Rebecca first connected with our organization back in 2015, before we officially became known as LIVEfree Project. Rebecca lived in social housing in the area and had heard of the children's homework club that we were running in the local community hall at the time. Rebecca soon became heavily involved, joining our Inspire Women’s group, Doorstep Deliveries of Essential Goods and Smile and Thrive Dental program.
Rebecca lost many important people in her world when she was a child and as a result had to look after herself from a young age. She is an incredibly resilient woman who has always fought to keep her family together and create a safe environment for her children, unlike the environment she experienced growing up. Rebecca and her family were one of the first families LIVEfree Project ever supported.
Rebecca shares what she appreciates about the Project:
“Knowing that there was people around that cared, it didn’t matter where I came from or what I did or didn’t have. I wasn't judged for where I came from. As long as you respect the place and respect each other, you were welcome.”
In 2018, Rebecca was part of our dental program and needed to complete a significant amount of dental treatment due to her severe tooth decay. But despite the amount of treatment ahead, Rebecca was persistent. She had a goal - to take nice photos at her daughter's Year 6 graduation the following year, with a full smile! Rebecca was persistent and determined to achieve her goal.
In the year that followed, Rebecca had an astounding total of 19 teeth removed. The treatments that she underwent were gruelling and anxiety-inducing. But Rebecca never missed an appointment.
By August 2019, after multiple payment plans and too many dental appointments to count - Rebecca had successfully completed her treatment. Rebecca was able to smile confidently for photos with her daughter at the Year 6 graduation with her new top and bottom set of dentures in place.
After Rebecca’s experiences of hardship from a young age, she wanted to be a mum who was a strong role model for her daughters to follow. The realisation of this goal was not just an incredible achievement for Rebecca, but for her whole family as her daughters witnessed their mother’s determination and learnt that goals take hard work and grit to achieve.
If you’re inspired by Rebecca’s story, why not consider donating to LIVEFree Project before the end of the financial year. Click here for more information.
Like most parents Rebecca has hopes and dreams for all of her daughters.
“That’s my hope for all the girls, that they’ll be independent, that they can be whatever they want to be.”
It is estimated that 11.8% of the Australian population live under the poverty line. And a startling new study exploring intergenerational poverty has revealed that children who experience poverty are 3.3 times more likely to experience disadvantage as an adult. They are also 2.5 times more likely to live in social housing, less likely to finish school and less likely to be in secure full time work.
This is due to what is known as intergenerational poverty or the cycle of poverty, which is defined by World Vision as:
“A cycle that begins when a child is born into a poor family, who often have limited resources to create opportunities to advance themselves, leaving them stuck in the poverty trap.”
Intergenerational poverty can sometimes last for three generations, it is a complex issue that requires the help of everyone to overcome.
We need your help to break this cycle in more local Newcastle families like Rebecca’s. With the support of community services and charities like ours, Rebecca is working hard to re-write her children’s future story.
Four years on and Rebecca now has five daughters between the ages of one and fifteen. Rebecca’s eldest daughter is currently in Year 9 and has just commenced her first part time job, working some casual hours after school. Rebecca is currently working on yet another goal - obtaining her Learners Drivers license to increase future opportunities for her family.
Rebecca recently shared with us that she still remembers and implements many of the skills she has learnt from her time at our Inspire Women’s program. She’s working hard at her relationship with her children, changing the way she speaks to them, allowing them to make mistakes within a safe environment and developing her ability to recognise her children’s different needs and meet them where they’re at.
“I’m still learning, they’re still learning, we can always learn something new everyday I tell them”
With the support of her community and organizations like LIVEfree Project, Rebecca is working hard to create a brighter future for her five daughters.
But families like Rebecca’s and others can’t do it alone, they need your help. There are many local families affected by intergenerational poverty, hardship, substance abuse, mental health issues, disabilities and family violence, that are in need of support to pave a new path forward for their family.
Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation this financial year and partner with LIVEfree PROJECT to help families just like Rebecca's? Families in Newcastle are struggling to make ends meet, they are seeking support to step out of their current circumstances and rewrite their family’s future.
You can make a one off donation by bank transfer or Paypal:
BSB: 650 000
Account: 5308 62708
Name: Livefree Project
Or follow the Paypal link and tick the ‘make this a monthly donation’ option to become one of our Grassroots Sponsors and donate $22 a month for the rest of 2022! Read more here.
Let’s break the cycle of poverty together.