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Foreword by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT

Young people growing up in this modern complicated world have many difficulties to face, and opportunities for personal achievement are often limited. At the same time, parents, teachers, voluntary organisation leaders, and employers, who recognise their responsibilities towards young people, also have their challenges.

The Award is intended to help both the young as well as those who are concerned for their welfare. The object is to provide an introduction to worthwhile leisure activities and voluntary service, as a challenge to the individual to discover the satisfaction of achievement and as a guide for those people and organisations who would like to encourage the development of their young fellow citizens.

I hope that everyone who takes part in the Award will find an added purpose and pleasure in their lives. I am quite sure that all those who help to run it will gain that special sense of satisfaction which comes from helping others to discover hidden abilities and to overcome a challenge.

Our ambition -is that every young person aged 14 to 25 in the world should have the opportunity to participate in the Award.

Our vision -is for the Award to reach more young people from diverse backgrounds and equipt them as individuals to succeed in life.

Our mission -is to promote the Award, provide young people with their Award programme, and preserve the quality of the Award worldwide so that the delivery of the Award continues to be relevant to be the aspirations of participants.

We are proud to announce that The School for Deaf at Ratmalana, entered to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award family on 31st March 2014 it was a very special day for the National Youth Award Authority and for the Award programme in Sri Lanak. Ten students from the Deaf school were inspired by MsThanujaWijesinghe a Bronze, Silver and a Gold Award winner who works as a trainer for the National Awards Authority and Ms Kalani Weerasinghe a traine teacher, a Gold Award Worker who is doing her service at the deaf school. These students mark their names in the history of the Award programme in Sri Lanka they were the first bach of students in Sri Lanka who entered to the Duke of Edinburghs International Award programme from a differently abled community.

These students will be working for their Bronze Award making themselves feel important and useful in the society. They will be trained to help elders at an elder’s home for their community service,they will be learning English Language as their skill and will take up many different sports to fulfill the physical recreation. End of the period of six months they will be taken on an adventures journey to complete the Award. This is a dream come true “Deaf people do have many interesting jobs in the society. We shouldn’t isolate them. They shouldn’t hang around only with their community”

This unit was given life as a tribute paid to one of the best leaders we had (former Principal of Sacred Heart Convent Galle late Rev. Sister Rosina Nanayakkara) who guided many youth. She showed the way of life to face challenge to have self-reliance and leadership through the Award. This is the time to pay it back. We want all young people in Sri Lanka to develop and understand their uniqueness, to have self-belief and self- confidence, a positive realistic self-image, sense of responsibility to others and to the society, to improve interests, skills and abilities which will enable them to give a positive impact to the society.

“all of us should learn to communicate with people who are with hearing impairment; we have lot to learn from them too”.

The heartfelt gratitude should go to the generous sponsor of the project, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award winner MrJanakaUdamulla (Director Finance and Administration) at CL Synergy (Pvt) Limited who stretch the hand to open the doors for these students to be in the global village.

Thanks should go to the Principal of The School for Deaf Mrs. D. SamanthikaJayasuriya for the untiring efforts she take to make a better future for the students, The National Director of National Youth Award Authority Mr Rohan Elawala who always encourage and gives the fullest support, teachers MsTharaka Gabriel (Sign Language teacher), RanminiLorensuhewa (Speech therapist) and the English Language teacher MsKalaniWeerasinghe.

ThanujaWijesinghe
Bronze, Silver and Gold Award winner
National Training Panel member -NYAA
Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award