Trauma was putting a strong future… | Alannah & Madeline Foundation Skip to main content

To see Eli play – to hear him laugh and watch him make friends – is a joy his father wasn’t sure would happen. Just a few years ago, after being born in a refugee camp, Eli was struggling to adjust to life in Australia. And then, tragically, his mother died suddenly when Eli was just four years old.

While grieving for his wife, Eli’s father was also trying to learn English and keep food on the table. It was impossible for him to give Eli and his brother the emotional support all children need to thrive. When Eli’s father dropped him at kinder each morning, the little boy would cling to him.

Eli was unable to settle into the fun activities or relax and play. He sat alone staring into space and became distressed when educators tried to engage with him.

Eli’s educator Maddie, had worked with many children like Eli coping with intense anxiety, sadness and aggression due to trauma. She tried her best. But she didn’t have the skills to support Eli through the complex refugee experience or the immense grief caused by the sudden loss of his mother.

Thankfully, that all changed when Maddie connected with our Early Years Trauma Consultancy Service (TraCS). She started coaching sessions with a TraCS child and family consultant, who worked alongside her in the classroom. With the right support, Maddie developed new strategies to support Eli and help him feel safe.

Now, if Eli arrives distressed or anxious, Maddie will take him to a quiet corner and read a book he loves. This consistent and calming routine helps Eli build a safe relationship with Maddie, and gives him time to adjust to the classroom at his pace.

Often, Maddie will gently invite Eli to join in with crafts and other group activities, rather than sit alone. It’s taken time, but Eli has started to accept her invitations. He’s even made friends with another little boy who shares his interest in dinosaurs.

You're giving Eli a strong future.

Overcoming such intense trauma takes time, patience and a lot of support. Your kindness is making an indelible impact on children like Eli, and giving him the chance for a brighter, stronger future.

Donate now