Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland has been granted $5,055 in funding from the Delta Foundation through the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF).
The funds will help the organization match at-risk girls with supportive mentors through their Study Buddy mentoring program.
The program is a weekly one-to-one mentoring relationship that focuses on school work. For a minimum of six months, Study Buddies meet for one hour a week outside of school to work on school subjects and study skills. Little Study Buddies (ages 7-17) in this program not only improve their academics, but also report a higher level of self-esteem.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the closure of schools in March and putting in-person Big Sisters matches temporary on hold, isolation poses a real risk when it comes to the mental health of already vulnerable youth that Big Sisters serves.
“Trauma falls hardest on our youth” Hanne Madsen, executive director for Big Sisters BCLM, said in a press release. “This pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on their mental, physical and economic health. The connection our youth have with their Big Sister is more important now than ever before to mitigate the risk factors and help them navigate this new normal. With over 135 girls on our wait list, we are striving to ensure that we can help all of them reach their potential.
Big Sisters BCLM is on of eight local charities supporting vulnerable populations to received a total of $181,860 in funding from the Delta Foundation through the ECSF.
According to a Delta Foundation press release, a survey conducted in April found that 80 per cent of charities in Canada were operating with decreased capacity due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and nearly one in five organizations had suspended or ceased their operations. The projected financial losses for registered charities in Canada is between $9.5-15.7 billion and $15.7 billion.
The federal government launched the ECSF on May 19, and the Delta Foundation is one of 177 community foundations across the country participating in the program. Through the ECSF, the foundation is providing emergency support for charities throughout Delta in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada.
Other Delta non-profits receiving funding are Deltassist Family and Community Services Society ($70,000), Little House Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Society ($10,000), Mamas for Mamas — Metro Vancouver ($30,000), Options Community Services ($8,000), Reach Child and Youth Development Society ($25,805), Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels ($15,000) and WINGS Fellowship Ministries ($18,000).
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