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Each time we pair a child with a mentor we start something incredible – a life changing relationship built on friendship, trust, guidance and empowerment.
Changing perspectives, Changing lives
For over 100 years internationally and over 30 years in Australia, Big Brothers Big Sisters has helped tens of thousands of young people who have faced serious adversity – those who have little opportunity to develop positive and supportive relationships with adults. Many who are hungry for friendship, guidance and acceptance.
We know that by positively changing the course of a young person's life we can build resilience and a sense of self-worth in young people, helping them to stay at school, improve their relationships with families and their community which in turn can lead to long-term community benefits like an increase in school retention; school and community safety; and greater employment opportunities.
By connecting a disadvantaged child to a positive role model we can break the cycle of disadvantage.
Big Brothers Big Sisters purpose is to help change the lives of thousands of disadvantaged young people across Australia. By connecting young people with positive adult role models, we are breaking cycles of disadvantage and creating a ripple effect that can be seen across the community. It’s in this environment of fun and mutual trust that we’re able to build a new world of opportunity.
Theory of Change
The risks are high that without appropriate support, these vulnerable young people will leave school early, take to drugs or alcohol abuse and/or enter the juvenile justice system. We know if vulnerable young people engage consistently with a mentor over the long term, they will build resilience and self-worth; increase their capacity to develop other positive relationships; stay at school and contribute to their communities. This leads to long-term community benefits and transformational change like a reduction crime, youth unemployment and disadvantage.
Inspiring young people to reach their potential
Research shows feeling connected, feeling a sense of belonging and having strong relationships with peers and teachers , or positive role models are strong protective factors for a young person wellbeing and against early school leaving, particularly if the young person is a low academic achiever or from a low socio-economic background.
We facilitate and support relationships between young people and caring adults in order for the young person to develop:
- A strong sense worth and confidence
- A strong sense of connection with the school and the community
- The motivation, indicated by changes in behaviours and attitudes to engage in the educational opportunities offered in a school setting in order to fulfil their potential
- The ability and skills to develop positive pathways for transition out of school into either the workplace or further education
Creating measureable long-term social impact
Our mentoring programs are proven inspire positive change in our communities by achieving meaningful and measurable social impact the mentored child’s life.
Proven outcomes include; educational success, avoidance of risky behaviours and socio-emotional competency – that is having higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. This in turn leads to long-term community benefits like an increase in school retention, school and community safety and greater employment pathways.
Our success is defined around the outcomes we achieve for children (impact), the increased number of children we support (scale) and the lifelong success and community benefits that follow (amazing!).
Whether it’s in the form of time, talent or money there is no more important investment we as individuals can make than in helping our nation’s young people unlock their potential.
The 2013-14 year saw the start of significant change for Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia while we continued the day-to-day business of vital mentoring services for 1,000 young people between the ages of 7 and 17.
Download our 2013-14 Annual Report