Published: Tuesday 14th October 2014
Institute for Advancing Community Engagement
Anti-Poverty Week 12-18th October 2014
New Opportunities, New Structures
Poverty is not just a lack of money. It also involves a sense of social isolation, a questioning of one's self-worth and role in life, and being impacted upon by the structures in society.
Creating new opportunities when faced with multifaceted, complex issues such as poverty and disadvantages requires new ways of thinking and new structures.
The experience of Clemente Australia, a ground-breaking territory education program for people affected by poverty and disadvantage, enables participants to see beyond seemingly hopeless situations and to look forward to a future.
Enrolling in a Clemente course requires decisions to act and to meet expectations. Continuing the course brings social relationships with fellow students, lecturers and learning partners. Learning at university level supports students in developing new views of themselves and their capacities.
Homework Support programs (HSP) provide study support, tutoring and homework help for vulnerable children and youth. Students range from newly arrived refugees right through to those affected by dysfunction in families.
HSP students benefit with improvements in their literacy and numeracy skills, confidence, self-esteem and also social connectedness. Families who attend learn how to help with homework and they too benefit from improved connections within their community.
The Future in Youth team in Timor-Leste is involving youth and the wider community through soccer. The Barefoot Nurses team are helping to fight the high rate of childhood mortality and disease in Timor-Leste by working together with partners, the local community, local organisations and the Ministry for Health in teaching locals first aid skills, promoting health literacy and basic care by Timorese for Timorese.
As one Clemente students said "we are part of our own solution".
The people in the communities here and overseas are showing the importance of how we at ACU are engaging with them in addressing issues of poverty in the world today.