Riddhi Jain, Gold Award holder from Delhi Public School, Gurugram is sharing her Award Journey experience, especially the Residential Project.
I was first introduced to the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award programme when I was in the 9th grade. When I was introduced to the International Award for Young People (IAYP), I was quite curious about the programme and how it would help me in my life. Deciding to join the Bronze Award was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has been an amazing experience ever since. I went on to complete the Silver and Gold Awards as well.
My journey with IAYP has been one with many challenges: from managing academics and extracurriculars to meeting deadlines. Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I think the most important skill I picked up from the IAYP is interpersonal and communication skills.
The Residential Project for the Gold Award was my personal favourite. It taught me how to work in a team. To step out of my comfort zone and go out in the open, meet new people, make new friends and most importantly, it taught me how to enjoy life outside home and away from my parents.
Living with strangers in a village, learning their lifestyle and language was a little scary, but at the same extremely thrilling. We visited the village head -- the Sarpanch, spoke to the Panchayat about the administration of the village, went to the village school and taught the students there, and danced with them. We interacted with them and told them about our school.
I learnt how to make round chapatis and had tea for the first time ever. The tractor ride was quite amusing. We also organised a cleanliness drive and took to the streets, after which we put up a street play on hygiene and sanitation and stressed on the importance of maintaining cleanliness.
On the third and fourth day, I went to the farm and saw a variety of vegetables that were grown. Later, we were taken to the brick kiln and made a few bricks there, which were, to be honest, quite distorted. The task was very tough and tiring, yet fun.
It is priceless memories like these that remind me of the joys of the Award. Completing the Award gives youth opportunities that one would not normally experience and moments that last a lifetime. Achieving the Awards was just as thrilling as completing the journey. Click here to see more pictures