As we all send our children off to school this year, we wipe our brows and let out a sigh of relief that our kids are all off back to school and set up for the year.
In fact, one in six Australian children are living in poverty and have started the school year without the resources or support they need for school.
4 years ago, Mary (pictured above) and her family decided to make a change to their back to school routine.
They decided to look beyond themselves and find a way to help at least one other family. Their commitment has changed the life of one young Australian boy.
Mary is a Medical Researcher with a family of three, living in Sydney. After learning more about the Smith Family sponsorship program four years ago, the idea of sponsoring an Australian child to help break the cycle of poverty became an opportunity for contributing to the future of one young boy.
Over the last four years, Mary and her family have enjoyed being part of the young boy’s learning and developing journey, sharing that she loves the thought of her sponsored student benefitting from her contribution.
“He’s now 11, and he’s just a normal kid. He loves football, he loves soccer and AFL. He actually really likes school. He loves his computer games. He’s just got a spark. Just from his letters and from how he writes, I can see that he’s a sparky little kid.
He said initially when I first started sponsoring him, he was learning to read and saying that he liked books. So I ended up sending him some books that I knew my kids liked.”
Having grown up in a small country town, Mary could recognise that not all families were fortunate to have access to the right tools and resources, and reflecting back to her school journey, poverty was a hidden thing.
“People don’t understand. They see a child that looks a bit sort of scruffy and they just think they’re scruffy, but they don’t realise that kids actually aren’t eating. You know, they’re not getting fed every day. I don’t think Australians can actually imagine it, and I also think that they’re too ashamed to think about that because that’s happening in our own country”.
Mary has set the example. Let’s all do the same!
This year we’re calling on all MoM Members to do as Mary did and take a moment to understand the incredible impact The Smith Family and their program are having on the lives of thousands and thousands of children in our own communities.
Imagine if a few years down the track we could look back the way Mary has and realise that we changed a child’s future. That by taking the step of sponsoring a child’s education, we are not only providing a new perspective for our own children but a fresh start for a child in poverty.
Sponsoring a child is more than just a feel-good notion.
Sponsorship of an Australian child with The Smith Family is giving opportunity and hope to those who are financially disadvantaged.
Child sponsorship provides support for a child living in poverty by helping them get the essentials and the extra learning support they need to fit in and catch up at school. When you become a sponsor, you are matched with a student who you will receive yearly updates from and who you can correspond with throughout the year if you choose.
The sponsorship program (Learning for Life) is unique in that it provides tailored support for each child. By providing the school essentials a child needs to fit in at school and the extra learning support to keep up – sponsorship helps to improve school attendance and year 12 completion.
Research shows that when students complete year 12 their job prospects are much better – hence, sponsorship is helping to break the cycle of disadvantage by improving a child’s educational outcomes.
What does my sponsorship of $52 per month actually cover? And how do you know that your money is going where it should be?
As every child is different, the support The Smith Family offers through the Learning for Life program is tailored based on the child’s needs and requirements.
One thing is for sure and that is that ALL of your sponsorship donations benefits your sponsor child by providing the following three things:
- Financial support to pay for school essentials like a school uniform, shoes, textbooks, and excursions. This helps students to fit in at school. It’s very hard to learn at school when you are the child standing out for all the wrong reasons.
- Access to The Smith Family out-of-school learning and mentoring program to help students catch up and build vital skills. Programs such as homework club and reading programs to improve literacy.
- Guidance and individualised support from a Smith Family team member who works with the family and understands the specific needs of a child. This role is vital for the success of the sponsorship program. For example, if a student is behind in their reading, the Learning for Life Coordinator can enroll them into the Smith Family reading program to help them improve their reading.
The need for more sponsors is very real.
In Australia, one in every six children are living in poverty right now – this means that there are children going to school who don’t have access to the bare necessities because of their circumstances.
As we enter a new school year, there is a lot of pressure for families who are struggling financially to keep up with schooling requirements that offer the right skills and resources for children to complete their education confidently.
Because of this, sponsorship is more important than ever and every single sponsorship creates instant opportunity and support for the children who need it most.
The Smith Family understands that not all children get an equal start to life, and by creating opportunities through their sponsorship program, they’re not just creating support systems, but better futures for these disadvantaged children.
The Smith Family works with 741 partner schools in some of the most disadvantaged communities across Australia (in 91 communities)
Join the MoM Team and sponsor a child today.
Our family and the families at MoM HQ are all committed to changing the lives of Australian children living in poverty. We are committed to getting them off to school and having access to all the resources and support to ensure they will thrive throughout their education journey.
Make the decision to break the child poverty cycle for just one child today. If we all get one more child back to school this year, just think of the difference we have made to so many young lives.