In March 2016, we opened our doors to Victoria’s first Refugee Migrant Children Centre in Footscray. Term 2 of this school year saw us launch our independently run programs and launch 6 key partnerships with referring organisations in the community.

Our Learning Support Program (LSP) runs every Wednesday at 4pm and aims to  overcome both educational and social barriers. The first 45 minutes of the program focuses on educational needs such as reading, comprehension, numeracy and homework. The last 15 mins of the session is dedicated to social engagement through games and bonding time.

Some of the games available are Twister, puzzles, and Snakes & Ladders. Also my personal favourite, Uno! Some children become restless easily whilst learning, thus we’re well-prepared with snack time! Chocolate muesli bars seem to be the children’s favourite, with the classic Le Snak not far behind.

Some children are there because they need the assistance with their learning. Others are more confident with their learning and requires assistance with their social development. These are some of the issues faced, and the programs are tailored to their individual needs,” says Bobby, Tomorrow Foundation’s Project Manager.

Our monthly workshops focus on fun out-of-school activities, building knowledge and various life skills. We believe in equipping the children with the right tools to help them engage with one another and develop various skills.

As an introvert at the age of six socialising wasn’t something I enjoyed so much, however excitement always arises within the children when a workshop is coming up and they always feed of each others energy. Our first workshop, a basketball clinic, aimed to get our children active and build endurance. It was great to see the quieter children come out of their shells! Also the Hip Hop dance workshop that was held last month was a big hit and had everyone dancing like professionals by the end!

‘Bricks 4 Kidz’ will be running our next workshop in July. The workshop is based around building basic engineering skills in a fun and dynamic environment using Lego. ‘Bricks 4 Kidz’ build models designed by engineers and architects with various exciting themes such as space, super heroes and amusement parks. This will provide an opportunity for the children to express their creativity and be innovative.

The RMCC team is also currently developing a school holiday program. It will be four action packed days spread over two weeks, with the program being an extension of our monthly workshops. Each day will have different activities allocated - with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea to break the day up. As always parents’ are engaged in developing our school holiday program, with them having a big influence on what the children get out of our programs. We’ve been consulting and working with them in developing the program and they are just as excited about it commencing as we are!

These programs are not made possible without our dedicated team of volunteers. Our children are constantly learning, and most importantly enjoying themselves whilst doing so.

Looking forward to another exciting term!