Breaking the poverty cycle
The Australian Women's Weekly|April 2020
With their Learning for Life program, The Smith Family changes lives across multiple generations, writes Tiffany Dunk.
Tiffany Dunk

Every second Tuesday afternoon, Toni Thomas eagerly heads off to her favourite place in the world, a local Learning Club. It’s here she volunteers to work with a group of young and eager kids who – thanks to a wideranging program from The Smith Family – are getting a helping hand with both their educational and social needs.

The Club runs every school day, providing kids in need with a much welcomed afternoon tea plus a safe space to do their homework where help is at hand should they run into any problems. This is just one aspect of The Smith Family’s Learning for Life sponsorship program, an initiative aimed at making sure that kids in poverty can keep up with their peers when it comes to education. And it’s proven to be a vital step in breaking the cycle of disadvantage for many families in need.

Toni, 75, has been volunteering for six years now and, she tells The Weekly, watching the changes the program has wrought in the children has given her more joy than she ever anticipated.

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