Bellingen Shire lifts off for Bravehearts’ White Balloon Day to protect our kids

Bryce, Macyn, Ethan, Sophie and Lucy are supporting the annual White Balloon Day on Friday September 7.AUSTRALIA’s leading child protection advocate Bravehearts is calling for registrations in Bellingen to support its 16th annual White Balloon Day on Friday September 7.

The Australia-wide event is the culmination of National Child Protection Week and is seeking to raise $500,000 to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.

This year is Bellingen’s opportunity to ramp up efforts and throw support behind raising awareness for child sexual assault.

Bravehearts is now calling on all business owners, associations, schools, day care centres and residents in the area to become more involved this year and show their support by registering their events online.

Schools, Councils and organisations around the country will participate in the event to help break the silence on child sexual assault and reduce an alarming statistic – that one in five children will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday. Equally as alarming is the fact that in 85% of cases, the offender is known to the child and is a relative or a trusted friend.

Bravehearts Founder and Executive Director Hetty Johnston, said the money raised will support education, prevention and counselling programs.

“We are winning the battle one child at a time, but there’s a long way to go,” she said.

“White Balloon Day is about encouraging kids to come forward and break the silence, while we raise the necessary funds to ensure vital support networks and programs can continue.

“The Bravehearts’ army comprises survivors, parents, friends, partners, professionals and non-abusive community members who share in the belief that child sexual assault must stop.”

Bravehearts provides an education program called Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure to schools and day care centres nation-wide that educates empowers and protects, ensuring children are equipped with the confidence to come forward and the skills required to handle themselves when faced with an unsafe situation.

Mrs Johnston urged everyone to get involved and do their bit to help protect Australian kids on White Balloon Day.

“It can be as simple as tying a white balloon to your letterbox or as grand as hosting a fundraising function,” she said.

“Organisations can host a ‘White Out the Workplace’ event with all employees dressed in white and decorate with white balloons. Schools across the country can hold a ‘Wear White Friday’ event. We even have people simply flying white balloons on their letterbox on September 7.

“While we have an ambitious target to raise $500,000, everyone can do their bit. The issues are serious but the onus is on making the events fun where everyone can participate.

“We are asking you to help us raise money to make Australia the safest place to raise a child. It is about educating, empowering and protecting our children and their futures.”

Organisations can register their event online at www.whiteballoonday苏州美甲美睫培训.au and receive a kit which includes posters, flyers, a donation box, balloons, a White Balloon Day guide and a letter of consent to fundraise. Additional ideas for community participation can be found online.

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