Australian-first scholarships to support DV affected kids

Australian Charity of the Year 2018, Friends With Dignity has launched the eighth round of its Little Friends Scholarship program, an Australian-first initiative established in 2017 awarding bi-annual monetary scholarships to children throughout Australia who have faced, or are facing, domestic or family violence.

The educational and extra-curricular scholarships help to cover a variety of expenses from helping kids attend camp and after-school activities with their peers, to providing uniforms.

The first seven rounds of the program have seen a total of 347 Little Friend Scholarships awarded to children aged between 5-18 years of age nationally since its launch in 2017, totalling $149,460, with a minimum of 40 scholarships on offer in round eight.

Two scholarships are guaranteed to be awarded per State or Territory, with the remaining balance being awarded on an ‘as needs basis’, said Friends With Dignity Director and Chief Financial Officer, Julia McKenna.

“We established the Little Friends Scholarship program to ensure all children who are facing or have faced domestic violence have the ability to normalise their lives.”

“The scholarships are designed to help young domestic violence survivors re-build their confidence by finding something they are good at, and ensuring their education continues.

“This initiative is needed now more than ever due to the nature of the lockdown and confinement of Covid, with demand for electronic devices at an all-time high.”

The not-for-profit organisation responded to requests from the community to contribute to their Little Friends Scholarship program by launching the Little Friends Scholarship Community Fund in round three, allowing the general public to also help children in need.

“Donations to the Little Friends Scholarship Community Fund can be large or small. All funds received will be pooled together in $500 amounts (the size of a scholarship), and all donations over $2 are tax-deductible.”

Normally, all Friends With Dignity programs are on a referral basis from organisations and refuges, however, the Friends With Dignity Little Friends Scholarship program affords parents the opportunity to submit an application personally.

The Little Friends Scholarship program gives parents the opportunity to tell their children’s stories, and how the scholarship will improve their lives, said Ms McKenna.

Round eight applications open on the 25th January 2021 and close on the 26th February 2021.

To apply for the Little Friends Scholarship Program, the online application can be found at:: https://www.friendswithdignity.org.au/little-friends-scholarship.

The Little Friends Scholarship Community Fund website can be found at MyCause: https://www.mycause.com.au/page/179288/little-friends-scholarship-community-fund.