Stand By Me

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, over 7.2 million refugees – the vast majority of them children and women – have fled across Europe. Facing immediate challenges accessing basic services, refugee children and young people will also experience the long-term impacts of the war as they start to rebuild their lives and recover from the suffering they endured.  

Stand By Me is a ground-breaking partnership, which sees The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia partner with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, on a two-year project to provide vital support to young people who have been displaced or impacted by the war in Ukraine.  

Working in collaboration with UNICEF, the Stand By Me programme will leverage the Award’s framework for non-formal education and learning as a tool for community cohesion. It will enable displaced young Ukrainians to continue their studies and prepare for work and for life, whilst also offering crucial moral and peer support via a young Czech, Slovak or Romanian buddy over a two-year period. 

The partnership will align UNICEF’s operational expertise in humanitarian crises with the existing infrastructure and presence of the Award, allowing Stand By Me to be rolled out quickly and efficiently across the three countries. 

The Award in the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia initiated the scheme to facilitate communication and mitigate the impact of the war in Ukraine on young people. The partnership will enable young people in these host countries, to support their peers as they flee war-torn Ukraine. It aims to help them to integrate into schools, communities and society.

UNICEF is pleased to work together with young people and build partnerships with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and other active youth organizations that are dedicated to empowering and mobilizing young people,” said Philippe Cory, Deputy Regional Director of the UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office. “Working together with international, national and municipal partners and with young Ukrainians and host communities in Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic the “Stand by Me” programme will build the skills, competence and confidence of youth, as well as bridges of understanding and solidarity among young people across Europe.
Philippe Cory
Deputy Regional Director of the UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office

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