Program BUDDY supports children and young people who cannot grow up in their own families. BUDDY steps in to complement the foster care system for children and young people. As children grow up, the system has to allocate increasing amounts of money for every child to adapt into society.

About us

BUDDY is about a relationship that heals children and teaches them to trust adults again. When children spend free time with their volunteer, they can build a relationship based on trust, and at the same time they gain support to help them reach their full potential.


It is a human right for a child to grow up “in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding” (UNHCR, 1989). Yet almost 5,000 children in Slovakia do not grow up in their families but in centres for children and families (formerly "children's homes"). Institutional care cannot give them what they need the most: a close relationship with an adult who spends time with them and is not paid to do so. After they leave the centres they often live on the edge of society.


BUDDY finds, selects and connects volunteers with children from centres. During their meetings with the child they provide the most valuable resource, their time. Like this, a healthy, trusting and long-term relationship can gradually grow between them. This relationship provides the basis for meeting the individual needs of the child and supports them while they are finding their place in society.