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Chinatown Big Sibling Program
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Program Philosophy

There are four primary goals of the program:

  • To provide companionship and a positive role model.
  • To introduce a child who does not often leave Chinatown to experience the opportunities that may not otherwise be available to him or her.
  • To be sensitive to issues of culture and cultural identity.
  • To help volunteers gain insight into an inner city's child's life and experience the challenges and richness of an ethnic community.
  • It is hoped that volunteers and their little siblings will develop close and lasting relationships that enable both to grow and learn about themselves and their world.

    Volunteer Responsibilities

    The volunteer is required to make a two-year commitment to the relationship, as well as to visit the child at least once a week. The location and hours of these visits are to be arranged between the volunteer, the little siblings, and the parents.

    Various group activities and events are planned throughout the year, and the volunteer is expected to come with her/his little sibling. Finally, there will be individual meetings scheduled between the volunteer and program directors during the course of the semester to evaluate and discuss the development of the relationship.

    The Matching

    Most children in the program reside in the Chinatown community and are between the ages of 5 and 14. Preference is given to children with special needs and situations, such as those from single-parent or troubled families as well as recent immigrants.

    If the prospective volunteer is accepted into the program after the application and interview process, a meeting will then be scheduled with a social worker in the Chinatown community who is familiar with the child's background and needs. The social worker, along with the program director, is available throughout the year to address any issues and concerns that may arise.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at chtnbsib@hcs.harvard.edu.