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Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Russia
Marina Kashpar

ven if a child lives with his parents, he often dreams of having an elder brother or sister. This is even more important for children who live in nursery homes or in orphanages. How desperately sometimes they need an older friend! The International organization Big Brothers and Big Sisters tries to help lonely children to find such companions to fill in, at least partly, the lack of parents. People who can, at least partly, bring back joy and hope to lives, to inflame the light of love and trust.

This organization has been working since 2006 in Russia. The Russian chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters is just one part of a large international volunteer program Big Brothers Big Sisters, one of the most effective international programmes of individual guidance for unfortunate children.

Nowadays this program is effectively acting in 13 countries of the world (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands, Island, Poland, Bulgaria, Israel, Bermuda, South Africa and Russia).

The mission of the Big Brothers Big Sisters guidance programme is to help children (“Juniors”) to fulfil their life potential through communication with adult volunteer-tutors (“Seniors”).

People who are participating in this programme are called volunteers. Everybody of full legal age and who has passed psychological tests which the charity stipulates may become a volunteer. In the West the Big Brothers Big Sisters is widely known and popular. The number of volunteers sometimes exceeds the number of children. In Russia the charity is still establishing itself.

At present, from the first day that Big Brothers Big Sisters in Russia started its work here, 136 junior-senior pairs have been organized. Of course, this number is not so impressive if you bear in mind we work with five Moscow nursery homes and orphanages. But, on the other hand, 136 girls and boys are not so lonely now, they have older friends, tutors, whom they can meet, and talk and communicate with every week. Once a month, Big Brothers Big Sisters in Russia holds so called mini holidays—joint tea-parties for such pairs.

On the 26th of March, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art played host to Big Brothers Big Sisters in Russia. The agenda included the following master-classes for children and adults: making model aeroplanes, sewing toys, learning photographic techniques, creating plasticine animated cartoons. Afterwards, an excursion around the Museum exposition was held. The holiday finished with the tea and delicacies for all the guests.

Four times a year, Big Brothers Big Sisters in Russia gathers all participants of the programme to enjoy a bigger kind of holiday. The next one will be held in May, at the Spaso-Andronnikov monastery. There will be a great festival of kites.

Those who are interested in more detailed information about Big Brothers Big Sisters in Russia program or wants to take part in it, please, contact:

Maria Gorbyleva
Tel 8 903 961 27 39 

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