Last term we said goodbye to our Girls After School Group to make way for the Big Sister Program. Thanks to the support of Braddock Public School, this new program has been delivered during school hours, allowing us access to more students. It took off with a bang, with 17, Year 6 students participating during Term 3. The girls meet once a week at the school, facilitated by Nada, NCNS Community Development Worker, who gives the girls support, friendship, guidance and acceptance, creating the space for them to develop resilience and independence.
The Big Sister Program has a strong focus on identity and self-esteem. Young people with low self esteem can find it difficult to express themselves, they may have trouble coping with pressure and are more at risk of developing depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
When young people have a strong sense of self, they can better deal with challenges and are less vulnerable to peer pressure.
The program aims to provide students with important life skills to help them reach their full potential in all areas of their lives including understanding and adapting to changes, managing relationships and friendships, making new friends and keeping them, as well as staying safe in their school and community.
The program also covers taking care of yourself by understanding how to maintain personal hygiene. All participants were provided with hygiene packs that included; shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, pads and body wash.
The last two weeks of the program have focused on developing the student’s communication skills through role play. The girls were split into two groups; half became hair and nail stylist’s and the other half became their customers. During the fun, interactive sessions, it was great to see the girls jump into their roles showcasing and practising their skills while they became professionals and took joy in looking after their ‘customers’.
With the Big Sister program being such a success this term we are planning to implement the program again during Term 4.