From children’s home to Royal Family!

From children’s home to Royal Family!


3. December 2015

Successful holder of The Duke of Edinburgh´s International Award, Lukáš Kotlár (19), is proving that growing up in a children’s home or being a Roma does not have to be an obstacle in life. Lukáš has visited London to represent the Czech Republic at an important social event focusing on the support of the Award’s special projects, which was hosted by His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, with his wife, Her Royal Highness Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, together with the British headquarters of The Duke of Edinburgh´s International Award. Lukáš faced a challenge in the form of a speech before members of the Royal Family and distinguished guests, supporters of the Award, in which he talked about his story. The guests included Jiří Zrůst, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Award in the Czech Republic and Senior Managing Director of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, a long-term supporter of the Award Foundation in the Czech Republic.

Lukáš lives in a children’s home in Uherský ostrov. Thanks to a scholarship from The Kellner Family Foundation, he has been studying at the Open Gate Grammar School. He enjoys music, sports and the media and is a proud holder of all three levels of the Award. He considers his participation in the Award to be an inseparable part of his life. “The Award has given me a great lifetime experience. During the years with the Award, I built up friendships and improved my social and communications skills. I learned how to survive in the nature I got better in planning. I also found out that I can do whatever I dream of,” Lukáš explains. Through diligence and dedication, he went all the way to the Gold Award.

For over a year, Lukáš has been editor in chief of Zámeček, a quarterly magazine for all children’s homes in the Czech Republic. He has been writing for the magazine since he was 14. Although Lukáš tried many voluntary activities through the Award, contributing to Zámeček is crucial for him.

“In the Award, I always did what I enjoyed. I tried many voluntary, sporting and musical activities. What I enjoyed most was the possibility to help others. Working for Zámeček is very fulfilling and meaningful to me as I can help children with whom I share the same background,” he adds.

Lukáš has achieved his successes also thanks to the support from the Czech Award. Without the Award, he would never have had the opportunity to present his story to members of the British Royal Family. The Award helps children and young people develop their talents and fulfil their ambitions through a programme in which they select their activities and set their own goals. Lukáš said about the programme: “I see the Award as an exciting possibility for young people from various backgrounds. It gives and opportunity to everyone.” Thanks to the Award, Lukáš could also go on an adventurous journey to Romania and spend two months in Bulgaria. All these opportunities have helped him in his personal growth and motivated him to meet other big challenges.

You will find other inspiring stories of the Award participants at

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