Empowering Children to Feel Safe

Through your donations Bravehearts is building resilience, self-confidence and knowledge of safe and unsafe feelings in children that will assist them in staying safe in a variety of situations from bullying, domestic violence through to sexual assault.

A $14,950 grant from the Give Where You Live Foundation has enabled Bravehearts to bring the Ditto’s Keep Sage Adventure Show to schools and schools in the region, particularly in those parts of the regions experiencing disadvantage. The show is an incursion program aimed primarily at children aged 3-8 delivered by trained staff in accordance with an evidence based script and approach that is informed by research within the sector as well as Bravehearts experience to date.

The star of the show is Ditto the friendly lion cub mascot, who guides children in an interactive, non-confrontational manner through content including recognising warning signs, identifying their private parts and their privacy, empowering them with knowledge around sharing secrets and teaches them what action to take if they ever feel unsafe or unsure. To enhance learning and build on key messages presented throughout the show, each child receives an activity book to use in class and take home to share their learning with other members of their family.

Mandy from the Geelong Bravehearts Education Team recently visited Barwon Valley School in Belmont. All children at the school have special needs and the school curriculum places a strong focus on personal safety for all their students. Leading teacher, Sue Mitchell noted that “Although the program is designed for younger students, we find that all our students relate well to Mandy and “Ditto” and take on board the important messages that they share through songs, visuals, role plays and audience participation. Mandy even incorporates some of the Makaton key word signs into the performance to ensure that our students gain maximum value from the show!” She also noted that their “students participate with enthusiasm during the show, especially those who have seen the show a number of times, and they walk away from the performance with increased confidence, reinforced through the repetition of important personal safety messages.”