Lost kids get a help­ing hand

Pilbara News - - News - Shan­non Beat­tie

Dis­en­gaged youths who are not ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in the com­mu­nity or at school are be­ing given a help­ing hand through a new men­tor­ing scheme in Onslow.

The Tha­lanyji Foun­da­tion has rolled out the Youth Men­tor­ing Pro­gram which will help chil­dren grow into suc­cess­ful young adults with the con­fi­dence and skills to suc­ceed.

The pro­gram is for kids aged eight to 18-years-old and has two men­tors and six mentees in­volved, with the hope that will in­crease to eight men­tors and 16 to 20 mentees at any given time in the first year.

Tha­lanyji chief ex­ec­u­tive Matthew Slack said they wanted ev­ery child in Onslow to have the sup­port they need to achieve their dreams and reach their fullest po­ten­tial.

“A lot of us take it for granted the sup­port we, pos­si­bly un­con­sciously, get from the peo­ple in our life,” he said.

“Un­for­tu­nately, there are a lot of young peo­ple out there who are mak­ing life choices in iso­la­tion.”

All the men­tors in­volved in the pro­gram have child pro­tec­tion and in­dige­nous cul­tural train­ing, plus a po­lice clear­ance, work­ing with chil­dren cer­tifi­cate and up to date first-aid.

It is hoped the pro­gram will help to strengthen the kids so­cial skills so they at­tend school reg­u­larly to reach their po­ten­tial, while the men­tors are able to give back to the com­mu­nity and watch their mentees grow and suc­ceed over time.

The pro­gram is vol­un­tary and mentees can self-nom­i­nate, be re­ferred by po­lice, com­mu­nity groups, school or fam­ily mem­bers if they have par­ent or carer con­sent.

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