Improving the Well Being of the Leaders of Tomorrow by Getting Them Through Today
by jduse1 on April 24, 2014 - 8:34pm
Many children go through tough times in their lives and having an opportunity to talk to counselors or other children anonymously can be very beneficial. Kids Phone Help (Jeunesse J'écoute) is a non- profit organization to help children get through many things in life from very small problems to life alerting situations. Kids Phone Help’s mission statement is “to improve the well being of children and youth in Canada by providing them anonymous and confidential professional counseling, referrals and information” ("About Us").
This organization uses many different technologically based communications to help children everyday, at any time, all year round (24/7/365). The program works with children anonymously, calling or chatting online with a professional counselor and they can be referred to a service for support right in the child’s community (“About Us”). Also there are community postings on the website where youths can talk to other youths anonymously (“About Us”). Kids Phone Help’s outcomes are manly about getting children to work through their problems and create a society where children feel safe. At an individual level this includes helping a child come out to their family or get out of a violent household or make the children realize that their life is worth living.
Any non-profit organization has to get resources and a major resource that is needed to make any differences is money. Kids Phone Help participates in many different activities to get donations. A national program in Canada is The Walk so Kids Can Talk annual event where money is raised as people partake in a 5K, with all donations going to the Kids Phone Help organization (“Events and Promotions”). This walk wants to send the message that “we walk together to make our world a more supportive place for [kids]” (“Home - Walk so Kids”). There are also regional fundraising events, like the “Being There for Kids Breakfast” and Donate –A – Car, both raise money for the non-profit (“Events and Promotions”). Working with another non-profit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) Kids Phone Help gets a portion of the sale of recycled cell phones (“Events and Promotions”). There are also other inputs to the non-profit. In 2012 there was $5,812,440 raised from community fundraising events, $892,709 from foundations and associations, $1,903,062 from corporate giving’s, sponsorships and promotions, $1,206,915 from the Canadian government, $1,207,212 from individual giving and $94,319 from other sources (“Impact Report 2012”). The total amount of inputs equaling 11,116,657 dollars that the non-profit received in 2012.
The organization is not just about calling or chatting online with counselors but there are other activities that the children can participate in. First the website is split in to two sectors, one for children 8-11 and the other for teens 12-20 (“About Us”). As mentioned, there is the phone line where one receives immediate counseling day or night and the IM/Chat, which is the same but online communication instead of by phone. Also there is “Ask Us Online” where there is counseling online through posts, and “Virtual Support Community” where kids can make posts anonymously (“About Us”). “Info Booth” and “Community Referral Database” are resources to gain information and find local support services for the youth (“About Us”). Lastly there are games, tools and “Your Space” to provide the children a time for self-care (“About Us”). Having all these different activities allows an opportunity for many different children to utilize this organization in the way they feel most confortable.
For Kids Phone Help their goal is to improve the overall well being of children but at a more measureable level this organization has made many impacts. All of this data is coming form the annual report in 2012. Young people connected with counselors 5,000 times a week (“Impact Report 2012”). There was 230,000 additional minutes of counseling in 2012 as compared to 2011 and there was an increase of 24% for people visiting the website (“Impact Report 2012”). Young people accessed the website 5.4 million times and 41% are seeing a counselor or other services because of the help they received from this non-profit (“Impact Report 2012”). Children and teens using chat increased their confidence on average by 66%; using phone conversation, 87% experienced reduced stress and 84% learned new ways to deal with problems (“Impact Report 2012”). This organization shows it has had many positive effects for different single communities of Canada and the country as a whole.
The Kids Phone Help does a tremendous job in having major impacts on children’s well being and works quite well with their theory of change but a slight change can increase their impact. This non-profit is largely about helping the children at a very individual level but in some ways improving the community as a whole could create even more change and a greater well being for children. Something quite important is that there needs to be a realization to these children and teens that they are not alone. There are many kids that are going though or have gone through many similar situations. It is about creating a class-for-itself, as Marx would put it, and help each other by finding their commonalities. Marx also discusses having a consciousness-raising and in many ways Marx related that to a revolution of some kind. In this situation it is not revolution in the sense we may be used to, but there is still a need for some kind of transformation. These children would be coming together to help themselves and each other by creating change and overcoming their struggles/battles. That would be a type of revolution at a smaller level. The website for this non-profit is a great resource for children to get help but another opportunity could be creating activities where kids could come together and work their problems out. It could truly be through the website through live group chat, to keep the anonymity, or create a camp that people whom have fought or are fighting similar situations can go to. They could also create an after school program for a safe, confortable and welcoming place for these children to spend some positive quality time. The program is making great change for these kids and teens and it is fantastic but a community change can bring about the well being of not only the kids but also the environment they are living in.
Innovations and expansion is important for any organization and for Kids Phone Help (Jeunesse J'écoute) these mild changes will make tremendous impacts on children, families and communities across Canada. This non-profit has their online base covered but adding some offline activities and opportunities will only bolster their impacts. Also getting these children to become conscious of the similarities they may have with other children, can not only change those children’s lives but also future generations. These children will learn many new ways to deal with the troubles with life and will be able to use that knowledge to help more people in the future. Kids Phone Help will be helping and possibly saving these children and changing communities so some of these problems won’t happen again. There are many situations that no one can completely get rid of like bullying, but spreading knowledge about the signs of a bullied individual can cause people to intervene early so something can be done. Many of these situations kids all over the world are dealing with and there is no way to completely obliterate them. What can be done is helping people stay away from these situations or helping them to be able to get past them. Kids Phone Help is a fantastic organization and in some cases slight change can create a tremendous impact on a growing number of individuals of all ages. This change can transform this organization from an online site of tools to help children to a an large non-profit with numerous chances to not only change today’s children but change the future for Canada as a whole.
Kids Phone Help (Jeunesse J'écoute) is an organization changing children’s lives every single day. It does not need much improvement in its daily production but there is always room to grow and expand. The change is about broadening their opportunities of influence from not just the children but also to their families and communities. The non-profit wants to gives these children a reason to get up the next day. Involving a greater community will get these issued noticed so the well being of children is everyone’s focus. People may not think that an 8 year old is thinking of suicide or that an 11 year old is being sexually abused but these are problems faced by children everywhere on a daily basis. Increasing the number of people knowledgeable about these problems will be more helpful for society as a whole. Overall it is not changing Kids Phone Help’s theory of change but just enhancing it to increase their impact to more and more people, adding to the millions of children that have already been able to help.
About Us. (n.d.). Kids Help Phone. Retrieved, from http://org.kidshelpphone.ca/en/about-us/
Events and Promotions. (n.d.). Kids Help Phone. Retrieved, from http://org.kidshelpphone.ca/en/events-and-promotions/
Home - Walk so Kids Can Talk presented by BMO. (n.d.). Walk so Kids Can Talk presented by BMO Home Comments. Retrieved , from http://www.walksokidscantalk.ca/
Impact Report 2012. (n.d.). Kids Phone Help Org. Retrieved, from http://org.kidshelpphone.ca/media/83992/impactreport2012en.pdf