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At the end of 2015 a report entitled ‘Dropping off the Edge’ identified Claymore as the most disadvantaged suburb in NSW with little to no progress having been made since the last report in 2007.
While children (aged 0-18 years of age) make up 48% of the Claymore population, they have the weakest voice and are susceptible to a wide range of intergenerational disadvantage and poverty factors that affect the quality of life and prospects for children and young people in this area. Significant social disadvantage are preconditions for chronic unemployment and persistent intergenerational disadvantage and poverty, leading to a sense of helplessness and feeling trapped in a never-ending cycle.
Save the Children’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) initiative aims to break this cycle by employing young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and empowering them to advocate for and to be role models in the process of positive change within their communities.
The program aims, and objectives are to:
The $30,000 raised by Footprints enabled Save the Children to:
The young people worked on multiple initiatives over the semester to make changes in the Claymore community including their two highlights:
The young people also invited multiple representatives from the community council and government to meetings to discuss their concerns about their community to make sure their voices were heard about the issues that most affect them.
The representatives from the Council were extremely impressed with the actions of the young people of Claymore and committed to having ongoing discussions with the YAC to work towards actioning ideas from their presentation, including community education and accessibility to waste management.
Youth Off the Streets (YOTS) also showed an interest in supporting the program, and so they now attend the program on a weekly basis.
As a result of the program, YAC members reported feeling more confident in their skills. They felt empowered to not only find personal employment in the future but make changes in their own community.
In fact, every member of the YAC reported feeling that they had improved their communication, leadership and teamwork skills.
“When I came to the program I was very, very shy. Now, I have learnt so many skills and I have self-confidence. Without the Youth Advisory Committee program, I would not have gained the confidence I now have to mentor to others and show young people they can be active participants in shaping their community.” – Ashelew, Program Participant.
Educate Disadvantaged Youth Communities in Australia is a continuing project.
Visits are not permitted at this project.