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Charmaine appreciates the ‘unsung heroes’ helping her daughters

“Before Learning for Life, my daughters’ confidence was down. There was no happiness in our home. The girls’ friends had everything and we were just scraping by,” said Charmaine.

Charmaine was raising five school-aged daughters, and she just couldn’t afford the things they needed for school. As her daughters fell further behind in class, it took a huge toll on their confidence.

Thanks to our supporters, Charmaine’s daughters now receive wrap-around support through our Learning for Life program.

“Before The Smith Family, I had to recycle school bags, school shoes, everything. When things get handed down there's a lot of wear and tear. Kids can be horrible at school and pick out those little differences,” said Charmaine.

“With the sponsorship money, I can now get the girls new school clothes and shoes that aren’t faded or ripped. They can even do other activities at school, like sport.”

Continually missing out on reading and learning materials from an early age often leaves disadvantaged students struggling with the basics of learning. Our student2student program pairs a student who is behind in their reading with an older student buddy. By reading to a peer over the phone each week, they can develop their skills without feeling nervous in a classroom setting.

The transformation in 12-year-old Kirra has been remarkable. In just three school terms she has improved by five reading levels.

“Kirra used to use the wrong words in sentences. She was embarrassed, so decided to not say anything. Having a reading buddy has given back her confidence to actually speak up,” said Charmaine.

“Everyone has noticed a huge improvement in Kirra. She is a lot more friendly. She isn't angry anymore – the little girl with everything against her. She has realised there are people out there who care about her.”

Charmaine’s daughters also attend one of our Learning Clubs. It’s a safe environment outside of school where they do their homework with assistance from our volunteer tutors.

“We get help at Learning Club if we don’t understand something. I really like going. It has helped me to go higher with my schoolwork,” said Kirra.

With ongoing support, Kirra and her sisters are continuing to blossom at school and Charmaine is so grateful.

“To everyone who makes this possible, you are the unsung heroes of little people. If it weren’t for you, they would be lost. And parents like me would not be able to give their children what they need. I can’t thank you enough!” said Charmaine.

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