Encouraging Young Philanthropists Online
23 October 2014 at 9:38 am
A new online giving portal hopes to empower children to support the needs of disadvantaged children and families with the aim of developing a philanthropic culture in young Australians.
Australian online charity GIVIT says it is launching GIVIT Kids to enabling children to “give safely and anonymously to impoverished, vulnerable and marginalised members of their community in a fun and engaging way”.
“The program has a holistic approach, empowering children to help others through an interactive website, engaging animations, child-friendly fundraising initiatives and a unique school curriculum integration,” GIVIT CEO, Juliette Wright said.
GIVIT Kids will launch in schools across Queensland, with the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) supporting the initiative.
Wright said GIVIT Kids was ‘born’ when she heard the shocking statistics indicating one in six Australian children are living in poverty.
“I was devastated when I heard and sadly, the situation is only getting worse,” Wright said. “According to ACOSS, 17.7 per cent of Australian children are living below the poverty line and frankly I think we as adults aren’t doing enough.
“I believe with all my heart GIVIT Kids will be successful because children have an unlimited amount of love and willingness to help others. They have no prejudice and no pre-judgment. If they see someone in trouble they think how can I help them? Not, do they deserve my help?
“GIVIT Kids can and will change the culture and mindsets of our next generation by enabling giving to become a learned behaviour and habit that continues into adulthood.”
Wright said a survey of GIVIT donors showed that 95 per cent would use a site, such as GIVIT Kids, to teach their children about the importance of giving to others in need.
“The survey also revealed 97 per cent believed it was their responsibility to teach their children about helping others, yet only 12 per cent said they were aware of the number of Australian children living in poverty,” she said.
Wright said that on the GIVIT Kids List, Australian charities will be able to request urgently required items such as school uniforms, books, clothes, personal items, care packs, sports and musical equipment.
“Children will able to view the list and, with their parents’ approval, send the item to the family in need.
“The initiative is supported by the Queensland DETE, and will be integrated into the Year 3, 5 and 6 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.
“Lesson plans, videos and animations have been developed by the GIVIT Kids team to assist teachers in engaging students with their community, encouraging tolerance and empathy, helping develop research and fundraising skills as well build lasting connections within their local community.”
Several Brisbane-based schools have already pre-registered for the program including Clayfield College, Yeronga State School, Bulimba State School and St Paul’s School.
Clayfield College, which is supporting the introduction of GIVIT Kids into its curriculum, said students who learn to give to other students receive a great deal in return.
“GIVIT Kids would not be possible without the fantastic support of Wright Property, Clayton Utz, Brown Paper Bag and The English Family Foundation,” Wright said.