For Parents and Carers – Covid-19 – Our next steps

Dear parents, carers and to everyone who attends Young Life Club,

Out of care and concern for the Australian community, we’d like you to know, Young Life Australia is aware of the latest advice about COVID-19 and is committed to acting responsibly. We are asking you to help us in line with the advice given by the respective Federal and State Health and Education Departments.

From Monday, June 29th, 2020 Young Life Australia will resume person-to-person activities and gatherings in a staged return in line with government health regulations. Please keep in contact by following us on Facebook and Instagram. Young Life Australia will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and act in step with developments according to Department of Education decisions and official advice from the relevant Health Departments.

We continue to advise that any person with COVID 19 symptoms not attend activities until they have quarantined for two weeks or have tested negative to COVID-19.

Thank you for being involved in Young Life and for helping us as we take the necessary steps to protect the wider community this season and as we begin to re-launch activities where appropriate.

We are committed to supporting young people and finding creative ways to keep in contact during the coming months. Please contact your Young Life leader and or Area Manager or myself if you have any questions.

Mark Stretton, Field Operations and Training Manager – Young Life Australia

P: 1300 557 647 E markstretton@younglife.org.au

Drought, Fire, Flood and Virus: Why We Should Pray for Young People

By Glyn Henman 

The last 12 months have sure thrown up some challenges for all Australians.  With soul wrenching drought, the devastation of a record-breaking bush fire season, flooding rains and now COVID-19 and a nation wide lockdown.  What are we to make of this time in history?  What impact is it having upon our young people?  Research will bring some answers to these questions in time, and time itself will show the depth of impact.   

But what can we do right now?  Let me first reflect on what I am seeing and hearing about what is happening with our teens.

Born in the age of 9-11

This current senior high school cohort were born in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, they entered their schooling during the GFC and now they are facing their final years of education studying from their bedrooms for months. 

With this comes the disappointment of not been able to finish well and do all of the ‘last things’ you get to do with your classmates.  The last sports carnival, the last school production, the last presentation, not to mention the loss of those key relationships with friends and teachers which so often bring inspiration for who we want to be and what we want to do with our lives.  The sense of loss and disruption will linger, even if Australia manages to re-open and keep the Covid-19 cases in check.  For teens in middle high school there is confusion and boredom and a sense of ‘why bother’. 

Is there any hope?  I believe there is.  As I reflect on my grandmother’s life, born in the late 19th century, her stories gather new meaning. My grandmother lived her life through two world wars, the Spanish Flu and a technological revolution (think: horse and cart to man walking on the moon).  What a resilient and innovative generation!  This current generation of young people will also rise.  Adversity brings opportunity.  Opportunities are taken by those who are open to new things and young people are the most open group among us. It will look different, but there is hope. 

Gratitude and seeds of hope

As I listen to my daughters reflect upon this time and how their friends are feeling, the sadness, fear and sense of loss is clear.  But they are grateful to have the security of family nearby.  They are thankful they can still get an education and they see opportunities in their future.  They are hopeful for their friends too because Covid-19 has provided both time and a reason to explore old answers to the big issues of meaning and hope.

Will this generation be as resilient and innovative as my grandparent’s generation?  I believe so and time will tell. 

So, what can we do right now? We can pray.

Pray that God will be our security, that people will turn to him, seek His face and be protected in troubled times. Psalm 91. 

Pray for Jesus to be lifted up so He will draw all of mankind to himself and for us to walk in the light. John 12:30-36. 

Pray for the hope and true rest that comes from God. Psalm 62:5-8. 

Pray for young people (and their families) in our community as they battle the highs and lows of living during a pandemic; and for clarity and a new vision as opportunities come their way. Isaiah 40:28-31. 

 

 

This is your life! Youth asked about Covid-19

The coronovirus pandemic has turned the world upside down. But what does it mean for youth?

Author and social researcher Claire Madden is asking youth (Gen Z) and young adults (Millennials) for their opinion in her 2020 survey.

Claire is a friend of Young Life Australia and so, we’re teaming up to gather the views of our young adult (Millennial) volunteers and those of young people – who are part of Generation Z.

You can have your say here at clairemadden.com.

Your views will help when Australia emerges from this time. Governments, schools, communities will better know how to support you!

Here’s a message from Claire:

 

 

 

Covid 19 Awareness

This document is a guide for Young Life Australia staff and volunteers. We’d like to share it as a source of information for parents, carers and other organisations we work with in partnership.

