The Community Education Program provides grants to support sustainable programs for Australians under the age of 25, promoting ongoing education, skill training and programs making a significant difference to the lives of the participants. We awarded over $250,000 to nine worthy Australian non-profit organisations to our recent CEP recipients. The grant money helps the organisations hugely with the running of their specific programs they have created in various ways such as employment, training and operational costs. Below is an overview on each of our 2015/ 2016 recipients.
Program: Australian Refugee Volunteers Camps
The camps program aims to facilitate the integration of young asylum seekers and refugees into the Australian community by strengthening peer-to-peer networks and their networks with the volunteers, and by equipping the young people with valuable skills such as leadership and communication skills.
Other workshops that ran throughout the week allowed the teens to learn a range of new skills and talents, including making installation art, playing the guitar, circus skills and aero yoga. Camp volunteers reported that participants demonstrated signs of improved confidence and focus.
Program: The Classroom Project
The Classroom Project is an outreach education program that educates students towards an understanding that each individual can make a difference in standing up to discrimination. The program aims to develop students’ abilities to communicate and empathise with others, express sympathy and demonstrate respect.
The program has been successfully developed into a flexible program that can accommodate specific needs of different schools and socio economic demographics as well as reduce expenses on staff and volunteer travel and accommodation. In 2016, three school incursion programs were piloted and one facilitator training session was delivered. Over 400 students and adults have participated in the program.
Program: CREATE Your Future
The CREATE Your Future program was rolled out in 2016 through workshops that were developed and delivered to support young people with an out-of-home care experience who are leaving care and transitioning to independence and adulthood.
In 2016 eight independent living skills workshops took place to a total of 116 participants. Each of the workshops had a different aim and objective depending on the topic, however all workshops were also designed to bring young people together to connect them with other young people experiencing similar challenges. Participants were able to participant in additional recreational activities such as laser tag, movie nights and dinners.
Program: Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service
In 2016 the classroom based service supported the inclusion of 76 students with Down Syndrome in mainstream Victorian schools by building the capacity of schools and teaching staff to support the learning, engagement and well-being of these children. Down Syndrome Victoria (DSV) employed two additional education consultants in January 2016. This resulted in each student receiving 2-3 visits from education consultants. The average age of the primary school students is 8 years old.
In 2016 the program encouraged the development of appropriate independence and social skills of a student with Down syndrome within the school community.
Program: Girl Force
Girl Force is a program that empowers and supports young women to engage in their education, learn new life skills, identify their personal strengths and build upon their dreams for the future. The girls who were targeted for the program had been traumatised by sexual abuse or domestic violence and were no longer engaged in their education or the community.
The program included yoga, mindfulness, self-defence, arts and crafts, beauty workshops, gymnastics, creative writing, sexual health workshops and music therapy workshops, to help support participants with their self-esteem, confidence and sense of belonging. The girls who participated in the program displayed improved social skills and higher engagement levels at school.
Program: Buddies Days
The program is a cost-free care and respite program for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people aged 8-12 years. The Ansvar funding enabled a new Buddies Days program to be established in Gympie. The program enables these children to experience the same kind of activities as other children (i.e. sports, craft, team building activities, etc), spend time with a positive role model, get a break from negative influences in their home situations and have fun in a safe and nurturing environment.
Many participants involved in the program have experienced bullying and a number of participants have ASD/ADD/ADHD.
Grounded is a referral only program targeting 14-16 year olds who are disengaged, involved in conflict, bullying or considered at-risk.
The program helped participants to achieve a better understanding of themselves and their peers, achieve increased resilience, empathy and understanding of others, feel motivated to achieve their goals and stay motivated despite challenges and also increased responsibility for choices and behaviours.
In 2016 the Reach Foundation had 267 participants attend the Grounded program in Victoria and 75 participants attended the program in The Hunter Valley, NSW.
Program: Building Blokes 2.0
Building Blokes 2.0 is an educational mentoring program for disengaged young men aged 16-24 years old. Participating up to 16 hours per month, participants address personal challenges involving drugs/ alcohol, mental health, anger management and healthy relationships.
These young males entered the program as they experienced economic hardship and were unable to pay off fines they owed to the Department of State Revenue.
Participants were able to volunteer off $31,402 from the fines they owed through the State Debt. Overall participants stated that they had increased levels of self-esteem following the program and were more motivated to gain employment.
Program: Strike II Drug Aware Youth Drop In Centre
Local young people between the ages of 10-17 are encouraged to attend the PCYC centre for activities: basketball, soccer, bouncy boxing, pool, chill out zone and movie theatre. Participants are provided with a free meal and if required free transport home at the completion of the program.
The program had 411 participants access the service in 2016. Of these individuals, 309 were identified by police as being ‘at risk’ or young offenders. 57% of participants identified as being from an indigenous background. Strike II Youth Drop-In allowed WA Police to engage with at risk youth on a social level in a friendly and nonjudgmental environment.