have colored the Wessex coat of arms, then had brief conversations with students.
He also met graduates of the international award programme and award leaders, and asked the university students their experiences, their daily lives, expectations.
Following a visit to the Fatih Gökmen Planetarium at the campus, the Prince gathered with participants at the "Techno-Entrepreneurship Youth Center", where he made a speech calling on educators in Turkey to encourage young people for the programme.
“It is a great pleasure to visit the school and recognize the schools work with the international award in Turkey. I am assuming you are connected to this school or others and I hope you have experiences that as leaders you are all ambitious for young people you work with. The award gives you a framework which you can develop young people’s characters and individual skills but also the belief in them selves. Life is full of challenges but also the programme opens doors, and life is full of opportunities. But actually having the confidence to take step through that door, to have that confidence in yourself is important. Thank you for helping tham taking on life challenges and making a real success in their lives” said Prince Edward.
“Educators should encourage youth for extra-curricular activities”
Having spoken to Dogan News Agency, Darüşşafaka Association Chairman Talha Çamaş said, “The Duke of Edinburgh International Award is a reknowed programme in the world and Darüşşafaka School has been a part of it in the last 10 years. The prnogramme evolves by skill developing in three certain areas including; survival strength in the nature, progress in a sports or arts branch and be active in a social responsibility project."
Some 200 students from Darüşşafaka have attended the programme and were awarded so far and 200 more were waiting their turns Çamaş said. "The main idea is not being awarded for us; foremost is their attendance and finishing the programme successfully."