The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award and UNICEF are launching a joint program for youth from Ukraine and Bulgaria

"Stand By Me" is a partnership that will support more than 2,000 Ukrainian and Bulgarian youth between the ages of 14-24 in building 21-st century skills and in their active civic participation

28 March 2023
Международната награда на херцога на Единбург и УНИЦЕФ започват съвместна програма за младежи от Украйна и България
UNICEF Bulgaria/2023
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Представителят на УНИЦЕФ в България, Кристина де Бройн се срещна представители на "Наградата на херцога на Единбург"
UNICEF Bulgaria/2023

Sofia, 28 March 2023 – UNICEF and the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award in Bulgaria announce the start of a new partnership to support youth from Ukraine and Bulgaria.

"Stand By Me" is a partnership that will support more than 2,000 Ukrainian and Bulgarian youth between the ages of 14-24 in building 21-st century skills and in their active civic participation. The principle of peer-to-peer support, in which Bulgarian and Ukrainian youth will work together to fulfill the challenges of the Award, is the biggest advantage of the program. Young people will work together with experienced mentors who are part of the private sector and educational institutions.

"A recent UNICEF global study shows that 1 in 4 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are not in education, training, or employment. Therefore, the social inclusion of vulnerable youth and building their skills for the learning to earning transition are one of the main priorities of UNICEF Bulgaria’s work.

 

- said Christina de Bruin, UNICEF representative for Bulgaria.

"Our partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award under the "Stand By Me" program is an opportunity to support young people in their development and to create an enabling environment for their meaningful participation in our society."

- added Christina de Bruin.

Международната награда на херцога на Единбург и УНИЦЕФ започват съвместна програма за младежи от Украйна и България
UNICEF Bulgaria/2023

"We are currently working to pilot the programme in response to the situation of displaced youth from Ukraine.

However, as soon as we have it validated and evaluated the results, we are ready to scale-up with migrants and refugees from other countries.

- said Liliya Harizanova, national director of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award in Bulgaria.

I believe, and would be happy, to prove that the peer-to-peer methodology is also suitable for working with children and young people at risk of dropping out of the school system."

- added Harizanova.

There are more than 49,000 Ukrainians in Bulgaria, of which around 35% are under the age of 18. The main challenges the youth face are: language barrier, lack of friends and social environment, and difficulties with finding a job. The "Stand By Me" program will support the integration of Ukrainian children and youth into the local communities, their inclusion in the education system, and the development of key skills that will be necessary for their positioning in the labor market.

"Stand By Me" is delivered by UNICEF and the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania. In Bulgaria, the program will last 2 years, with the possibility of extension and coverage of more vulnerable youth. All young people interested in the programme can find out more and register on the website of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award and on the website of UNICEF Bulgaria.

Media contacts

Boryana Gidikova
Communication Officer
UNICEF Bulgaria
Tel: +359 893 52 52 40

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