Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) began in 1904 in the United States of America, introducing a unique style of one-to-one mentoring of children and adolescents.
In 1998, an organization called Big Brothers Big Sisters International was established to assist interested countries in setting up their own programmes. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Trinidad and Tobago (BBBSTT) is one of the latest recipients of their support, and you can be a part of this well-respected and influential programme! The Heroes Foundation has been the proud host organization for the BBBS programme since August 2004.
The Objectives of BBBS are to provide support to youths in developing and maintaining:
• Healthy self-esteem.
• Positive attitudes toward academics and authority.
• General life skills.
Our objectives are achieved within two specific main programmes: Children in Care and the Corporate Workplace Model.
Children in Care
Over the years, the Children in Care model were in nine homes across Trinidad and have served 131 Children and 105 matches (Bigs & Littles). Some of those matches have lasted up to four years which allowed the children to grow with their mentors. At the beginning of each match relationship, individual and match goals are set which help the mentors to work alongside the children to create activities to meet these goals.
Corporate Workplace Model
The Corporate Workplace Model started in 2014 and has partnered with 4 companies and served 51 matches. This Model is supervised by a Case Officer who is attached to the programme. The initial period of commitment which is called a cycle is four academic terms. However, we have been fortunate to have companies renew their contract for longer periods which helped the matches to build stronger bonds and have more time to create positive impacts. Like the Children In Care Model, individual and match goals are set at the beginning of the match relationships which help the Case Officer and Mentors to work alongside the children to create activities to meet these goals.
At the end of each cycle there is a Graduation Programme to celebrate their achievements. The agenda for this event includes speeches from company representatives, testimonials from Matches, the presentation of commemorative certificates and the presentation of Special Awards. The Littles make major contributions to the event which is exceptionally noteworthy because it shows growth. Most times they are shy and afraid of public speaking in the beginning and therefore they are always excited to showcase their growth and how much they have been impacted by their Bigs and the programme.