4 March 2019
Little Dreamers began as a sixteen-year-old’s simple vision to rally for the siblings of sick children.
Ten years later and more than 5,000 young people reached, the organisation is now Australia’s leading non-profit for Young Carers.
Growing up alongside her brother who suffered multiple chronic illnesses, and her mother, now a breast cancer survivor, Madeleine Buchner OAM identified a significant gap in the support system.
As the ‘well’ child, and as a young person who played a significant caring role in her family, Madeleine felt unsupported and isolated within her community.
“My passion for Little Dreamers came from one simple question: Who cares for the carers?” Says Madeleine.
Young Carers have since been identified by Australian Child Wellbeing Project as one of the four most marginalised groups in Australia. ABS suggests there are at least 490,000 Young Carers in Australia.
Of this number, half of all Young Carers live close to or below the poverty line. Two in three Young Carers have a mental illness and 96 percent of primary Young Carers do not complete high school.
The primary reason that Young Carers do not seek support is due to lack of awareness, social stigma, lack of need and fear of repercussions. This is where Little Dreamers steps in.
Founded by Madeleine in 2009, Little Dreamers is a rapidly growing, internationally-recognised Young Carer organisation.
Across six key support programs co-designed with young people in caring roles, the organisation is breaking down barriers, raising awareness, empowering Young Carers and their families, and creating supportive care communities. Their vision is to ensure that every Young Carer worldwide is supported by someone or something by the year 2030.
Little Dreamers’ most in-demand program, the Dream Experience program, has fulfilled the wishes of over 220 Young Carers across the country.
With Madeleine at the helm, the organisation has raised over $1 million dollars, secured federal and state government support, worked in over ten countries, and generated global awareness for Young Carers. “Little Dreamers is the support system I could have only dreamed of growing up as a Young Carer,” says Madeleine. “Every day, we strive to bridge the gap between Young Carers and their peers and ensure that no child is ever disadvantaged or left behind because of the amazing job they do taking care of others”.
For further information and media enquiries, please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you, or someone you know, deserves their very own Dream Experience, please head to: http://littledreamersonline.com/apply-for-support/.
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