The Sebastian Foundation helping The Girls Refuge
I am so passionate about The Sebastian Foundation and the work we do. My husband Guy and I started this foundation a few years ago with the vision of helping families in need. We feel so privileged that we are able to, along with the help of so many others, give back.
Being the woman of The Sebastian Foundation team, my goal this year was to help other girls and women. To me, the woman, in most cases, is the back bone of the family. If the woman is empowered to be her best, the rest of the family follows suit. Woman are superhuman. With that in mind, we reached out to some of the women’s shelters and refuges in Sydney to see what we could do to make an impact in their lives. We came across the wonderful people of The Girls Refuge and were blown away by their work.
The Girls Refuge provides support and accommodation to over 200 girls a year between the ages of 13 and 17 who are either homeless or at the imminent risk of homelessness. They stay for up to 3 months and are rehabilitated and restored back to their family, where safe and if possible. This year 60% of the girls have been restored to family and the one’s who weren’t are connected to longer term supported accommodation.
Over our time working with the refuge, I was able to meet with some of the girls who live at the refuge and hear their stories. They are amazing with beautiful strength and optimism. For all sorts of reasons, they found themselves at the shelter in need of help.
The staff are passionate about the safety and well being of the girls lives. They are dedicated to making sure they provide the right care and give them a loving home to be a part of.
Think about family and home for a minute. I know for me, I feel most safe and loved in the comfort of my own home. These girls, for a moment in time, don’t have that. They are scared, alone and desperate. When they step through the door of the refuge for the first time, they are nervous and don’t know what to expect. This is their cry for help and for some the only place to turn. This is where we come into the picture. Along with Freedom Kitchens and a host of other generous companies and donations were able to help make their house into a home.
We completely revamped the kitchen and gave the dining and lounge room a ‘facelift’. The reason we loved this project and wanted to be involved is that now, when the girls walk into the house, they feel a warmth that a home should have. They can cook in the kitchen, lay on the couch, chat to the staff and have the pleasure of having really nice ‘stuff’ all around them. Environment makes a huge difference to head space and I truly believe that this new way of living will provide the girls with the fresh start they need to re-build their lives.
I am so pleased with the results and am ever grateful for the kindness and generosity that comes from others in order to make these projects come to completion.
To the girls who come to stay at the shelter, may you enjoy your surroundings and always know and feel that there is someone who cares.
Special thanks to Freedom Kitchens for their generous donation of a brand new kitchen for the refuge.
If you want to support The Sebastian Foundation and our future projects please click the link and get involved.