It’s heart-wrenching to hear of a child experiencing things they never should during their formative years. Words can’t describe the joy when you see that very child begin to look at you heart open, trusting, innocent and carefree!
Joshua* was eight when he started his year at Mimi’s House; referred by his school who had serious concerns about his disengagement from learning, behavioural issues, and mental health and what the future might hold for him. Joshua would frequently say things like “Everybody hates me!” and “I want to kill myself!”.
Tragically, when Joshua was five his father took his own life. To make matters worse, Joshua was present for the terrifying lead up to this. A tragedy like this always has life-changing consequences. At home things became increasingly difficult for mum, who was working through her own grief while also trying to support her children.
Joshua’s school referred him to Mimi’s House to receive intentional support as things around him deteriorated. When he started at Mimi’s House, Joshua was angry, explosively reactive, and guarded. When offered a high-five or a hug, he would yell “DON’T TOUCH ME!!”. But over the course of the year Joshua came to trust us…and enjoy himself! His favourite activities were cooking and playing “Minute to Win it.”
When asked what he liked about Mimi’s House, Joshua told us:
Joshua’s mum said, “Joshua didn’t have any positive male role model in his life until Mimi’s. The only man who has stopped to listen to him is a worker there, now Joshua can’t stop talking about him!”. The school also reported positive changes, noting that, Joshua now seeks teachers for help with his work, is more inclined to start set tasks, and his learning behaviour has improved. Joshua’s mum added, “It’s so good to know that there’s someone else out there who knows my son like I do.”
After a successful first year, Joshua is now supported in Mimi’s House Second Year Mentoring Program.
*Name changed for privacy