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Social issues

Community Crusaders: The Esther Foundation

– by David Churack

The Esther Foundation is an award-winning organisation that supports young women and their children through difficult times. It was founded in 2006 by Patricia Lavater, a woman with a lifetime passion for helping those in need. From the age of just fourteen, Patricia had begun working to help the disadvantaged and disenfranchised, and this lifetime passion for helping the less fortunate is undoubtedly reflected in the warm, caring nature of the Esther Foundation.

The Foundation itself provides ten residential areas throughout South Perth which currently house more than forty-five women and their children. These individuals are often displaced by a variety of factors, including mental health issues, substance abuse problems, domestic violence, pregnancy etc. The foundation has the resources to deal with all of these issues, as it not only provides a safe environment with 24 hour staff support, but also includes individual counselling for any specific issue an individual may be dealing with.

But this is only the beginning of the services the foundation offers. Other activities include camping programs, workplace training, mother skills training, recreational activities options and a mentorship program. A catering organisation known as ‘Catergirls’ also works in conjunction with the Esther foundation to provide workplace training and a supported pathway back to steady employment for the women undergoing the Esther program.

Another significant part of the Esther foundation is an intensive creative arts program that acts to empower the foundations guests by giving them multiple mediums for self-expression. Classes are held on singing, song writing, dancing, the guitar, painting etc. A powerful part of this program is a belief in the inherently therapeutic and beneficial nature of the arts and self-expression.

From this incomplete list alone, it is clear that the Esther foundation attacks the problem of disadvantaged woman and children in Western Australia from a variety of angles, and can offer them assistance and even recreational enjoyment in a number of important areas.

To support this foundation, please visit their donations page.

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