Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands will host a fundraising event at the Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa on Friday 2nd November 2012 from 7:00 p.m. Event proceeds will help defray the costs of our mentoring programmes and help support the 20+ children awaiting matches.
The event’s concept is a simple one, but with a fun element for our guests. All will be invited to attend in either a costume or be provided with a mask on entry. Prizes will be offered for the best mask and most creative costume. There will also be a cocktail hour, dinner, entertainment and dancing with other surprises during the evening. The usual silent auction will be hosted to raise additional funds.
Since 1984, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands (BBBS) has helped children to reach their potential through professionally supported one-on-one relationships with mentors. US based research proved that children in the BBBS mentoring programme are 46% less likely to use drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, 53% less likely to skip school, and 33% less likely to get into fights.
We screen all applicants for mentors (Bigs) and all children (Littles) for suitability for the programme. Our ‘Littles’ come from various home environments and family structures, different socio-economic levels, nationalities, neighbourhoods and schools across our communities. Our ‘Bigs’ also come from diverse backgrounds and are regular people, just like you. There is no need for any special degrees or skills; all that is required is the motivation to have a positive impact on a young person’s life.
We presently offer three types of programmes: Community-based mentoring, School-based mentoring, and a Group Activities Programme. Community-based mentoring consists of quality, one-on-one time spent between the volunteer and the child for a minimum of two hours per week filled with shared interests and activities. In School-based mentoring, ‘Bigs’ meet their ‘Little’ at the school once per week during lunch time. The Group Activities Programme provides monthly outings for children who are still waiting for a mentor. Volunteers, who are not able to commit to a one year mentoring relationship, provide waitlisted children with time, attention and fun once per month until community or school mentors are available and identified as good matches for the children.
To volunteer, simply submit an Application Form, a Police Clearance Certificate Request Form with a signed Police Release of Information Form and complete an interview. Once accepted, applicants are matched with a child according to shared interests. This process can take a few weeks or several months as we want to ensure the best match for both the adult and the child. Mentor training, child safety training and on-going match support also encourage healthy, long-term matches.
Mentoring is more than a volunteer opportunity; it is a one-year commitment of building a relationship with a child. For persons who are unable to participate in a mentoring relationship but would like to assist the organisation, we also welcome your application as a non-mentoring volunteer. We believe that everyone can give either their time, talent or treasure to make a difference in our community. Join us in making a BIG difference in the life of a child!