The Home to School program delivered by 54 reasons, part of the Save the Children Group, supports children of refugee and recent migrant families to settle into school, ensuring their right to a quality education and the opportunity to fulfil their dreams.
When 15-year-old Alice landed in Perth having spent much of her childhood in refugee camps, she found settling in to her new home and school a real challenge. Unable to understand what the teachers and other kids were saying, and having missed the foundation years of primary school, she faced enormous barriers to getting a quality education.
“I found it very confusing at first, because there were lots of computers, and I’ve never seen that. And there weren’t many people who looked like me, so I was a bit lost,” she says.
But Alice has been fearless in the face of these challenges. With courage, determination, two years’ of intensive English classes, and support from the Home to School program, Alice has been able to thrive at school.
With the generous support of Telethon, the Home to School program provides practical support that refugee and migrant families need to settle in to life in Western Australia.
Depending on the family’s situation, this may take the form of food and clothing, assistance to communicate with teachers and community services, or supporting the children to catch up on foundation skills through a homework club. This gives the children a chance to develop confidence, learn and succeed at school.
The joy of learning and a desire to help people
Now in Year 10, Alice enjoys school, with a particular interest in biology. “I do like science…I get to learn about the human body and all that stuff. It’s fun. I’d like to go to uni and study nursing…I guess I like to help people,” she adds.
Kazim works as a Family Support Specialist with the Home to School program in south-east Perth, and has been assisting Alice and her family. He is clear on how critical the program can be in transforming the lives of young people.
“All children have a right to quality education” he says. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to help the child, who is our main focus…to get that quality education that they’re entitled to.”
Alice agrees, saying the best thing about the program for her is “having an opportunity to study because…we didn’t have much education…and I like studying.”
Your support for Telethon can help make sure the Home to School program is there to give courageous kids like Alice the chance of a brighter future.
You can donate at any time here