About

Who is BUDDY

We met children from orphanages and wanted to help them. Not for us to feel better, but for them to live better.

How can we help?  We spent 10 years trying to find out how to help these children. With the help of 200 volunteers and 150 children who took part in camps, courses and experiential learning, we discovered that children need role models. 

Nothing helps a child more than a mature, loving adult. Children in families observe their parents, who love them and who pay attention to them free of charge. They learn how to think, feel, experience and make decisions. Children deprived of such opportunities suffer from lack of love, proximity and role-models; they have no role models to show them how to manage anger, how to commit to marriage in good and bad times, and how to build the will power to go to work even when one does not feel like working. 

It is easier for those who recieved love as children to be able to solve problems in life, career, relationships and how to bring value to society.  Those who have not recieved such love, will rather stay quiet.

Parents of children living in orphanages normally do not facilitate opportunities for their children to meet and form relationships with adults. Although they cannot be role-models for their children themeselves, they prohibit their children's opportunities for finding alternative role-models. Of course, children in orphanges do know a lot of adults - care-givers, psychologists, social workers, teachers - all of who are paid by the state to give their attention to the children. 

It is virtually impossible for a child living in an orphanage to have a real relationship with an adult, who would be sincerely interested in them completely voluntarily and free of charge.  

This is why BUDDY program exists. Buddy is a volunteer-based programme that provides the opportunity for childeren who live in orphanages, to have a loving and strong realationship with a reliable and mature adult. Volunteers spend their free time investing in these relationships so that the children feel loved. The magic is that the relationship is healing for both the adult and the child. 

BUDDY program is designed for children older than 12 years, since younger children tend to attach to volunteers as if they were going to become their parents. BUDDY is not a foster parent - it is a friend who is at least 10 years older - similar to god-parent or older sibling.  We find such volunteers, make the selection, train them, explain what is the point and how it works.  After thorough training, we connect one volunteer with one child, living in an orphanage, and we enable them to connect the two worlds.  Each volunteer then attends lectures and discusses their experiences with our psychologists once a month. This means that the BUDDY can better understand their orphan partner so that the relationship can last for not just a month, but ideally a lifetime.

The volunteer learns how to interact with children that have complex behavioural patterns; the children learn how to thrive in the complicated world outside of the orphanage. We hire and partner with the best professionals in child psychology and education. We help the volunteers, teachers, foster parents, and future parents to fully understand the children by perceiving the invisible causes of their behaviour and thus change the visible consequences of their education.

 

It takes as little as one meet a week to make the friendship last for a lifetime. 

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