One of the things that I really like about the bears is that they're handmade, so they feel special. Each of the kids pick one that they are drawn to. Someone else made that for them, we always tell them that.
There's been several different groups such as the Country Women's Association in Broken Hill who have made a huge number of them. Also, Royal Far West staff especially during the first lockdown. I've made a few of them myself.
Quite a lot of the kids lost their homes during the fires and lost their favourite toys. So, I think giving them something that is theirs and that may be replacing something that they potentially lost – that is a nice part of it.
Together, UNICEF Australia and Royal Far West work to ensure children and families affected by the bushfires receive psychosocial and mental health services that support their recovery. In the 18-month period from the beginning of the program to July 2021, we have reached:
- 99 children with telecare therapy.
- 968 children with direct mental health support through group programs.
- 1,727 parents, educators, health professionals and community leaders with support and education so they can continue supporting children.
Globally, UNICEF has years of experience responding to natural disasters and conflict, ensuring children are safe and protected. When disaster strikes, UNICEF is there.
Royal Far West is an Australian charity and UNICEF Australia program partner that supports children’s developmental, mental and behavioural health and is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Australia’s ‘country kids’.