Matana Foundation supports The Girls and Boys Brigade’s Saturday Program, which supplements their weekday activities as an after school facility. The facility is situated within a community where there are a number of public housing units.
Since 2006 Matana Foundation for Young People has provided consistent funding to allow the continuation of The Girls and Boys Brigade’s Saturday Program.
The Girls & Boys Brigade provides recreation activities, education support and opportunities to develop life skills for disadvantaged inner city children and youth aged 5-18 years. The impact of financial struggles, and sometimes the complexities of public housing, social and health issues in the family, can often be barriers to children’s social and emotional development.
The Saturday Program for children aged 5-12 provides them with a friendly and safe haven where they can drop-in during the day and spend time with friends and staff. A range of arts and crafts, games and technology are on offer which stimulate creativity and keep the children active. Alternatively it is the perfect environment to hang out with friends and create their own weekend fun, allowing “kids to be kids” and to have some important down time from the school week.
On occasions the children are also taken on excursions to places of interest in the Sydney area, which broadens their experiences and gives them a fun weekend trip. A Family Day each year is the perfect way for children and their parents/carers to have time together to enjoy a communal meal and participate in activities together.
The benefits of the Saturday Program are significant. It provides one of the only weekend programs for children in the community, and provides structure to their day. They also have the chance to explore, play and create in a relaxed environment, extending to new experiences on excursions. The environment and activities also facilitate children’s social and emotional skills, and help to develop healthy peer and staff relationships.