liefdevolle aandacht

Vitalism buddies

'Levi just comes to play every now and then'

The children's stamp campaign will start on September 27 and the first children's stamp sheet will be sold by LEGO® kids crew member Naomi(10). As a kids crew member, Naomi is invited by Legoland Discovery Center Scheveningen to LEGO events, film premieres and fun activities, such as ordering the first children's stamp sheet of 2023!

At home, Naomi also likes to play with LEGO building blocks. Together with her brother Hugo (7), but also with her buddy Levi* (8). Levi comes to play at Naomi's house once every two weeks, to have a nice day and be a carefree child for a while.

When Naomi's parents suggested that they start a buddy program as a family and help a child who needs it, Naomi was immediately enthusiastic. “I immediately liked the idea! Someone new in the house to play with and become friends with.”

About the buddy program

Sometimes children do not get the attention they need at home. This could be due to, for example, a sick parent or an unpleasant divorce. The lack of attention causes children to withdraw or develop unwanted behavior. To prevent these children from ending up in youth care, our partner Vitalis links children between the ages of 5 and 18 with an adult buddy. These are volunteers who provide extra support and attention and do fun things with them.

We got along so well that we extended it

Initially, Levi would only come during the summer holidays. However, they hit it off so well that they decided together to continue the buddy program.

What makes this adventure so fun for them is that Levi, Naomi and Hugo have many of the same interests. They are in the same stage of life and therefore enjoy playing together. We play a lot with LEGO building blocks, but making marble runs, ball games and cycling are also favorites. Léonie (mother Naomi): “People often have the feeling that you always have to do something big and/or exciting with a buddy, while doing something small is also very good. The other day we went to the zoo and Levi said, “Can't we go for a bike ride?”

Many people are curious about the buddy program and wonder why Levi comes to play with the family. That curiosity has a positive side, it makes it better known. Furthermore, Levi's home situation remains deliberately undiscussed. Naomi: “I just say that he comes to play with us every now and then and that we will do fun things because there is no time for that at home.”

Contact with Levi's mother is good. It took a while before a bond of trust was established, but now the agreements are running smoothly. Léonie: “We have a lot of respect for her. As a parent, it is not easy to accept that you cannot offer your child everything he or she needs. You have to dare to be vulnerable to entrust your child to someone else.”

It has enriched our lives

It is clear that not only Levi and his mother benefit from the construction. A positive interaction has developed between both families. Léonie sees more awareness among her children. There are big differences and they learn a lot from that: “Sometimes our children, for example, don't feel like taking swimming lessons. But Levi doesn't go to swimming lessons at all. Then they realize that something like sports is not self-evident. They learn that you should be happy with what you have and that many children in the Netherlands are less fortunate in various respects.” Léonie and her husband realize all too well that people often live in their own bubble. It is sometimes difficult to imagine that things could be very different outside that bubble. Léonie: “Even though Levi lives relatively close by, his world looks different. We wish every child a carefree childhood and equal opportunities.”

Léonie and Levi's mother hope that more people will sign up as a buddy.

*For privacy reasons, Levi's name has been changed

Léonie: 'I can really recommend it, it takes energy but it brings a lot of fun and has enriched our lives!'

together we give children superpower

For 100 years