Why It is Important to Talk About Friendships

A couple of months ago, Allies’ volunteers visited an orphanage in Perlina with the goal of discussing friendshipVolunteers Katerina and Victoriya explained what a real friend is, what can harm friendships, and kind of friend is appreciated. They also taught them how they can be a good friend and what a real and healthy friendship looks like. 

It may sound surprising that children are taught about good friendships, but this is important for children in orphanages because sometimes they miss out on the opportunity to connect with other children in a carefree manner as most children do. Friendships are important in mental, physical, emotional, and social development. They help children to learn how to read social cues and promote healthy interactions. Learning how to build healthy friendships in youth allows them develop healthy relationships as adults.

To our surprise, the teenagers were very active because it was an interesting topic to them, though it was not easy for all to answer the questions. At the end, each person took the test, “What Kind of a Friend Am I?”, which the children enjoyed and learned quite a bit from.

At the end of the day, the volunteers wished David, the orphanage’s birthday boy, a happy birthday. David just turned four, and he was pleasantly surprised to receive a gift. The other kids who recently had a birthday were also given gifts and they too were surprised. The rest of the children received personal hygiene items plus sweets and cookies.

Katerina, a 27-year-old volunteer remembers the day fondly. “It is a great joy for me to spend time with them, to see happy children. I also like to spend time with teenagers. It is important for them so you will understand them and the world they live in at this period in their life. The last trip was great and the children asked us to come again.”

We are blessed to be able to teach the children about friendship, because children who live in the orphanage usually have no parent or mentor figure to teach them what a healthy friendship looks like.