Young Life Australia is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all staff, volunteers, young people and their families.  With the outbreak of the COVID-19 (Novel Coronovirus) and its transmission in the wider community, our commitment is to act responsibly and in line with Health Department guidelines, to look after ourselves and everyone involved in the Young Life network.

General Precautions

  • Protect yourself and others: wash your hands regularly with soap (sing happy birthday to yourself and then rinse), cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Importantly – stay at home if you’re feeling unwell. 
  • If you develop a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of overseas travel or are in contact with someone else who has COVID-19, seek medical attention: call your GP, Healthdirect on 1800 022 222, or in an emergency, your local hospital emergency department.
  • In the event that you believe you have been in close contact with someone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, please ensure that you report to a doctor for testing. Please inform Young Life Australia as well.
  • Close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be excluded for 14 days since last contact with the confirmed case.
  • Any confirmed case of COVID-19 will be excluded until they are medically cleared to return to work.

 

Young Life Club Precautions – Instructions for Staff

  • Inform parents and young people Young Life Clubs and gatherings have been suspended until further notice from Monday, March 23, 2020.
  • Request parents inform Young Life Australia if in the next two weeks they or their child:
    • develop a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath or,
    • learn they have had close contact with someone who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Please retain records of who attended activities just in case we need to inform health authorities in the future.

Young Life Australia will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and work through the implications of managing the COVID-19 challenge, responding to the relevant Health Department updates as they are announced.

Thank you for your ongoing support with this matter. We will continue to keep you updated.

 

Glyn Henman

CEO, Young Life Australia

P: 1300 557 647 E: office@younglife.org.au W: younglife.org.au

A chance to serve Young Life Philippines

Summer Camp Cancelled

younglife.org.au/give

Send a Bush Kid to Camp – Thank You!

Campaign for teens from drought-affected country

We did it! We reached and surpassed our goal to raise $18,000 to bring a coachload of youth affected by the drought to Young Life Australia’s Summer Camp.

Money raised = $24,479

Prime 7News Central West spoke to John Ryan from Warren and Karla Stait from Dubbo recently about their work with youth, Young Life’s Summer Camp and the need for sponsors to come forward and make camp a reality for teens from the bush!

And Australia responded. Gifts poured in from the city and the country.

“We have closed the camp fund now,” says Glyn Henman, Young Life’s CEO. “Our team is busy inviting youth and planning camp. And for those who would still like to support our work with youth in regional Australia, we have community-based programs running throughout the year. Our youth workers need your support too.”

Please help us build up young people from drought-affected communities. Donate at younglife.org.au/give.

2019 Financial Report and Year in Review

Connections magazine was published in October with Young Life Australia’s financials for the year 2018-19. You can read it here.

Meet Mark Stretton, Young Life’s new Manager, Field Operations and Training.

We announce Mitchell Broom steps into the role of Chair, on the Young Life Australia Board. Mitch has served on the board since 2012.

We farewell Young Life’s Chief Financial Officer, Llew Morris who is retiring after 15 years of service.

Connections is published three times a year. To subscribe, contact our national office on 1300 557 647.

 

Help us reach our $5000 target

Wyld Life Camp is coming!

How good was Wyld Life Camp last year!

It was awesome! Led by a band of pirates, students in Grades 5 – 8 from New England, Central West NSW, Sydney and the ACT joined the four-day camp. Check out the pics!

This year the camp will take place from September 30 – October 3 during the NSW school holidays on Milson Island, an amazing property run by NSW Sport & Recreation on the Hawkesbury River.

There’s only one way to get to an island and that’s by ferry; and the only way to be on that ferry is to register at younglife.org.au/wyldlifecamp.

The camp cost is $299.

What’s Wyld Life all about?

If Wyld Life is a new concept to you, it’s Young Life’s program for students in Grades 5 – 8. Like Young Life Club, we meet up and play games, sport, skits and talk about faith and issues that matter to young people.

Heather Gant is Young Life Australia’s regional manager in Central West NSW. She is sold on the importance of community-based youth programs for pre-teens.

“There are so many influences both positive and negative in young people’s lives today. If we want to send a positive message to young people we can’t wait until their teenage years because by that stage there are so many voices in their lives.”

“And having a place outside of school where you and your friends belong and where the leaders are fun and supportive provides so much protection from the negative experiences that can accompany adolescence.”

“That’s what we are aiming for,” she says.