Research has shown that youth matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister are 52 per cent more likely to stay in school, 46 per cent less likely to use drugs, and 32 per cent less likely to engage in acts of violence. *MCT Illustration
Research has shown that youth matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister are 52 per cent more likely to stay in school, 46 per cent less likely to use drugs, and 32 per cent less likely to engage in acts of violence. *MCT Illustration

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Bermuda is a mentoring programme dedicated to helping children and youth, primarily from single parent homes, realize their potential by facilitating the development of long-term, one-to-one relationships. 

How does it work? 

They match a child with an adult mentor — a positive role model and friend. This means that the specific strengths, interests, and abilities of the volunteer are matched to the needs of the child. 

The volunteer, known as a “Big”, spends a minimum of three hours a week for at least one year with their “Little” by helping them build personal values such as self-esteem, self-respect and respect toward others.

Benefits to the “Big” — besides an incredibly rewarding experience — there is personal fulfilment; a sense of contributing or giving back to the community; the opportunity of sharing wisdom and experiences, and the joy of encouraging and inspiring young people.

Research has shown that youth matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister are 52 per cent more likely to stay in school, 46 per cent less likely to use drugs, and 32 per cent less likely to engage in acts of violence. 

Youth also manifest increased self-confidence, a sense of increased self-worth, the ability to trust and a heightened sense of good judgment.

Supersize me

In order to raise some funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters, on Wednesday, June 25 at 7:45pm, I will be joining a few other Bermudians at Harbour Nights doing some wild and crazy things.  

When I say wild and crazy, I am talking like a school principal kissing pigs not politicians, and the Bermuda Sun’s Don Burgess in a box with cockroaches not reporters.  

A politician named Jeff Baron stripping off his PLP shirt to prove he is not wearing a wire, and some police guy Dwayne Caines trying to outdo Ricky Spence by shaving himself completely bald. 

So what am I going to do? Well, for the love of the children of Bermuda, I will be wearing some silly clothing saying, “I Love OBA and Somerset Cricket Club” while importing a truckload of high-grade Kush milk right under the nose of our latest Premier, the Hon Michael Dunkley, aka Milkman.

Since Landow is no longer wiring any money to politicians, I will most likely be needing your help to get bailed out of Hamilton Police Station. 

Without that bail, I will not be able to write any more columns, as they do not allow iPhones in prison. So if you do not do it for me, do it for the kids of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Keeping score

I would like to take a moment to say thank you to all who went out of their way to contact me in one form or another in reference to my column last week about my friend Mike Dudden.

Let us not view Mike’s passing as a loss, but more importantly let’s give thanks that we had each been given a chance to absorb his magnetism. 

At his service, St. John’s Anglican Church had not an empty space left. I sat at the back of the church taking score of which jerseys came through the doors:

Three Newcastle. 

Two Liverpool. 

Three Spain. 

Three Brazil. 

20 Manchester United 

Mike certainly knew how to pick the right friends, and he knew what it took to bring a wide range of people together. 

Our best way to honour him would be to continue to reach out to those who we may least agree with initially.

Cheers to Mike! 

Our gift that keeps on giving.