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  • Karen Visser

YaFT Starts off strong for 2019!

YaFT Updates for 2019!

Can you believe we are already 25% of the way through the year? It's very common for the development sector to always speak about empowering people, to the point where it is becoming an overused buzz word. We decided to take a deeper look at how to 'empower' someone, and it was nicely summed up as the following.

 How to Empower someone:


Not only do we get to be a part of 'empowering' people through CbL, but these are all simple actions we can integrate into our daily lives. We encourage you to intentionally 'empower' the people in your world to be the best they can be!

YaFT Attends ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Camp  YaFT Xplore recently attended an Autism Spectrum Disorder Camp with 7 XTA volunteers, 3 sailing and 3 ground crew. The purpose was to create a safe environment for campers and their families to engage in sailing and try a new activity. Children on the spectrum often struggle to venture outside of what they are familiar with, and to do so creates stress and discomfort. Sailing gives the campers an opportunity to become more comfortable in public settings and participate in events.

To create a safe and therapeutic environment, the children and families had a chance to familiarise themselves with the boats and ask any questions they had before setting sail. This was strategically done to allow the campers to gain a sense of control over their experience. The group paddled out gently and had a wonderful time, with many smiles and laughter. 

Karen Coller, one of the YaFT volunteers commented, "One little girl, 4 years old went out on the lake in a Tri-Yak with her family. I was talking to her mum after this, when she (little girl) began playing in the waves lapping at our feet, coming in, jumping, splashing. I bent down and I asked her if she enjoyed being out on the boat; she jumped around more, splashing waves with her arms, and said ‘Yes, I did like the boat’. I didn’t know this girl was considered to be generally non-verbal. Her mum, with tears in her eyes, said ‘that’s amazing, she rarely talks’.”

Well done to the whole YaFT team; what an amazing result! It's very encouraging to hear how families who face challenging circumstances are able to create some wonderful memories through sailing. 

UPDATES FROM SAILING ON: THE JOURNEY BEGINS After many interviews, reading of applications and making offers, Sailing On began the journey with a days river sledding on the Yarra River near Warburton. The theme is exploring, discovering the beauty within and around yourself, tied in with the idea that we can re-author our lives. The group were challenged to reflect upon one part of our lives we may choose to begin to ‘re-author’. The aim of Sailing On is for students to experience a short journey together that requires support from one another to get through to the end. 

The students decided to call the journey log for this year ‘Our Precious book of WOOP WOOP’. On the cover they write words which form the group deal. Everyone then signs on and commits to upholding the group deal over the whole journey.  A young man who joined in the last week commented at the end of the day “I know it’s strange, but I feel I’ve really made some good friends today”. What a wonderful beginning to a long journey of the participants discovering beauty within, beauty around and re-authoring their lives. 

'No Limits' begins for  2019 :

The first 'No Limits' session for 2019 began yesterday (27th March). After interviewing 120 students and offering 60 places across both campuses of Keysborough Secondary College, there has been an enormous amount of preparation to ensure the best possible environment is created for the students. We are so excited for the No Limits group of 2019, and we look forward to hearing how the program impacts each student!

An update on Ruth

Last month we set out with the goal to help fund Ruth to attend a vocational course in patisserie. Thanks to a few generous sponsors, we were able to cover the costs for the course, uniforms and materials! She is learning lots of new skills and can even make bread rolls! This course will be a game changer for her and will ultimately lead to employment opportunities. A huge thank you to everyone who made this possible!

Thank you for continuing to journey with us at Compelled by Love. We hope you are encouraged by the amazing stories from our partners all over the world. We are so grateful for all your support and love! 

​From the team at CbL

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