Children and teenagers who lose a parent or sibling often suffer from severe emotional difficulties. Because of their bereavement, they find it hard to return to a normal routine.
For this reason the OneFamily’s Youth Division established the Big Brother Big Sister Program. Children and teenagers are paired with a university aged ‘brother or sister’ to support, guide and help them for as long as they need.
The counsellors and children celebrated the end of the year under the slogan “Together all the way.”
The counsellors and children enjoyed a day learning to care for horses, washing them down and riding them. After lunch they presented projects each couple prepared.
Batzion visits Esther’s house every week. Together they enjoy baking, playing the piano, basketball and going on outings. They decided to build a special piano stool which they built from bottles, covered in plaster and decorated it with musical notes. On the seat they drew the OneFamily symbol. “The musical notes are what we play together. The OneFamily logo represents our connection to each other through the organization and the Big Brother/Sister program,” said Batzion.
Ranana and Hilli spend their weekly visits doing many different things. From art, playing board games, make believe games, watching a movie, going on outings and just sitting and talking with each other. Hili wants to be a brain surgeon when she grows up. Their project together focused on the human brain. “Hili wanted to do the project on the brain because the brain is responsible for the emotions we feel.” On a canvas they drew a human head, and surrounding it they listed different emotions and feelings because Hili felt “in real life emotions do not remain inside the brain but go out.” On a second cardboard sheet they mapped out the six emotions listed and their significance. On a third cardboard placard they listed 12 feelings and thoughts – freedom, indecisiveness, tolerance, friendship, calm and belonging to name just a few. Alongside each one they each wrote what they felt.
Ora meets Avia every Monday. Every week they do different creative projects, talk and have fun together. “For our project we decided to focus on Avia’s brother Shahar who was killed in Operation Protective Edge.” Avia found it very difficult to talk about her older brother and the fears she suffers from since he was killed. She is afraid of the dark, and is scared to sleep by herself. She also worries about her brother going to boarding school next year and how she will cope. To help her overcome her fears Ora helped Avia search for her favorite photo of Shahar.It wasn’t an easy task as every photo meant something to her. Finally Avia chose the photo she liked and after blowing it up, they pasted it on a canvass and decorated the border. Avia chose to call her project “My Shahar.”
Pnina and Ranana have been together a year. “At our first meeting, we asked each other three questions. Later we each drew a tree and on each leaf wrote our wishes for the year,” Ranana said. “I was a bit cautious of Pnina at first but then we became great friends. I will soon be 11, and one of my wishes is that Pnina will stay with me next year,” she said. Because Pnina studies Theater, and Ranana loves to dance, they decided to combine their two loves for their end of year project. They produced a film with several short clips titled “Now its my turn.” “You meet a person and become part of their thoughts their lives. The whole world is my stage and everyone has a position in life, that is what our film is about. It shows our connection to each other and how important it is,” says Pnina.