Journey of Hope helps Mogo Aboriginal Preschool after dual crises hit community

by Freya Lucas

September 10, 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for many, including the children of Campbell Page Mogo Aboriginal Preschool who have been affected by the traumatic events of the summer bushfires, as well as the global coronavirus pandemic.

 

To help the children attending the program, aged between three and six years, the preschool have partnered with fellow not-for-profit, Save the Children to deliver the ‘Journey of hope’ program, designed to build resilience, help normalise emotions and develop positive coping strategies through cooperative play, creative arts and literacy. 

 

The summer of fires caused damage to the preschool grounds and destroyed the preschool bus, and as the community was working through these issues, COVID-19 forced children and families to learn remotely due to social distancing measures.

 

Speaking with local publication The Beagle, Janine Hutton, National Program Manager Indigenous, Youth & Family Services at Campbell Page, said Campbell Page wanted to “make sure we’re doing everything we can to support our children, their families and our communities following these events.”

 

The decision to support, she said, has been based on research demonstrating that, without early intervention, children who have experienced trauma may suffer negative effects that impact educational and functional outcomes later in life.

 

 “Significant delays in progress in reading and numeracy have been observed in children who started school in the year prior to a moderate or major bushfire,” she said.

 

Rather than helping children to “bounce back” from the traumas they have experienced, Ms Hutton explained that supporting the children to understand their emotions is key to enhancing developmental outcomes and providing a strong transition to school, and helping them to “bounce forward”.

 

The play-based Journey of Hope program is being delivered as part of structured learning at the preschool by trained facilitators every Monday and Thursday for the next eight-weeks.

 

For more information, please see the preschool’s website, here. To access the original coverage of this story, please see here

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