Big Sisters Project for Casa Hogar Santa Julia Girls

By Karla Ortiz

To have a confidante and counselor, a best friend, and someone to whom you can tell your secrets without being judged, and to know that someone will always love you and will always be there for you is the wonderful advantage of knowing a special person called a Big Sister. Few have the opportunity to have one.

Alaynah Schaff, 17, joined a program that required her to be with the girls from Casa Hogar Santa Julia. There she made a connection with a four-year-old girl, who was promised that after the program, Alaynah would visit her. It was then that she, her sister, and some friends decided to create the Big Sister project through which they visit the girls every Sunday to play and talk with them, sometimes carrying surprises, sweets, or clothes. These are two hours in which the girls can have a best friend, ask for advice, or simply enjoy a conversation. The visits make a difference in the lives of the girls, who eagerly wait every Sunday to welcome the young creators of the initiative. Two of the girls have had to abandon the program because they are preparing to enter university studies. Alaynah is the only one who continues to visit the girls, but she, too, will soon also have to leave the city.

Alaynah is worried about the girls because the little ones know that she will soon stop visiting them, and they always ask her who will visit them now. Her aim is to find someone who will pick up the project and continue with the visits, so as not to abandon these girls who get so much from the program. Alaynah wants to get permission to take them for a walk or to the movies, go with them for hot chocolate, take them on a picnic, or share activities that any big sister would do with her younger sister.

The girls range in age from 4 to 17 years. The Big Sisters should be young people between 15 and 20, as the girls connect more easily with someone close to their age. The visits occur every Sunday since, during the week, the girls go to school and also have courses or workshops, and on Saturdays they have separate activities.

“It costs nothing to donate two hours of your day to give a smile to a little girl. In addition, people need to know that this project requires a lot of responsibility and commitment. You can’t go for three weeks and then not go because the girls ask about the Big Sisters, and it’s hard to lie to them,” added Alaynah.

The idea is to be with all of them and not select one because the smaller ones are very sensitive. Going to visit just once or twice does not work. It is necessary to visit them constantly to create a link of trust.

“It’s a completely different experience. Big Sisters are going to have a lot of fun with the girls because they’re very loving and very nice. They’re going to fall in love with them, and they won’t regret this,” Alaynah Schaff remarked.

If you are interested in supporting this effort, request information at: smabigsisters@gmail.com

 

 

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