What is the programme?

“Stand By Me” is a specially developed programme with care and attention to children and youth from Ukraine. Its mission is to promote their integration in the countries where they currently live.

Our aspiration is that every young Ukrainian between the ages of 14 and 24 will receive support from a Bulgarian peer of the same age during their stay in our country /at least during the first 12 months of their arrival/. Our aim is that each young Ukrainian in Bulgaria will be supported to continue their studies and feel part of the community, whether back in Ukraine, or in other countries.


How does the programme work?

The main idea behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is very flexible. This allows the “Stand By Me” programme to offer a wide variety of activities such as developing new skills, physical activity, voluntary service, and exploring local nature with friends during an adventurous journey.

Our vision for this covers several options

Engagement as participants

Inclusion in the Award of Ukrainian children and youth aged 14 to 24 as program participants.


Bulgarian participants

Providing support by a Bulgarian participant to their Ukrainian buddy for one or more of the activities in the Award. This can be online or live according to the specific case, as a service activity in the Award for the Bulgarian participant or another suitable way to facilitate the Ukrainian youth’s integration, learning Bulgarian language, etc. Thus, he gets a real buddy with whom he can adapt, grow and develop side by side.


Engagement as leaders

Inclusion of Bulgarian Leaders in the Award who would like to be mentors of Ukrainian participants. These could be current Leaders or new ones who would be trained and enrolled in the program to take on this role.


Ease of integration

Including new Leaders who are from the Ukrainian community in Bulgaria. These could be people over the age of 24, sympathetic to the ideas of the Award, who would support their countrymen side by side. The program is open to anyone who believes in its mission, regardless of how long they have lived in Bulgaria.

In partnership with



In 2020/2021, the The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation conducted an in-depth study of
the social value (the changes and impacts created by those participating in the program) generated by all members of the community. The findings of this report show that the Award has the ability to support and bring communities together.

Results of studies in the USA and UK indicate that:

0 %
of young people confirm that the Award has supported them during the global pandemic
0 %
believe that the Award has helped them build their character in the past year
0 %
said it helped them maintain good physical and mental health

How can you join the award?