First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, has praised the Stand By Me Buddy Up programme, started by the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in partnership with UNICEF


In a video marking two years since the escalation of war in Ukraine, Lady Zelenska praised its success and encouraged more people to get involved in the programme, which ‘buddies up’ displaced Ukrainian young people with an Award participant in Czech Republic, Romania or Slovakia, as they transition into life in their host country.



The programme has seen a hugely positive impact on the Ukrainian and local young people that have taken part so far, like Honza and Ivanna, who are part of the programme in the Czech Republic. Here, they discuss the impact it has had on them, their learnings, and the friendship they’ve forged through Stand By Me.



Thank you to the young people and volunteers from The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Czech Republic, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Romania and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Slovakia for continuing to make this programme a success.

To find out more about the Stand By Me, or to get involved, visit: Stand By Me Hub – Intaward