Breaking the cycle of poverty through education

When teachers spotted Jonah* sitting by the sidelines of the school oval, they were perplexed.

The young boy loved sports and playing with his friends but lately, would sit alone.

After observing Jonah for a few days, his teachers noticed his torn shoes.

Embarrassed and ashamed by his broken shoes, Jonah said he didn’t want to run around with his peers. Instead, he sat by the oval watching the other children play.

Even though they were falling apart, his parents couldn’t afford to buy him a new pair of shoes and he had no choice but to wear his broken ones.

Financial disadvantage and poverty significantly impact young children like Jonah. From being excluded from school activities to their education and health, poverty has negative effects on a child’s life well into adulthood.

Staff at Mission Australia’s Circles of Care program in Inala believe every child should be able to reach their full potential.

Circles of Care provides quality care and support to children so they can embrace their future. Through early intervention, Circles of Care work with schools, families and communities to build young people’s confidence and motivate students to achieve their goals.

“Young people who feel valued, loved and supported are more likely to stay on track during their younger years,” says Circles of Care Program Manager, Jenny.

“You should have seen the look on his face when Jonah received a brand-new pair of shoes and socks...He gave me the best hug and proudly proceeded to run to the oval to join in with his friends.”

It may be just a pair of shoes, but these shoes meant the world to Jonah. With new shoes, Jonah can now participate in school activities and build his confidence among his peers.

Thanks to funding by Mission Australia supporters, Circles of Care can support young children like Jonah through difficult times.

Listen to more stories about how Circles of Care is breaking the cycle of poverty in children’s lives in Inala.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people we help.

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