The Dunn and Lewis Youth Development Foundation has formed to fill a void that can be an overwhelming obstacle to many of today’s young people. The issues we confront here are not uncommon or special; in fact they are endemic in regional Australia. What help is there for young people who confront issues of trauma in their daily lives from violence, crime, personal tragedy, road accidents or isolation?
Unemployment alone breeds indolence and feelings of worthlessness. The lack of community based activities, skill-learning programs and entertainment opportunities does nothing to get kids off binge drinking, drugs or address the overriding issues of boredom, lack of training, or constructive life guidance. This neglect fosters a downward spiral.
The Foundation emerged through youth and community consultation. After four years of negotiating, research, collecting data and engaging experts in all areas, we have started building a Youth Complex as the hub from which we will address these needs. The brick and mortar structure is the starting point and our physical home. Our main mission is providing for the social well being and development of our youth.
For the young people who are on the road to a healthy and successful life, this Complex will provide them with the facilities to excel and achieve the potential that already stirs within them. For those who are not on the road to a successful life the Foundation, which operates through the Complex, will provide them with so much more. Conventional youth programs are having limited success in regions because they don’t place young people equal or ahead of their peers when they complete rehabilitation.
It’s proven fact that young people with some level of qualifications are much more likely to gain employment or have the confidence to continue with their education. This is a critical principle and is fundamental to the opportunities we plan to provide through the complex. Our not-for-profit Foundation intends to practice self-reliance as well as preach it.
We will use commercial activities at the Complex to fund the specialist youth support programs that will be our main work. In the initial development phase, our Foundation is relying on community, business and government funding, donations and sponsorship to build the Complex and take it to the point where it can become self funding for the long-term.