Our Vision is to create ‘tailored’ programs that help build confidence and self-esteem in all children.
All our programs have a double purpose or mission:
- The first one and obvious one is to build confidence and self-esteem in all children and;
- To raise awareness in the community about certain less known or talked about conditions that affect children, such as Learning Difficulties; in order to assist these children to succeed despite these weaknesses.
With the reported incidence of youth suicide increasing in frequency and with low self-esteem a known risk factor for mental health issues; we believe it is crucial for us to be pro-active in our search for ways to assist our youth.
We strive to provide them with all the core elements they need to reach their full potential in life. Furthermore, self-esteem is critical not only for success in life, but in some cases for survival.
Often children with low self-esteem do not know how to say “no”, and subsequently follow the ‘wrong path’, because they feel powerless or perceive themselves as not deserving the same chances as their more able peers. They may wrongly believe that they cannot compete with others or do not have any options.
It is not uncommon for children with learning problems that have not received appropriate interventions to end up spiraling down a negative trajectory with some negative and “serious” health and personal problems (e.g., drug problems, emotional/psychological problems, unemployment).
At Children’s Charity Network, we believe early intervention is crucial and that it is our duty as a community to ensure that children’s have the opportunity to flourish and grow. We try to go to the roots of the problems affecting children and work on those.
After spending years of research and talking to child psychologists, it became apparent to us that many problems originate from low self-esteem and confidence, and if we addressed this issue we will become a better society with happier, more confident children.
Unfortunately, the challenges we face can seem overwhelming due to exacerbating community factors. Our society can be very competitive and many of us have set the bar very high for our children; expecting them to excel in all areas and be multi-talented (literacy, sports, social skills, etc).
Often as a parent, we may concentrate too hard on a child’s weakness and overlook his/her strengths, with obvious implications for children’s self-esteem. Furthermore it is important to consider the role models or ‘heroes’ that our society tends to glorify and keep in mind that this can have quite a negative and potentially devastating impact on less able or competent children (especially for students with Learning Difficulties etc).
In fact, at times it is our societies’ heroes that can add to their feelings of failure, hopeless thinking and their negative beliefs (e.g., that they can never compete and win in anything).
It is very important for us all to not only highlight the strengths in ‘our’ heroes (e.g., swimming champion, tennis champion, basket-ball champion, etc) but also to emphasise their weaknesses or abilities to rise above adversity and succeed despite their difficult circumstances (e.g., learning problems or medical conditions).
Not only do we have an Awards night to present Awards for the “best” entries, but we also send every child who enters a certificate to be presented to him/her by his/her school during school assembly. Also, all short-listed entries for the “Young Australian Writers Awards” are published in our “Oz Kidz in Print” magazine and on the respective internet sites. Seeing their entry published in a magazine and on a website is extra special for these children.
Unfortunately, we cannot publish all the entries we receive, as each year we received in excess of 20,000 entries for our “Young Australian Writers Awards”.
Our organization also take pride in finding areas to assist children who might have been overlooked by the system or by other organisations and come-up with “tailored” activities and programs for them.
Although literacy is very important and we have a program dedicated to it, we had to acknowledge after our research, that not all children will reach the same level of literacy for different reasons; no matter what we do.
Some children’s forte might lie elsewhere such as painting or photography, hence our Art Awards under our OzKids initiative. Recognising children’s different talents, acknowledging the fact that each child is unique and fostering in all children self-esteem and confidence is and will remain always our number one priority.
We like to provide a platform for all children to be represented equally and where they are treated with the respect they deserve in order to restore in many of them confidence and self-esteem crucial for their survival and success.