Kokoda Youth Mentoring Program

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Since its inception in 2006, MASP’s Kokoda Youth Mentoring program has had an impact on the lives of over 140 young people from throughout the Sunraysia and now Swan Hill region.

Kokoda is a 12‐month youth mentoring program providing local young people experiencing difficulties with an opportunity to re‐connect themselves with mainstream education, employment, family, the community and to reach their full potential.

The program recruits mentors from the local community to provide mentoring and support to the young people participating, with a strong focus on the linking of young people to positive adult role models. Training provided to the mentors ensures that the young person is receiving the maximum benefit possible from the program including –

* Social interaction through group physical training sessions
* One‐on‐one sessions ensuring the achievement extended social networks
* Building of confidence, self‐esteem and positive communication
* Life skills and core values that will assist them in everyday life, their careers and relationships
* Creating an environment that enables their full potential to be realised.

The program highlight is a trip to Papua New Guinea to walk “in the footsteps of heroes” along the historical Kokoda Trail. It is here where emotions are brought to the forefront, participants discover themselves and their inner strengths, gain an insight into the sacrifices made by many young Australian soldiers and experience a culture far removed from our own.

Kokoda has had a positive influence on many of the young people who have participated in the program during the last 10 years, this has included but not limited to outcomes such as‐

* Returning to school
* Attending University
* Commencing a career
* Entering sustainable accommodation
* Increased physical and mental health
* Increased self‐esteem, confidence and social skills.

The continued success of Kokoda and the creating of positive change to the lives of many young people now and into the future rely heavily on funding. During the last 10 years, Kokoda has partially been funded through the Department of Health and Human Services Engage! Funding program. The balance of funding is achieved through community donations, fundraising events and sponsorship’s.

The program costs approximately $6000 per person for the duration of the 12 months, including the trek along the Kokoda Trail. Approximately 10‐15 young people and 10‐15 mentors participate each year. Mentors are required to pay their own way and mentees are fully funded. $6000 covers expenses throughout the year including:

* Aussie led trek along the Kokoda Trail
* Airfares and Travel Insurance
* Accommodation in PNG
* Backpacks
* Boots
* Sleeping bags and mats
* Uniform
* Costs associated with training and related events.

For more information on the program please view the below brochures or contact Ken Innes on 50216500 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)







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