Case studies

Zippy’s Friends can have a big effect on teachers themselves

Zippy’s Friends has been running continuously in Lithuania since 2000, longer than in any other country, so some teachers there have taught the programme for many years – and felt its effects on their own lives. One such is Audronė Boikovienė.

‘Over more than ten years, Zippy’s Friends has become a completely integral part of my life and everyday education process – to the extent that I can’t even imagine myself without it. Today I don’t think about its significance or importance as it is now a matter-of-fact thing.

Looking back to the beginning, I quickly realised that the programme is, above all, very important to me personally. It provides a way to help myself, children, and other people to cope with everyday life difficulties; to understand why we have behaved in one or another way; to feel that it is wonderful to feel good; and that it is even greater to help someone else to feel better. To understand that everyday problems are not unconquerable monsters.

I learned all this myself, because nobody talked about that with me when I was a child. Therefore, I had various fears and doubts. I think that this programme has changed me as a person, in a good sense. I often notice people saying about me: “Well, she can cope herself”. What I am especially happy about is that people come to talk to me when they feel bad. I used to be afraid of such conversations because I didn’t know what to say, I was bewildered. Now I have learned to help a person feel better, find solutions on his own during such conversations.

In my family, I have relatives with cancer, so I talk with them for hours and hours because other family members find it hard to do this, they try to avoid conversations with sick people, so they call me, saying that I put people in a cheerful mood. And the core of such conversation lies in understanding, when a person understands that only you decide how to feel, and then everything becomes less frightening.

This year will be my 13th Zippy’s year. Today, one teacher, a colleague of mine, who has just started running Zippy’s sessions, asked me: “What should I do? A mother declared that her daughter doesn’t need friends or other people because she has her mother”. Here I thought again: we need Zippy’s Friends, we definitely do.’