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Big Friend Little Friend Programme
A bond of friendship where an adult accompanies a young adolescent, being there in times of triumph and despair

The Need
- Delhi attracts nearly 2 lakh migrants annually*, who come in search of work, often with their families
- Nearly haLittle Friends of the urban poor population in Delhi is under 15 years of age**
- Adults being busy trying to make ends meet, seldom have the time or understanding to share their childrens emotional turmoil
- With no emotional outlet, the youngsters often fall into the wrong company

Long term caring and equal accompaniment is a powerful gift one can give another. With this as the pivotal thought, we introduced the Big Friend Little Friend Programme in 2010 in partnership with Mr. Randy Yeh, founder of New Path Foundation.

The Goal
The Big Friend Little Friend Programme enables social integration of adolescents living in Delhis slums by pairing these Little Friends with a Big Friend of the same gender in a bond of friendship.

The Outcome and Impact
Initially, we matched Big Friends with Little Friends from our Udayan Shalini Fellowship Programme.Within a year we expanded our reach to children in urban slum areas setting up two bases in South Delhi and North Delhi where Big Friends and Little Friends meet twice a month.

In just two years the programme has matched 62 Big Friends and 62 Little Friends, who value their friendship with each other. Many new Little Friends are eagerly waiting to be paired with their Big Friends after hearing about the programme from other Little Friends and their base coordinator.

Unique Aspects
The Big Friend Little Friend Programme is the first of its kind volunteering initiative in India deriving its essence from the Big Friend Programme in China, similar to the Big Brother Big Sister programme in the USA.

Through bonds of friendship the programme brings a change in the personality of both the Big and Little Friends.

Building confidence and self esteem
Constant encouragement from their Big Friend equips Little Friends to tackle difficult situations in their families, school and among peers, with confidence. Little Friends are also able to take on many new challenges at school and in the family. They are able to realise their own strengths, feeling a sense of self-esteem.

Developing values
As trust develops, the Little Friends value the advice of their Big Friends on aspects like personal hygiene, respect for parents and teachers and other important matters.

Improving Academic Performance
Big Friends help Little Friends in their academics and share the importance of studies helping Little Friends improve performance at school.

Enabling new experiences
The programme builds a bond between the Big Friend and Little Friend, facilitating exchange of ideas with both experiencing the true joy of friendship.

Your Support
You can be part of this wonderful journey by volunteering to be a Big Friend to a young adolescent.As you accompany your Little Friend you will see a positive transformation in your friend as well as in yourseLittle Friends. If you can volunteer two hours twice a month call us on 011-46548105/6 or email bigfriends@udayancare.org

*Report of Urban Health Resource Centre (UHRC) for the Ministry of Health and Family.
**THE STATE OF URBAN HEALTH IN DELHI report for the Ministry of Health and Family.