Why you should help
You can help bring comfort to a child affected by violence
For a child whose world has just been turned upside down, a Buddy Bag can feel like a miracle.
This Christmas, you can give a child fleeing violence the gift of love, and offer them security and warmth in a time of distress and trauma.
For many of us, the experiences these children have endured are unimaginable. The pain and loss they’ve experienced in their short lives is greater than anyone should ever know. Buddy Bags were created by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation as a way to start bringing comfort to children affected by violence.
Each Buddy Bag contains a teddy for reassurance and company, a book for entertainment and distraction, pyjamas, socks and underwear, their own pillow case, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a face washer, a photo album for keeping precious drawings and pictures in and the bag itself is a sturdy backpack that can also be used as a school bag.
Buddy Bags aren’t the solution to the problem of children experiencing or witnessing violence, but they are a start.
Earlier this year Zoe* and her husband took in two little ones, a girl of two and a little boy aged three.
It was a stinking hot day in February, about 38 degrees, and the children arrived on their doorstep wearing summer clothes. The girl was wearing a light summer frock and a nappy. The little boy had on a singlet and shorts.
One of them had on a pair of winter boots. The other had on sandals about two sizes too small.
That was all they had with them.
Thankfully the child protection worker had Buddy Bags.
“We didn't have nappies and other things that they needed, but with the Buddy Bags we had enough to actually get them into a pair of pyjamas,” says Zoe.
“There was also a teddy bear in the bag that we could give them that now actually belonged to them, as well as a story we could read them.
“We haven't fostered toddlers in a long time, but because of the Buddy Bags I had things that could immediately create a connection between me and those children.”