A Flying Start
Indigenous communities are providing the best start for their children.
In remote Warlpiri communities in Central Australia, small groups of community members are creating big changes for young Indigenous children.
With support from Jetstar and generous Australians through StarKids, World Vision assists four Early Childhood Reference Groups. These provide parents and families with a forum to discuss and drive early childhood care and development in their community. Early learning is critical to children’s futures, and the groups give communities a strong voice in how programs for their children are run.
“Experience tells us clearly that the only way to create real and lasting change is if it’s designed and led by the community, not imposed from outside,” explains World Vision Program Manager Annette Fuller.
The reference groups provide guidance and advice on StarKids-supported activities, and community playgroups are a thriving example. The playgroups help kids build confidence and learn essential skills like numbers, the alphabet and colours, to prepare them for school. Reference groups also help by creating educational resources in both Warlpiri and English.
World Vision also supports many community members to take on professional training so they can run early childhood activities themselves. One group recently went on a study trip to visit Indigenous-run early childhood services in Adelaide.
“World Vision and Warlpiri communities thank Jetstar for allowing us to continue to work together,” says Annette. “Through Jetstar’s support, World Vision Australia can continue to walk and work together with Warlpiri communities to ensure their dreams for their children to be strong, happy and healthy are made a reality.”
Words: Virginia Morrison/World Vision
Photo: Mike Amos/World Vision