Doxa Youth Foundation

Afternoon Program, Melbourne

The Doxa School in Melbourne provides an alternative to mainstream education for children and young people who are at risk of partial or non-school attendance. 

Young people who are often experiencing learning, social and emotional issues or homelessness participate in academic and non-academic-based activities aimed at enhancing their general life skills. The activities are led by mentors who work hard to ensure that an individual’s difficulties do not continue into adulthood. 

Students who participate in this program have not been formally diagnosed with a learning or behavioural difficulty and, as a result, have not been eligible for ancillary education funding. They often come from disadvantaged circumstances that make it difficult for them to succeed on their own.

The LUCRF Super Community Program supported the Afternoon Program by providing resources for Doxa’s unique platform enabling students to reconnect with education, training and employment. The model involves a six-month school-based supported learning and development program followed by 12 months of transitional support. It aims to give students the confidence to lead healthy, happy lives and to make positive contributions to society.

There’s ample evidence to support the notion that children who disconnect from mainstream education before they turn 16 are at risk of becoming offenders. This program is therefore crucial for keeping young people engaged in learning.

The support from the Community Program has:

  • Helped build long-term capacity for students to become positive contributors to society
  • Encouraged students to become more resilient and confident
  • Provided at-risk students with a new way to learn
  • Helped increase students’ personal and social skills
  • Decreased school bullying and self-harming behaviours
  • Improved the emotional state of at-risk students, and
  • Increased school retention rates.

Josh’s story

The only way Josh knew how to react to the bullying he received at school was through violence. Tired of the bullying, isolation and his own anger, Josh was introduced to the Doxa School’s Afternoon Program where he participated in the martial arts program. The focus of the program was not about the fighting, but rather about learning to control emotions. 

Josh excelled in the program, which gave him structure, taught him discipline and helped him make new friends. Since graduating from the program, Josh has successfully joined a new secondary school without any incidence of anger or disciplinary issues.

Based on the success of the Afternoon Program, the Community Program went on to support Doxa’s ‘Engaging in Education Program’ in 2012.

Get involved | About our Community Program | Project list