Confidence built and shared

By Cherie Howie

Big Buddy experience is as beneficial to the adult as it is to the child he befriends

Raakaha Kanohi, 12, Teina Kanohi, 14, and Teina's big buddy, Lawrence Stanaway.
Raakaha Kanohi, 12, Teina Kanohi, 14, and Teina's big buddy, Lawrence Stanaway.

Motorcycling, sailing, flying? Good. Out for a feed and a chat? Even better. West Auckland student Teina Kanohi has been in the Big Buddy scheme since 2007, and has been on hundreds of outings with construction business owner Lawrence Stanaway.

They've watched movies, motorcycled, sailed on Stanaway's yacht and taken a scenic flight. Fourteen-year-old Teina has loved them all - but nothing beats going to a cafe and talking with his buddy.

"I like just catching up with him over food, just being with him ... he knows a lot about the world."

The Big Buddy programme is for boys who do not have fathers. Teina's dad walked out the day the teen's brother, now 12, was born.

Teina's mum, Karyn Carroll, says her son has grown in confidence since Stanaway came into his life.

"He's not as shy as he used to be and he's just excelled in everything since he's known him."

Stanaway, 64, a father of four adult children, says Teina "amazes me" and he had got as much out of the experience as his young charge. "He's like one of my sons. another person to love and be loved by."

Teina and Stanaway are in Wellington this weekend for the Big Buddy Day Out, supported by Jetstar's Flying Start and the Herald on Sunday.

- Herald on Sunday

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