Our Campaigns

Living Support Fund Campaign

The Youth Plus Foundation’s Living Support Fund exists to promote respect, inclusion and equality for young people who have sought asylum in Australia and are pursuing tertiary education. For many years, they have been classed as international students, and required to pay up-front fees of, on average, $27,000 per year to attend university.

In recent years, a growing number of Australian universities and TAFEs, with support from some State Governments, have provided fee-covering scholarships for a small number of people seeking asylum. * However, current government policy denies them any access to Centrelink payments, making it extremely difficult for them to pursue their education. The resulting systematised exclusion of one group of people from education, specifically because of their identify, risks creating and discriminating against an underclass of refugees and entrenching divisions within our communities.

EREA and the Youth Plus Institute strive to serve and embody compassion, inclusion, justice, solidarity and peace. Our vision is for every person to have hope and to be free to help build a better world. For this to happen, all of us, including people who have asked for recognition as refugees, need to be able to engage in education. The Youth Plus Living Support Fund strives to realise this vision.

The Living Support Fund (LSF) helps to sustain and build on the outcomes achieved by the Asylum Seeker Pathways Project, delivered by St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre in 2017-18, thanks to the Victorian State Government and the R.E.Ross Trust. The LSF provides access to both regular income supplements, and occasional emergency financial support, through a holistic model of engagement and support. Youth Plus Institute staff provide regular contact and wellbeing support as needed, while promoting the Living Support Fund – helped by your donation – as a means by which community members can contribute to the social, economic and educational inclusion of these young people.

If you donate to the LSF, 100% of your money will go towards:

  • supplying a yearly transport card, to make sure students never have to miss classes or lectures because of transport costs.
  • helping when financial crises arise, with emergency food and living costs
  • helping with the costs of university text books
  • giving a student a small but reliable contribution towards regular rent, bills and food expenses.

For most young people who have sought protection in Australia, the current federal government policies have cemented overwhelming barriers to education and integration. The Living Support Fund, along with the fee-contribution of Universities across the country, is helping to change the face of their future lives in Australia.

NB If you are interested in running an event to promote the LSF in your community or workplace, we would be very happy to support you however we can. Depending on your location, this may include a presentation at an event. Feel free to get in touch.* The list of current refugee/asylum-seeker scholarships can be found at https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/ourwork/scholarships-people-seeking-asylum-refugees/

$31,956 of $100,000 raised

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $10 One Time

Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible for Australian residents.

For more information on how the Youth Plus Foundation collects and uses personal information, please see our privacy policy.

Hook into Books

Sadly, the love of reading isn’t something one is born with. In fact, there are many young people across Australia who have had very little opportunity to appreciate the joy of reading. To be nurtured towards a love of literacy. To be supported to explore the world of books and the adventures that lies within each page.

According to literacy experts, after nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world. From telling stories around the fire, to the invention of the printing press, to binge-watching Netflix, our culture has always revolved around stories.

It is through stories that we define our world and discover our place in it. Stories help us understand the world we live in, teach us about where we came from, and help us see possible futures.

Stories are our education and our escape. They lull us to sleep and inspire us to action! Indeed, it is through the stories we tell each other that we literally create the world as a reflection of who we are.

To be literate is to be on the pathway to becoming a lifelong learner, and literacy is essential if we’re to have educated individuals and a truly free society. But what if this isn’t YOUR reality?

What’s the issue?

Many young people who attend our Flexible Learning Centres face the daily challenge of lack of access to meaningful, age-appropriate literature. These young people have experienced significant gaps in their education due to a myriad of issues including family breakdown, trauma, neglect and abuse.  Many of these young people (aged 14-18 years) read at an early primary school age and as such our teachers have expressed that it is not suitable, or encouraging to use children’s reading material with this cohort.  Flexible Learning Centres have minimal library resources as compared to other schools so access to interesting, engaging reading material is scarce.

What we hope to achieve

We want to create an atmosphere that young people many not have experienced before. We want to surround students with good books, we want to read aloud with them, we want to show students how much we love reading and we want to do all this in their comfort zone.

How you can help?

Each year the Youth Plus Foundation celebrates National Numeracy and Literacy Week with our own campaign “Hook into Books”.  A Campaign highlight is our partnership with Ambassador, Australian Author Samantha Wheeler. The aim of the campaign in to reduce inequality and disadvantage by providing literacy opportunities.

Could you or someone you know be a Hook into Books Champion?

By becoming a Champion, you can: 

  • Contribute interesting and engaging books to our Travelling Suitcase
  • Create a buzz about the campaign , sharing the message on your social media with you networks
  • Publicly endorse our campaign
  • Include us in any opportunities that will benefit our young people
  • Get involved with us! Visit us, read with us,  tell us about your work!

Contact us TODAY megan.hall@youthplus.edu.au 

 

Samantha Wheeler studied Agriculture, worked with dairy farmers, and taught science, before writing her first children’s book, inspired by koalas, in 2011. Her books, which include Smooch & Rose, Wombat Warriors, Mister Cassowary, and Turtle Trackers have been shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, the Readings Book Prize, The Wilderness Society Environmental Award and the Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Whitley Commendation. Her most recent, Everything I’ve Never Said, was inspired by her youngest daughter, who has Rett Syndrome and can’t talk. Samantha hopes her books will inspire everyone to speak up and make a difference.

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