Making a Difference from Afar

Appeal for school materials, books, food, clothing and donations for children in Liberia by Wollongong local Jay Jay Ganwaye.

Former refugee Jay Jay Ganwaye is appealing to the community for much needed donations of school materials, clothing, food and other support for children in Liberia. Since making Wollongong his new home in 2009, Jay Jay has worked tirelessly to establish a charity organisation in Liberia to improve the welfare and education of disadvantaged and vulnerable children. His organisation, Future of the Children Ministry, now serves over 500 children who could benefit immensely from donations of school supplies, non-perishable food items, clothing and other essential items for their development.

Liberia is still recovering from devastating civil wars and poverty. Children are the ones who are the most vulnerable under these circumstances. Education is very expensive in Liberia, leaving many families unable to send their children to school. This is what inspired Jay Jay to establish free, high quality schools and education programs in Monrovia. Jay Jay also hopes to raise awareness in Australia about the challenges his homeland of Liberia faces.

Jay Jay established the registered charity using his own finances with the help of family and friends. They are now operating a school in Monrovia for children from Kindergarten to Year 9. They also run reading clubs, youth leadership and sport programs, Jay Jay is aspiring to open a high school for Years 10-12 and a vocational computer class program as well.

Collection of donations and media appointments can be arranged by contacting Jay Jay on 0469 271 411.

Illawarra Forum | Homeless Persons’ Week

August 4th – 10th was Homeless Person’s Week.

The theme of Homeless Persons’ Week 2014 was Homelessness: We Can’t Afford to Ignore It and the focus was on how ignoring homelessness causes significant costs to individuals, government and society.

Illawarra Forum members regularly advise that the lack of affordable, secure and appropriate housing is the greatest unmet need for their clients. This unmet need affects organisations’ ability to properly address clients’ needs, and certainly imposes significant costs – both financial and emotional.

In recognition of Homeless Person’s Week, the Illawarra Forum hosted a Seminar on “Navigating Housing Options” to outline the Housing Pathways NSW program as well as highlighting other housing alternatives for clients. Some 90 frontline workers attended and gained information and skills to help support clients in need of housing. In lieu of payment, we asked participants to donate non-perishable food items or toiletries. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of attendees.

Warm thanks to our keynote speaker, Gary Moore from Homelessness NSW and to all of our presenters on the day. Special thanks to NSW Family and Community Services for sponsoring the event. And congratulations to Donna Brotherson who was the visionary behind the event, and to Tessa Parsons who made it all happen!