BEFORE the floods ravaged most areas in the Western Division, a flourishing program kept students and youths at bay.
Most would know DofE as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Program — a program of activities (according to Wikipedia) that can be undertaken by anyone aged 14-25 regardless of personal ability.
It can take between one to four years to complete depending on the route taken. All programmes must be completed by the participant's 25th birthday. Wikipedia says 275,000 participants take part in the DofE program at any time in the United Kingdom.
Here in Fiji, the DofE program has kept the young busy, each trying to achieve all three levels of the awards — bronze, silver and gold. The Divisional Youth Office in the Western Division highlighted the DofE program at SSKM College in Nadi, Ba Sangam College, DAV College, Khalsa College and Votualevu College in its March newsletter.
The office says many schools had taken the initiative as an extra-curricular activity last year.
"Besides fun and the many new things that will be learnt, participants will also contribute to the development of their community, their country and the world at large," the office said.
"They will also be acknowledged for their efforts in the form of a prestigious certificate upon the completion of the program which will add to their achievements. It would also play a part in enhancing their holistic development."
Meanwhile, the DofE awards ceremony is expected to be held in the second school term with a DofE training of trainers workshop scheduled sometime this month.