August 21, 2015
RCOP/SALVOS NEW LEARNING CENTRE BENEFITS DOMESTIC ABUSE KIDS
Hundreds of WA children trying to escape the trauma of domestic violence each year will no longer have to abandon their education when they seek shelter with their mothers at the Salvation Army’s women’s refuge in Perth.
Instead, children of all ages will be able to study, share lessons and mentoring programs in a totally refurbished and fully equipped learning centre officially opened on Friday, August 21.
The $280,000 centre was conceived, designed and developed as a Path of Hope initiative - a joint venture between the WA Salvation Army and the Rotary Club of Perth using the pro bono services of several Rotarians. It includes a special study room for teenagers and attractive spaces for younger children and is equipped with desks, computers, a large television screen, mobile drawers, cupboards, modern kitchen, retiled bathroom and toilets. It replaces a smaller, outdated facility which was dark and dingy and badly in need of a total makeover and extra storage space to provide proper study facilities for children.
“The children have taken to this wonderful, light and bright space like ducks to water and have already named it The Hang Out,” said WA Salvation Army’s Capt. Naava Brooks.
“Being able to share a modern learning centre with other kids and soak up the teaching environment helps restore some of the normal routine to their daily lives which has been tragically disrupted.”
As part of the program, senior students from Hale School and Perth College visit the refuge each week and carry out tutoring and mentoring sessions with small groups of children.
“This has been a great success – not only for the kids at the refuge but also the college students who say the experience is amazing,” said Capt Brooks.
Rotary Club of Perth President Graham Peden said the project was only achievable thanks to the amazing generosity of the Bendat Family Trust, Friends of Path of Hope and several Perth companies including BHP Billiton, Dale Alcock Home Improvement and Good Guys.
“These companies and a number of individuals have made possible a fantastic new initiative which will be a huge help to victims of domestic violence who are trying to support their children and not allow their young lives to be ruined by the abuse they have witnessed,” said Mr. Peden.
In 2013-14 there were 15,094 reported cases of domestic violence in WA, although it’s recognized by police and social workers that thousands of incidents also go unreported. Last year a total of 656 women and children sought refuge in shelters run by the WA Salvation Army because of domestic violence. Recognizing the problem, the Rotary Club of Perth launched Path of Hope more than a year ago to increase community awareness of domestic violence and help victims and their families adopt new ways to end the destructive cycle of abuse ruining their lives.
“Path of Hope is a visionary project strongly supported by Rotary International,” said Mr. Peden.
“If Path of Hope, through its various initiatives, can help reduce the incidence of domestic violence in WA and improve the lives of its victims it will become a model for Rotary clubs and Salvation Army center’s around the world to adopt.
“By tackling the problem globally we hope that one day domestic violence will be a thing of the past.”
For more information about Path of Hope go or http://pathofhope.org.au or call 0408 931 456
WA SALVATION ARMY:
PH: 0417 909 964
ROTARY CLUB OF PERTH:
PH: 0411 557 328