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In NSW alone (our home state) there are over 150,000 kids living with disability and 1 in 5 of these kids are not getting NDIS support. A further 1 in 6 kids is currently living in poverty. Kids in both these statistics not only have a higher chance of health and behavioural problems but are less likely to finish school.
Our country’s children aren’t making mistakes. They aren’t choosing their circumstances. So why do we continue to ostracise them? Why are we making life harder for them? There is no reason why all children in Australia shouldn’t be provided with equal opportunity in life. Opportunities exist to make decisions, choose paths, and learn about our own principles, desires and capabilities. Every child has the power to be capable if we provide them with the tools necessary to do so.
In Australia according to the Disability Discrimination Commissioner in 1996, access to education services for students with disabilities was a major issue. From early childcare education and the education of staff to support and provide care, all the way through to physical access limitations in schools, these areas were simply underdeveloped. The report goes on to outline a lack of available information for families to consider when applying for financial support to assist with school fees (and the extra fees incurred with caring and providing educational services to children with disadvantages).
The first issue we raise is that it should not cost more than any other child. It should not be a financial burden to support our children. And yet it continues to be. In 2021 over 77,000 children under 7 years accessed the NDIS across Australia. Access is consistently made a public issue.
Further, The Disability Gaps in Educational Attainment and Literacy found that primary school completion (not high school) for children with disabilities in 19 developing countries is only 48% and only 30% of children with disabilities have actually been to school.
These figures are alarming and prove that more needs to be done to raise the bar of equality for our children.
What variety do
Variety Australia provides grants for disability equipment, medical supplies and services, communication devices and therapy to help kids and organisations that are directly involved with kids in need. They also run programs to educate and empower these kids and provide scholarships to encourage their talents. Outside of this, they hold regular events around the country for kids to enjoy with their families and caregivers.
Who do they help?
Variety focuses on sick, disadvantaged, and special needs children between 0 and 18 years. It was founded in 1928 in the United States and finally made its way to Sydney, Australia in 1975 and then expanded into the other states between 1980 and 1988. By 2014 the annual Variety Bash (a fundraiser formed by Dick Smith back in 1984) had successfully raised over $200 million for children in need.
earthYARD has supported Variety’s annual Gala dinner for the past 3 years with donated items to raffle off and is dedicated to providing further support. earthYARD believes that all children have the right to equal opportunity in life and equal right to choose the path they want to take.
Our vision is to help fund equipment to be placed in rural schools that allow the intake of more children with varying abilities and skills. Equipment such as access equipment, play equipment and critical learning tools are on our to fund list. Until we are in a place to achieve this, earthYARD will continue to support Variety who are already doing big things in this space.
Doing One Good Thing
An equal portion of our One Good Thing fund will be donated annually to Variety – The Children’s Charity.