30 April 2018
Elder support for fast growing program

OVER 100 Anindilyakwa elders have flown to Queensland to visit and support Groote Eylandt children.

The elders are continuing to visit the Cairns Kids Project every two weeks, which helps them keep in touch with the program and its achievements.

Aminjarrinja Enterprises and the ALC fund the program to educate the children of Angurugu, Umbakumba and Bickerton Island.

It began in 2015 and has grown to 47 children, aged between five and 12 who attend mainstream schools in Queensland.

Seven children live with house parents in each of the family homes located at Wonga Beach, Mt.Lewis, Mary Jane Drive, Satinash, Kureen, Tarzili, Dowling Street and Dunkleys, and regularly visit Groote children in other houses.

Aminjarrinja chief executive Keith Hansen said the program was unique to Australasia.

“Those who have visited our homes see for themselves what we are achieving,” Keith said.

He said credit was due to the parents who wanted to see their children educated and safe.

Aside from attending school, the children complete homework, received tutoring, go on outings, undertake weekend activities and have Christian fellowship.

Our children learn to live in harmony, respect each other, be good neighbours and take on responsibilities in the home,” Keith said.

“Children are taught to do many household chores, helping to keep their home and garden neat and learning to cook. We have found this to be of great benefit to the children and are seeing amazing results in such a short time.”

Children are also involved in sporting activities such as soccer, rugby league, AFL and athletics.

Last year one child represented North Queensland in athletics; another represented the Tablelands in Cairns in high jump; another was under 12 girls champion at her school; while another was sports captain.

Children either call or Facetime their families every week. During term breaks, parents are flown to Queensland and most of the children return home for the Christmas break.

IMAGE: Zechariah Lalara, Quinnesha and Rose Lalara are showing amazing results in a short time.