Imagine homeschooling when you don't have a computer

There is no doubt that we are all facing a massive challenge right now, juggling this strange new world of working from home, not working at all, home-schooling, social distancing and more. 

Please spare a thought too for the Gold Coast youths whose circumstances are difficult enough without the added challenge of not having a suitable device to support them to undertaking online learning.

YHESHouse is one of the organisations supported by our charity partners RADFLY.  It is a safe, youth-friendly community hub that provides a non-judgemental space where young people are welcomed, listened to, and respected.

We have helped YHES House in the past by providing laptops which had been refurbished by our technology partners Pogo IT Solutions.  So when Naomi and Yolie from RADFLY came to us a few weeks ago to tell us about their need to source 20 laptops for  the youths whom they are helping currently we wanted so badly to solve their problem.

The great news was that we had raised enough money from the March International Women’s Day event to get them started.

It's hard enough without the difficulty and stigma of not having access to a device for online learning

The ladies from RADFLY put us in touch with Tamsyn Hall – Coordinator of Youth Health & Education services at YHES House who has shared just a few stories about these young people she is helping every day by providing them with a safe, friendly and non-judgmental space where their rights are respected and they can gain access to support, services and tools to survive.

Real stories of real people

  • A 13-year-old girl whose Mum was just released from prison… she does not have a laptop for her school work.  From time to time she can use her Mum’s iPad but this system is not supported by the schools network so she will not have access to it once she returns to school.
  • Two sibling teenagers in high school and neither have a laptop, Mum has been going up to the school to get needed school work for the children to complete in hard copy format which she then returns fortnightly to the school.
  • A teenage girl who has only started high school this year, she is was high achiever in her primary school years.  Having a laptop will provide her the opportunity to remain engaged with their school work both remotely and when they return to the school.
  • A 14-year-old girl of a single parent family, with a younger sibling aged 5.   She is not eligible for centrelink herself and Mum’s work has dramatically decreased over pandemic period. There had been concerns for low school attendance prior to engaging this young girl and since supports have been put in place her school attendance has increased and she is actively engaging  into education. Having a laptop that she can use at school will support her engagement into education and reduce stigma issues at school.

  • A 17-year-old girl who has been living independently since she was 15 years old, and is also trying to source own accommodation as she has been couch surfing and most recently sharing a bedroom at her friends place through the lockdown. She is unable to return home to her parents due to high conflict in family home.   She has started senior schooling (Yrs 11 &12) this year and has been borrowing a laptop. 

A laptop would reduce stress around getting schoolwork completed and assist her to achieve her goal of completing Year 12. She had left mainstream High School prior to completing Year 10 and has independently supported herself to complete her Year 10 last year.

Who can access YHES House?

If you’re aged between 12 – 25 years you can access YHES House. Furthermore, if you’re aged between 8 – 11 years and have an older sibling (aged 12 – 25 years) receiving support, you are also eligible to access YHES House. 

The Young Parent Program; Centrelink & health professional services is available for young people aged up to 25 years of age.

YHES House can help you if you:

  • Are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
  • Are struggling with life and need someone to talk to
  • Are having issues with drugs and alcohol
  • Have questions about sex and sexuality
  • Are pregnant and need support
  • Are having relationship problems
  • Are a young parent looking for social and parenting support
  • Need health advice
  • Need a safe place to stop in, have a shower, do some laundry and use the Internet
  • Need a referral and advocacy