e-Buddies in Action!
This is a new segment of the e-Beat! Each month we will highlight a school or agency involved in e-Buddies. Our hope is that this will be an opportunity to share some of the challenges and triumphs encountered through group participation in e-Buddies!
This month, we spoke with Leela Puree-Fawcett from Miriam Home / McGill University Best Buddies chapter in Montreal, Quebec.
How long has your group been involved in e-Buddies?
Our group has been involved in e-Buddies for four years. Two years with Christina Strong as the coordinator and then two years with me.
How many members are currently matched with e-Buddies?
We have eleven members.
What are some key challenges you have faced and overcome?
A main challenge is making sure that the buddies respect the computers, the computer lab, each other, themselves and the volunteers that help them. With the few problem incidents that have arisen I have found that tough love (being firm) about what is appropriate or not tends to work best. Then they appreciate more being at e-Buddies and want to do whatever it takes to stay in the group.
How do you make e-Buddies work with your group?
Well, we meet almost every Sunday night during the McGill school year. Sometimes we have parties like right before the end of the year or before Xmas / Hanukah break. I go up almost every Sunday and usually have at least two other volunteers who come up with me as well to help. Some of the regular volunteers this past year have been Lauren Kolyn, Emily McDonough, Liz Pelletier, Sean Winchester and more.
What have your group members gained by participating in e-Buddies?
Our participants have gained a social outlet, computer skills, cooperative skills and new friendships with their pen pal and the other buddies!
Photo: McGill University Chapter e-Buddies participant Jack R. with volunteer Julia L.
Do you work with a group of e-Buddies participants? We'd love to feature your group here! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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