BridgeWorks Youth Transition Centre:
Centre incorporating residential care, nurture, equipping and training of at-risk ‘transitioning’ youth; external programs for children residing in children’s homes (eg – after school, weekend and holiday programs); emergency accommodation for high risk children in crisis; and a place for coming together for shared events. Development of this is family-focused care. Currently BridgeWorks is renting a large home to meet the care and residential needs of at-risk youth. Land suitable to build a permanent facility has been acquired, and fund-raising for the building project is currently underway.
BridgeWorks Youth Transition Program:
Many children’s homes are often only able to care for the children up to the completion of their 3rd year of high school, due to higher care and educational costs, and also a lack of resources and commitment in the care of teenagers. The youth become vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of exploitation from age 13 years on (sometimes earlier), and so a majority do not finish school. (Most trafficking and exploitation occurs via a relative, or broker acting on behalf of a relative). The BridgeWorks Youth Transition Program seeks to develop pathways that enable the children / youth that need to leave a children’s home to continue their education with ongoing nurture, equipping, and empowerment.
Educational / Vocational Youth Scholarships:
To fund / enable further education and provide a viable future option for those in their mid-teens. These funds allow for education/training costs to enable them to continue in school, learn a trade, or continue to college/university and ultimately paid employment. The education costs per student vary from $20/mth (Yrs 1-3 High school); through to over $100/mth for university. BridgeWorks scholarship sponsorship is $50 (AUD) a month per child/youth. In the spirit of fairness, this is “pooled” in the BridgeWorks Scholarship Fund, to make it possible to assist those at every level of education.
Income Generation Projects:
BridgeWorks aims to identify marketplace opportunities for the developing of projects that are suitable for the young people of BridgeWorks. This is for the purpose of skills training, as well as providing some financial assistance for the participants.
Dinki Cakes: A bakery project started in 2011 with girls from a local children’s home. This project works on a profit share system; and has provided part-time income, as well as skills training and significant personal growth for the girls involved. It is modestly profitable and self-funded; though does require some capital input in 2015 for equipment needed for the purpose of expansion.
BridgeWorks also runs a Workshop project, which provides training and employment opportunities in technical / mechanical / maintenance skills, etc.
Fair Trade product:
CoffeeWorks: BridgeWorks sources and sells Arabica coffee grown by local hill-tribe Coffee farmers. Proceeds from coffee sales support BridgeWorks projects.