Big Buddy is a charity that matches fatherless boys with positive male role models to support and encourage them as they grow into young men.
Supported by generous grants from organisations including Trust House, The programme steers boys towards confidence, better decision-making, the willingness to try new things and ultimately create a happy and fulfilled life.
Over twenty years of experience shows that boys who have no father present are far more likely than their fathered peers to seek role models on the wrong side of the law- the seeds of this preventative initiative were sown in 1997 and Big Buddy became a registered charity in 2004.
Since then Big Buddy has been making a difference to over 800 boys in Auckland, Waikato and Wellington. Statistics and stories continue to show that the presence of a mentor in a boy’s life really does make a long-lasting impact that improves his family life, schooling, future relationships and job prospects. When we start by helping a boy, we end up helping a community.
To achieve our goal of reaching over 8000 boys whose dads are not around, we need men in Auckland, Wellington and Waikato to consider being a Big Buddy today. We’re not looking for saints – we’re looking for men with a little time and a kind heart who can show up in a boy’s life for 2-3 hours a week for at least a year. This consistent commitment is important to our boys, many of whom have been repeatedly let down.
While mothers and grandmothers do an amazing job of raising boys alone, they learn more about being a man of good character by simply spending time with those kinds of men. We are successful in taking male volunteers through a highly developed, professional screening process that only passes men we know these boys can count on.
More on their website: bigbuddy.org.nz.
Kapiti local and mentor Pete Hobbs, 72, is testament to the more recent wave of thinking that suggests one should put the concept of retirement on the backburner and keep on keeping busy.
Pete works full time as a painter-decorator and spends a few hours each week mentoring 9 year-old Sean Burkhalter. He says signing up to be Big Buddy to the young Kapiti boy is one of the most worthwhile things he’s ever done.