The early years of a child’s development play a significant role in the ongoing cognitive, social, emotional, psychological and spiritual well being of that child. Unfortunately for many children, these early years of development are full of strife and hardship. Their family life may be impacted by significant events, such as; the loss of one or both parents, chronic unemployment, poverty, homelessness, chronic illness (including mental illness) in the family unit, addiction, abuse, or the incarceration of one or both parents. It may be that the child themself is affected by an illness, disability or learning difficulty.
Whatever the cause, all of these have the ability to disrupt and impair a child’s development. For many of these children, the combination of these impairments and their life situation is already impacting on the shape of their future. Paths are already being laid, values and attitudes are already being formed. They know no other life than the disadvantaged, no other choice but to survive, and no other hope than the life they have now.
The good news is that by spending just one hour a week, with one child, over one calendar year, a Kids Hope Aus. mentor can make a difference in the life of a child just like this. Since 2004, thousands of children have been matched with mentors in government primary schools through Kids Hope Aus. Enriching a child's early life experiences through a mentor has significant impact on their future health and well being, most notably because mentors help to meet social and emotional needs. This leads to increased self-esteem, confidence and resilience, forming a foundation for social and academic advances. In the ten years that Kids Hope Aus. has been operating, these kinds of benefits have been demonstrated in almost every instance. That is impressive!
Throughout Term 2, 2014, SNAC will be rolling out our mentoring partnership with Carlton Public School. Mentors will be carefully matched with one child at the school and will spend one hour a week with that child over the school year. Training and support will be provided for mentors through the Kids Hope co-ordinator (Brendan Moar).
If you would like to be involved in this ministry, all you need are three things:
1) To be over 18 years of age.
2) To commit to 1 hour every week for one year (of course, you can continue the mentoring relationship for 6 years if you want to!).
3) To contact Brendan Moar.
I'm very excited about the chance to make a difference in the life of a child who needs support. I'm also excited about the opportunity for SNAC to strengthen our ties to the community and the opportunities that may bring for the gospel. If you want to know more, please check out the Kids Hope Aus. website: