FAQ

Who can be a volunteer-mentor for a child?
We accept volunteers who are over the age of 18 and wish to help children. it is required that you must live in the territory where program operates, understand the roles and responsibilities of a volunteer, interactions be able to interact with children, wish to support a child term relationships, be willing to establish a lasting relationship with a child, have patience, have skills of conflict resolution, moral standards, healthy interests and are emotionally and psychologically stable. Also it is important to wish and have an opportunity to meet weekly with child for not less than a year.

 
How can I participate in your program?
To participate you need to fill out an application on our site. Our case manager will contact you and offer to start a preparation to become a volunteer-mentor in the program.

Can I meet with a child not every week but maybe once a month or less than that?
No, our program intends regular communications with a child. Our volunteers visit their Little once a week during the year. Only such regular communication enables building strong and trustworthy relationship which can help child in future.

If I have no experience with children and I`m nor a pedagogue neither a psychologist can I still be useful for a child or your program at all?
Of course you can and you will be very useful! Our program is based on belief that any adult who has kind heart and compassion for a child and wish to help can enable positive changes in child`s life by his presence. More than that, our program provides volunteer-mentors with quality training and professional support during all the time you are in the program.

If I am not yet ready to become a volunteer-mentor, can I still help your program somehow?
You can participate in our regular charity events (celebrations and parties etc.) and we would be very thankful to have you supporting us financially or distributing information about our program among your friends or in media.

What is better: to participate in regular charity events, help financially or participate as a volunteer-mentor?
It`s all good. Each person who decided to help charity in any way is worthy of praise and gratitude, because nowadays not many people do it. Every person is free to choose which option is more comfortable for him. It`s important that you yourself feel good about what you do. Regular events bring much joy to the kids; funds will provide food and cloth and toys and more necessary things. Face to face communication with a child will help him not to feel lonely, will socialize him, enlarge his mental outlook and help him to get accustomed to life in society. And in spite of that it really takes some courage to committee yourself to such relations they bring significant change in child`s life giving him a hope for better future.

What will happen in a year of our communication? What if I decide not to prolong our relations?
Our program is limited in time. We supposedly sign up an agreement for one year. We prepare child for it. But also our experience shows that even after official match closure friendship can last for many years. Volunteers need to understand that they become close to a child and it`s very important that in case of a match closure after a year of relationship it`s better not to cut all interactions with a child in no time but to try keeping in touch through letters or calls. You will not be just participants of the program but two real friends.

What children can participate in Big Brothers Big Sisters program?
Here are some main characteristics: age 5 to 17 years old, orphans (or neglected), children from underprivileged families (single parent families, multiple children families, poor families, families with children who has problems with socialization which can be solved with a help of volunteer-mentor). Also, we consider the level of dysfunctions of a child, because sometimes disorder is so bad that relationships in a match can be destructive both for a child and a volunteer-mentor.

How do we create matches?
To become a participant of our program volunteers have to go through training. It includes filling out the survey, interview, psychological testing and training. Based on the results of this process case manager will find a child that fits volunteer best. Matching happens based on character similarities, mutual interests, hobbies and expectations of both child and volunteer. After personal meeting and mutual agreement volunteer and child becomes a match.

Where are the orphanages we work with located?
All the orphanages we partner with are in Moscow. If you live in Ioshkar-Ola, Kirov, Tambov, Tyumen or Perm you can also participate in a program in your city.

What document will I need to become a volunteer?
We request two documents: police check and medical check. Also we request 2-3 recommendations from your friends or co-workers.

How often do you conduct trainings?
Trainings depend on the size of the group. Usually we get enough people for a group once a month.

Will I have to pay to be a volunteer?
No all the trainings and program itself is free.

If you didn`t find an answer for your question here-please e-mail or call us.

Anna Bernikova Administrator, Rehabilitation and Correctional Education Center, Federal Institute for Educational DevelopmentAnna Bernikova