Backstage with our RMCC mentors

“My favourite thing about mentoring is that I am able to assist children who are currently experiencing similar marginalisation, financial hardship and social barriers that I faced when I was young. It is truly gratifying to know that as a mentor, I have the potential to not only nurture these children and see them flourish, but to also positively change a social problem”.

These are the words of Tony — a RMCC mentor and friend who’s been a familiar face in one of our programs for the past 7 months.

At RMCC, it’s safe to say we’d be lost without our incredible, generous mentors, who donate their spare time and energy to stand by our goal of ensuring no refugee or migrant child slips through the cracks.

They do this by guiding and supporting their mentees in developing knowledge, skills and confidence that will allow them to fully engage in their education and feel a greater part of their community.

To date, we have successfully supported 650 children through our range of programs, which includes Sidekicks Junior and Sidekicks Senior, Family Learning Clubs, school holiday programs and life skill workshops.

And we don’t plan on stopping here. In fact, our 2020 goal is to support 2,000 kids, which is equivalent to the number of refugee and migrant children who resettle in Victoria every single year.

Why is mentoring so important?

Studies have shown that disadvantaged kids who have a mentor are 130% more likely to hold a leadership position in a club, school council or sports team, and 81% more likely to participate in sports or extracurricular activities.

Not only this, but children who regularly meet with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school, 37% less likely to skip a class and 55% more likely to enrol in university.

So, what is it like to become a RMCC mentor?

Mentoring at RMCC is so much more than just helping out with homework and teaching new skills. It’s about bonding long-term friendships and providing a stable form of support that kids can wholeheartedly rely on — something that is really important in this time of uncertainty and change.

Here’s RMCC mentor, Seraphina, to tell you about her experience:

“It is amazing to see the progress of kids from when I started in February until now! I’ve assisted a number of children with their reading and writing and seen their confidence grow with each session, as well as their enthusiasm and willingness to engage with the different mentors and other children. It’s been a great experience”.

Ready to make a difference?

Check out Tony’s advice to anyone who wants to become part of the RMCC family:

“From personal experience, the best advice I can give to any future mentor is to come into the room with two things: a receptive heart and a set of ears. Why? Because mentoring is a ‘two-way street’ and it is those two things that make the children feel respected and appreciated”.

Click here to read more about why we do what we do, or check out our volunteer page to see how you can get involved.

You can also make a tax-deductible donation by clicking here.

Why We Do What We Do: the RMCC story

Making new friends, keeping up with the curriculum and feeling understood in a classroom of 30+ are all common struggles we experience when growing up. But for refugee and migrant children this is just the beginning.

Every year, 2,000 children from all corners of the globe are resettled in Victoria. This is their chance to start a fresh and create their own opportunities — but it doesn’t come without its challenges.

Language barriers, social changes and education indifferences can all trigger an overwhelming sense of detachment and insecurity.

“There is limited understanding and knowledge about the unique challenges refugee children and youth face once in their new country of settlement, making it a silent battle they are facing with inadequate short to long-term services to help them overcome these barriers and reach their full potential”
— Alice Wojcik, CEO and Founder of RMCC.

It’s because of this, RMCC exists. Together with our amazing network of volunteers and supporters, we tackle the unique barriers faced during the settlement journey to help make sure no kid is left behind.

Our Impact

From humble beginnings in 2012 to now, RMCC has empowered over 650 kids across multiple programs that target 4 specific areas: education, identity and belonging, life skills, and mental health and wellbeing.

These target areas create confidence, increase independence and prioritise wellbeing, so that a sense of belonging, value and identity can be developed within their direct and greater communities.

“You can see something shifts in the kids after some time with RMCC. Often, I first see them struggling with their challenges or reality, but over time they start gaining hope and looking to the future knowing they can become the best versions of themselves, and can take on or become anything” — Alice Wojcik

Why We Need Your Help

It’s black and white. We need your help because we know we’re making a huge difference to the lives of refugee and migrant children, and physically don’t have the capacity to reach more.

By joining in with our 30by30 campaign this month, you can help us get at least 30 children off our waiting list, and enrolled into programs that will help them develop a true sense of belonging.

Click here to learn how you can get involved — from hosting a school or corporate fundraising event, to becoming a regular donor or contributing a one-off donation, there are so many ways you can help!