Last week we gifted 15 lap tops to the Joodoogeb-be-gerring Werlemen program in the Kimberley.
Werlemen helps young Aboriginal women who’ve dropped out of school to get back into learning and education and gain the qualifications they need to get employment. The program helps one of the most disadvantaged groups in Kununurra – young aboriginal women aged 12-18yrs with very low literacy and numeracy skills, limited finances and extremely tough and unstable home lives.
Escaping the welfare trap
Without the program, these young women have little hope of getting a good job and escaping the welfare dependency that entraps around 80% of the Aboriginal population in Kununurra.
Learning life skills
Operating during school hours in the Kununurra Youth Centre, the program has two full-time teachers and two Aboriginal mentors. Focusing on English and Mathematics, the Werlemen curriculum also includes art, music, cooking, financial literacy and other life skills such as; problem solving, self esteem building and emotional intelligence.
Aboriginal mentors support the students each day by providing transport from home, breakfast, a shower, and clothes washing facilities as needed, to ensure that barriers to learning are removed. Students then spend the day in class, working on their individual literacy and numeracy programs under direct guidance and interacting with various guest speakers, regularly invited to talk to the girls.
It’s an intensive program that helps each girl individually and on a case-by-case basis.
Due to the girls varying ages and different levels of school attendance, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Each girl has an individual learning plan and targets, based on several core outcomes. By helping these young women individually and intensively, the program aims to build their confidence, open them up to new opportunities and set them on a path to further education and training, employment and a more stable and comfortable life.
We’re proud to be part of grass-roots community program that’s making long lasting change.