Aiming to Help Sudanese Kids Through Mentoring
11 January 2018 at 8:37 am
The recent media frenzy over African gang violence in Victoria has sparked not for profit AIME to call for “rockstar Sudanese mentors”, students, corporates, philanthropists and politicians to “get off the sidelines” and use the mentoring program for Sudanese kids in Melbourne.
The university-based mentoring program, which aims to build a bridge back to local high schools and mentor the most disadvantaged children out of inequality, believes the model can be part of the solution and is urging the prime minister to “build solutions that unite us”.
The call comes a week after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton claimed Victorian residents were “scared to go out to restaurants” at night due “African gang violence”, sparking a divisive debate that leaders in the South Sudan community have said threatens to stereotype the whole community.
In a note to the organisation’s supporters AIME founder Jack Manning Bancroft said it was time to open up the program.
“I know from first hand experience that the way to overcome difference is to see the humanity in each other. So here’s the deal, let’s be a part of the solution and get off the sidelines,” Manning Bancroft said.
“I’ve got a board meeting end of Feb and am keen to take the option of AIME being used for Sudanese kids in Melbourne. So let’s do this thing.”
He told Pro Bono News the inflammatory comments being made by elected officials regarding African Australians caused isolation, leading to “anger, frustration, and a lack of hope”.
“Every single day, every single Australian, should at the very least, wake up and feel like their country has a place for them,” he said.
“We know our model works bringing people together. We believe that human beings are better together.”
According to Manning Bancroft the Sudanese Australian kids would be the ones having the impact by “showing university students what they are like as humans”.
“Teaching them about their history, knowledge, and identity. And together they’d shape the future for all of us to follow. AIME simply would provide the stage, for the kids to show us a rich and diverse Sudanese Australian story,” he said.
He said AIME was reaching out to “Sudanese AIME mentors in the making, universities in Melbourne, philanthropists and funders that don’t want to sit on the sidelines”.
“If you’re a Victorian rockstar Sudanese mentor in the making, get in touch, you can run it. If you’re a Melbourne uni student and want to be a part of the solution send us a note. Daniel Andrews, we’ll work with you. Get it in touch,” he said.
“And more broadly to the Melbourne and Vic community of philanthropists and corporates, hit us up if you’re keen to be part of a positive future, which includes us all.
“Heck – if you’re in West Sydney or Coffs and wanna use AIME for Sudanese kids, let’s do it.”