We often take life’s essentials for granted, but today in Australia thousands of children are struggling.
As most kids settle into the new term, many don’t give a second thought about getting all the basics they need, like books and uniforms. But for some children, there’s a massive challenge in their way - poverty.
Poverty affects a massive 1.1 million Australian children and young people (ACOSS & SPRC Poverty in Australia 2016), and the long-term effects aren't just materialistic.
Being poor often leaves youngsters feeling isolated and alone at a time when fitting in seems like the most important thing. It makes it hard to do well at school, which too often translates into a lifetime spent in the cycle of poverty.
The Smith Family aims to break that cycle and set young Australians up for a better future. This is how you can help.
Jake is living in poverty and it’s not his fault. Like many others, circumstances suddenly changed for Jake’s family. His dad got sick and couldn’t work, meaning there was barely enough money to cover rent, food and medical bills. Jake was forced to start school without the essentials and without learning support at home.
Jake is just one of 1.1m Australian young people currently living in poverty. It doesn’t just affect a child’s home environment, it limits their ability to do well at school.
Every day, people around Jake tell him that he’s different and that he’s not good enough. His uniform is old and worn out and his reading is well behind his classmates. He can’t get through his homework and has no close friends at school.
Each day he feels less and less like he fits in or is even capable of catching up. But at the end of the day he’s no different to any other kid and deserves to feel like he is good enough and capable of much more.
How you can help
Poverty is complex, but works in a cycle and continues from generation to generation if there isn’t something to break it.
The Smith Family believes that helping a child succeed at school is the best way to break the cycle of disadvantage.
Sponsoring a child provides:
- Financial support to pay for school essentials like a proper school uniform, shoes, textbooks, stationery and excursions.
- Guidance and support from specialist staff, who work with the family to understand specific needs.
- Access to out-of-school educational opportunities, including The Smith Family’s learning and mentoring programs.
Right now, 5,961 disadvantaged Australian children are waiting for sponsorship. For $48 per month - less than $1.60 per day - you can ensure your sponsored child gets life-changing support.
Find out more about how you can sponsor a child at thesmithfamily.com.au.
* Jake’s name and associated images have been changed to protect his identity.