Being a part of the Big Brothers & Big Sisters (BBBS) programme doesn’t mean you have to miss your Sunday morning fishing session — you can take your Little along.
In fact, Moira Daniels, and her Little Satyrah Robinson, 13, love nothing more than to go fishing together.
“I have been a Big between six and seven years,” said Mrs. Daniels, a teaching assistant at Somerset Primary. “My Little is very much into sports, so I often attend her football games and we go fishing.”
She said Satyrah tends to be a quiet person, so at the beginning of their relationship it was a matter of starting conversations. Now they talk a lot about the fish they are going to catch.
Mrs. Daniels said Satyrah often takes home what they catch, cleans it herself and gets someone in her family to cook it, but she said she rarely eats the fish she catches unless it is already in the form of a fillet.
Recently, Satyrah caught the biggest prize of all for Mrs. Daniels the Big Sister of the Year Award from BBBS. The prize was given out at the annual BBBS Christmas lunch.
“I was totally in shock when I found out my Little had nominated me,” said Mrs Daniels. “She was sitting right besides me at the BBBS Christmas luncheon.
“She had her head down on the table, but I didn’t know why she did that, and then I realised it was me they were talking about on the stage. She had her head down before.”
When Mrs. Daniels heard Satyrah’s nomination letter, tears of joy came to her eyes.
“I felt so much appreciation,” she said. “As a mentor, you often never know if you are having any effect on the young people.”
She said the pay-off to being a Big Sister was just knowing she had made a difference for a young person. “That is the biggest satisfaction,” added Mrs. Daniels, who has always had an interest in helping youngsters.
“I use to work in a preschool,” she said. “I would always take home someone else’s child. A few friends of mine encouraged me to become a Big Sister.”
At Somerset Primary, she said she has seen a positive change come over students who are placed in a mentor programme.
“Just recently we have a student who has a Big. He was quite excited when he first went to the office and saw my picture with my Little. He was happy I was in the programme as well. We do have conversations about it at times.”
She said that although people outside the programme often imagine that the Littles must be troubled or from broken homes, this is usually not the case.
“There may be a few that do come from challenging backgrounds, but most of the kids that I see in the programme are average children,” she said. “The children are frequently from a single parent home, but they are pretty well-rounded.”
She said the amount of time she spends with Satyrah varies.
“We do try to communicate more by telephone,” she said. “It is hard to put a time on it. She tends to have a busy schedule at this age, and mine is hectic with me doing courses consistently to further my education. But we do try to find time for each other.”
Satyrah Robinson’s letter nominating Moira Daniels as Big Sister of the Year.
Here are a few things I like about my Big Sister.
I enjoy our conversations, we also communicate using text messages. I like staying over her house. I wish I could stay longer and go more often. She taught me how to fish better than I have ever known. She never forgets my special days and always remembers me on holidays if I gave her my football schedule we would try to attend the games.
I love doing the BBBS events with her. She is very creative. For her wedding I had to wear a dress. She made me pass out favours to her guests. I did everything she asked me to do. Even like with new people/family members in her life she still thinks of me when she travels. I like the clothes she picks out for me better than my mama.
I really enjoy spending time with my Big Sister even though I don’t say much about it. I know she wants me to call her more. I’ll try. I hope we can be friends for a long time forever.