Be My Mate! Nesehnutí Connects Female Czech Students With Teenage Refugees From Ukraine

Since 2016, the Together for Diversity group has been running the NESEHNUTÍ Buddy Programme in Brno, connecting young people from Brno with those from abroad. With the current situation of hundreds of people arriving in Brno fleeing the war in Ukraine, including teenagers, they have created a new program called “Be My Mate”. Photo credit: Freepik

Brno, 31 March (BD) – With the situation in Ukraine and more people arriving in Brno, the activist group NESEHNUTÍ has created the “Be My Mate” project to ease their integration. Its goal is to connect teenagers from Ukraine with local young people who will help them get to know Brno and orient themselves in a foreign environment. This program will connect the young arrivals with companions, helping to create new relationships, organise group activities, provide expert advice and resolve any confusion.

Ukrainians between the ages of 14 and 18 who have fled the Russian invasion with their mothers and siblings are going through an extremely challenging time in their lives. As the attention of their loved ones is now often focused on the most vulnerable, young children and the elderly, these teenagers are often left on their own in a foreign environment, leaving them vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and feelings of insecurity or helplessness.

The purpose of the Be My Mate project is to find a friend for the teenagers – a local buddy. The new friendship will help the young people to deal with their feelings and forget, at least for a while, the tragedy of war and its associated hardships. 

Moreover, thanks to their buddy, the teenagers from Ukraine will find their way around faster, not only in Brno, but also in the Czech way of life. Spending time together with the buddy will also help the young Ukrainian women distract their minds and integrate into Czech society.To support the project, the organisers have set up a fundraiser on this portal. The money from the collection will be used to coordinate the initiative.

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