Can you imagine?
What if we told you that children in refuge often feel the happiest and safest they have ever felt in their entire lives!
Every week at SunnyKids Domestic and Family Violence refuge (Najidah), Children and staff come together to create fun memories. Children deserve to have fun, feel safe and have the chance to reach their full potential. Here are just two ways that SunnyKids helps bring the happy back into children's lives on the Sunshine Coast.
Every Thursday afternoon at 3 pm Primary School aged children who are currently residing at Najidah are invited to attend Najidah Kid’s Club. Staff provide fun planned activities for the children to enjoy time away from the Najidah complex (time away from mum and younger siblings). All children get to enjoy a healthy afternoon tea with delicious fresh fruit.
Some of the fun activities include Back to school Scavenger Hunts, Picnics excursions to the local duck pond, “Najidah’s Got Talent” where the children perform their best talent and so much more!!
Children often ask staff if Kids Club can be on every day of the week and say Thursdays are the best days of the week because they get to attend Kids Club. Staff work incredibly hard to find activities that the children enjoy based on their individual interests and passions.
For Sarah (11yrs old), Kids club is more than just fun. its an opportunity to build new memories. An opportunity to begin to repair the damage of what she has witnessed in her 11 short years.
Sarah says "I like coming to Kids Club because it is so much fun! I really enjoyed spending time with the workers during Kids Club. My favourite was the Najidah's Got Talent I wish I could do that again right now. Everyone makes me feel special and everyone is happy"!
Tiny Tots has a different purpose.
Families in trauma often function in "Survival Mode". The difficulty in building and maintaining meaningful attachment while reducing the impacts of the trauma experienced can be almost impossible. This program allows an opportunity for safe and nurturing relationships to grow between mum and her children in a stable environment.
The Tiny Tots program is developed for children 5 years and under. This program is facilitated by staff and runs the same time as the Kids Club program allowing mum to have one on one time with bub whilst the primary school aged children attend kids club. Staff plan fun and meaningful activities with a focus on connection. Hand and feet painting, story time, singing songs like ABC, Head shoulders knees and toes, popping bubbles and a lot more. Tiny tots is an amazing program for mum's and bubs to experience bonding moments and positive memories created together.
These small moments mean so much for many families. Amy and Jax are just one example of the importance of spending time with our children and creating fun memories.
During their stay Amy and her son Jax (3 yrs) attended Tiny Tots and completed a hand and foot painting on a canvas and creatively turning Jax’s hand print into a little monkey with eyes and a tail. Amy and Jax then went on to painting Jax’s feet as trees. A year after Amy and Jax exited the refuge Amy sent staff members a picture of the canvas hanging up in Jax’s new bedroom.
Every-time Amy and Jax see this canvas they will be reminded of a time that they were safe and happy. This was the beginning for them. A chance to start a new life free from violence and harm.