Half the Sky Youth Services Program

The Big Sisters Program provides individualized learning opportunities for older children (8-21 years) who still remain in orphanages.  These children have grown up without family, but they have the same dreams as young people all over the world—they want to find a job, they want to go to college, they want to paint, they want to play music, they want to own their own business.

There is no doubt that the odds are stacked against them; without support, these children and young adults, who cannot be adopted after the age of 14, often face a bleak future. 

The Big Sisters Program is not for every child, but offered where such help is likely to make a significant difference to a child’s prospects for the future. Half the Sky’s Big Sisters receive support tailored to their interests: they study art, sewing, computer science, English, fashion design, piano, violin, guzheng (Chinese zither), calligraphy, cooking, hairdressing, soccer and ping pong.

Miraculously, almost half of HTS’ Big Sisters have been accepted at a university! Half the Sky provides academic and financial support for these college-bound Big Sisters to help them complete their education, a task far more daunting for them than it is for young adults who have grown up in families.

Every day Half the Sky’s Big Sisters are proving—often to their own surprise—that it is never too late to learn how to make something of their lives after they leave the institutions that are the only home they have ever known.

 To learn more about the Big Sisters Program, visit Half the Sky's website.