Best Buddies Canada FAQs
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Frequently Asked Questions about Best Buddies
What is Best Buddies?
Best Buddies is a university/college based volunteer program designed to foster friendships between adults with intellectual disabilities and students.
Where did it start?
Best Buddies International was founded in the United States by Anthony Kennedy Shriver in 1989. It has since grown to encompass over 700 chapters in Canada, the United States, Greece and Egypt.
When did it come to Canada?
Best Buddies Canada incorporated as a registered national charity in 1995. Since then the program has expanded from coast to coast, with chapters at over 40 campuses from the east coast to Vancouver Island.
How does it work?
Best Buddies Canada establishes chapters on university and college campuses wherever there are interested students. Each chapter is managed by s student volunteer, called a Campus Coordinator.
How are Buddy Pairs matched?
Each chapter works with a Host Site, a community organization working in the field of intellectual disabilities. The Host Site Coordinator and Campus Coordinator match students with a Buddy, according to a personality profile and interview. All student volunteers complete an application, submit reference questionnaires and undergo a police record check.
What type of time commitments is involved?
Student Buddies & Buddies make contact with each other once a week by phone or e-mail. One to one activities (going for coffee, taking a walk, etc.) take place twice a month. All the Buddy pairs at a chapter get together four times per year for a subsidized group event.
Who benefits from the program?
We all do! The friendships formed through the Best Buddies program add a new dimension to the lives of all people involved. A Best Buddies friendship also helps to build acceptance not only among Buddies & Student Buddies, but also in the community. Students who lead their chapters receive valuable training and experience.