The programme is pursued according to the work principles of the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme. Its goal is to help to create, to strengthen and to nurture the relationship between a child (Little friend) and a volunteer (Big friend). The program is intended for 7–14-year-old kids who need emotional support, stable relationship, positive example from an adult and the individual attention.
How the program proceeds. The Big friend individually talks with a child of the same gender, meets with him/her regularly, helps to overcome various difficulties, spends free time together, listens to him/her. The friendship between the child and the volunteer has certain established rules, it is under the supervision of a programme coordinator who helps to solve encountered difficulties.
Before the volunteer starts meeting the child, an official 1-year friendship agreement is signed between the child, volunteer, child parents or foster parents and a programme coordinator. The Big friend and the Little friend undertake to meet once a week for at least two hours. During the meetings the volunteer and the child perform the activities that are interesting to both of them, for example, play board games, make sweets, go ice skating, learn to play guitar or simply go for a walk. After one year of friendship, the coordinator initiates a meeting with the child, volunteer, child parents or foster parents, and the friendship agreement is either terminated or extended for 1 more year.
Volunteer recruitment and training. The programme is opened for people who are at least 18 years of age. Before starting an individual friendship with a child, volunteers attend special events during which they get theoretical and practical knowledge about communication with children.
How the Big friend program can help children. The relationship between the child and the volunteer is essentially a remedial factor that helps children to learn how to establish a long-term stable relationship, improves self-confidence, encourages to try new activities, broadens horizon and world view.
Big friend programme team:
Justina Žuromskaja, Social Worker
How to contact us?
Phone: +370 616 17473; +370 659 05052