Empowering children today for a better tomorrow

Alice Wojcik, 26, has been acknowledged in the 2016 Anti-Poverty Awards, for the significant contribution she has made to the lives of young refugees and migrants in Melbourne’s West.

Receiving the 2016 Encouragement Award, Alice founded the Tomorrow Foundation, a charity which has evolved from a community group running a homework club at a local school to opening Victoria’s first Refugee Migrant Children Centre.  

After leaving her corporate job in risk management four years ago, Alice has been able to build a dedicated and passionate team of staff and volunteers who support over 100 children and young people each year.  

“Both of my parents immigrated to Australia from Poland with next to nothing. I was faced with many difficulties including culture shock and having to learn a new language.   

“I long for a world where every child is loved unconditionally, that they have the support network they deserve, and the opportunities that will define them as adults. The most vulnerable children in our local and global community deserve our support and love,” said Alice.  

“My vision is to empower refugee, asylum seeker and migrant children and youth between the ages of 5 to 18, who are encountering disadvantage by providing direct tailored services that empower, build their knowledge and develop their confidence,” said Alice.   

The Tomorrow Foundation’s programs seek to prioritise the wellbeing of children, so that a sense of agency, value and identity can be developed within the broader Australian community.

Connections UnitingCare Chief Executive Officer, Angela Forbes said the Awards presented a great opportunity for young people to come forward and be celebrated for their work.  

“The desire to be recognised by the many young people we have spoken to over the years has not been one of glory for themselves, but for the particular causes for which they have such enormous passion, and in showing leadership to other young Australians,” said Ms Forbes.  

“These remarkable young people know that genuine investment in an individual is worthwhile, just as Connections knows that honouring their work and contributing positively for better outcomes for the families with whom we work, is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves as well as to others,” said Ms Forbes.   

To read Alice's full Anti-Poverty Awards application, click here.