A new online giving platform aimed at children is to be launched in schools across Queensland and is set to make big waves in local communities.
GIVIT Kids is a philanthropy program designed to, with parental guidance, encourage children to anonymously donate to other Australian families who are in need. With support from the Queensland Department of Education, Training & Employment, the program will be rolled out in local schools, with a number of Brisbane schools signing up to become part of the GIVIT Kids Community.CEO Juliette Wright said that the program, which includes a number of lesson plans and interactive materials will ‘[engage] students with their community, encouraging tolerance and empathy, helping develop research and fundraising skills as well build lasting connections within their local community’.
This news comes after a report release earlier this month by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) stated that one in seven Australians are living poverty – for those of you playing at home that is 13.5% of the population, or 2.5 million Australians. The sadder and more worrying statistic found in the ACOSS Report says that 603,000 or 17.7% of Australian children are living in poverty. ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie commented at the launch of the Report in Sydney that “this is deeply disturbing and highlights the need for a national plan to tackle the scourge of poverty which diminishes us all in one of the wealthiest countries in the world”.
GIVIT Kids is a strong and innovative initiative with the potential to really build a culture of giving in our next generation. This cultural shift and focus on community development in schools can only bring positive gains to future Australians. Whilst philanthropy is only one piece of the puzzle, it opens the door for discussion around other areas of social development; for children to see immediate returns on their investment; and to normalise the act of giving in the daily lives of Australian children.
In its initial phase, the program has been integrated into the Year 3, 5 and 6 Australian Civics and Citizenship Courses of the Queensland primary curriculum, and will hopefully spread to other state curricula in the near future. GIVIT Kids is a part of the larger nation-wide organisation GIVIT which has provided new or quality used goods to over 126,000 Australians in need.