A helping hand for our little friends
When a parent escapes violence with their children, they usually leave everything they have and know behind. For the children, this means a new home, a new school and having to make new friends.
While some support is available for parents to settle their children in a new school, the financial barriers during the transition from refuge to their sanctuary often mean that the child doesn’t have the right uniforms, doesn’t have the right books and can’t always go on school excursions. This makes the transition for the child more difficult and can result in the child being bullied or developing self-esteem and confidence issues at school.
More than anything else
Children should be able to play and we want to help them do that.
Research into early child development indicates children who participate in team activities are more likely to feel less isolated, have higher self-esteem and display fewer behavioural problems while obtaining higher academic results. The 5 C’s are often referred to in relation to children and sporting activities –Competence, Confidence, Connections, Character and Caring–which are all considered critical components of positive youth development.
How we help our little friends
The Little Friends Program aims to give parents a helping hand with getting life as ‘back to normal’ as possible through funding uniforms and booklist costs, and after school sports activities and club memberships.
We work on a referral basis through registered referring agencies who contact us with a request to help out a little friend. The criteria for a little friends’ request is simple – more than anything else children should be able to play and will this request help them do that.
This is where YOU our amazing supporters come in. We go through the list of donations we’ve received, and put a call out through our Friends With Dignity Facebook page with the details of the request.
We never know their names
We never meet our clients nor do we ever know their names. We work through our network of referring agencies to ensure our clients’ privacy is always protected. We are here with no judgement but to ensure they have a friend they may never meet and are treated with dignity.
Many of the families write to us through the referring agency with feedback and those letters make it all worthwhile. Our little friends often send a drawing, and those not only bring a tear to the eye, but they remind us of the profound difference we have all made to that family. It’s about making a difference to “One Friend at a time”.