A youth mentoring service in South East Queensland is saying ‘action!’ to the new camera equipment that’s helping them spread the word.
There’s only one way to get disadvantaged kids into programs that help them – and that’s to make them aware of what’s out there.
That’s the idea behind the latest initiative from South East Queensland’s Multicultural Youth Empowerment Strategy (M-YES), who provide one-on-one mentoring for disadvantaged youth, aged 14 to 24.
“We have a volunteer videographer,” says Leanne Alder, a volunteer with the organisation, which pairs youth with a mentor for a 12-month period. “They come along to all our events and workshops to take photos and put together videos.”
M-YES offers kids the chance to set up a great future. “All our mentors are volunteers,” says Leanne, “and mentees are referred from multicultural development services, foster care, state children’s support and other places. Our focus has been on kids from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, but we’ve expanded it to include all youth who require a mentor.”
The short videos help to showcase what it is that M-YES does. “They’re used on our social media and website,” explains Leanne. “They include things like tips for being a mentor, what it means to be a mentee, what people have learnt from our programs, and coverage of our hiking and rock-climbing events.” (See some of the videos on the M-YES Facebook page.)
“Each one is worth a thousand words: it shows how the program has helped participants to become part of the wider community, overcome adversity and become the leaders of tomorrow.”
The videos generate a lot of interest from future mentees, who can see how much fun the program is.
“The camera equipment has come in so handy,” Leanne says of the equipment that was purchased with a $1000 Community 100 grant from Lions Australia.
Ken Mulcahy, president of the 63-member Brisbane Macgregor Lions Club, says they take a multi-pronged approach to helping the community.
“We’ve just finished Art Extravaganza, which is a two-week judged exhibition at Westfield Garden City; the profit from that goes to Multicap (an employee assistance service for disabled people) and two local special schools,” he says.
“We annually run the Macgregor Lions Health and Wellbeing Expo, which is a free day for seniors. We have eight keynote speakers and various health display holders. We also recently gave a $10,000 donation to The Heart Bus. It’s run by a Brisbane-based cardiologist who has set up a truck to make cardiac facilities available in 13 regional centres in Queensland.”
These are just some of the examples of how local communities can work together to achieve great things.
For more information on the Multicultural Youth Empowerment Strategy (M-YES), visit m-yes.org
To contact the Brisbane Macgregor Lions Club, visit brisbanemacgregor.qld.lions.org.au